rainbow tree painting by nancyvdboom
The reason why I chose the Netherlands as our destination for this month is that I am going there in a few days to participate in a craft fair and to meet a lot of European crafters. I visited its capital, Amsterdam two years ago, and I am still longing for that free spirit I met there.
Let me start with one of my favourite songs – actually sang by a Belgian singer, named Jacques Brel – which is about Amsterdam and its sailors, though I did not see any drunk sailors in Amsterdam, but I love the passion that comes from Brel.
gold stud earrings by huismus
Before anyone asks: yes, I saw and did the “must-haves”. I have been to Amsterdam with a friend of mine and we visited a few coffee shops and many sex shops (my friend was looking for something). I even had a sort of date with a guy I knew from Hungary in the red light district – how romantic!
But Amsterdam has so much more to offer. As I look back to that one week I spent in Amsterdam two years ago, I try to sum up why I loved that city. I think it is because I felt freedom and open minds in the air. Of course, I was on vacation with a friend of mine, but still: I met free and helpful minds with a lot of colors and creativity.
Gangs of Amsterdam by vadjutka
For example I lost my way in the first hour I spent in Amsterdam. I might have looked quite helpless, but I knew I was in the perfect city, when a nice couple came towards me and said: “You look quite helpless; can we help you?” From that point I knew I will love this place.
Before my trip my friends told me, that people don’t use curtains in Holland. “How weird” – I thought. And when I was there and saw it with my own eyes, it looked so natural. It seemed that these people are open, not weird, and they do not hide away.
Without curtains by vadjutka
I experienced this openness in the Central Library of Amsterdam. Not only it is a modern and cool buliding, but anyone can go in and use one of the computers, without limitations. (This way I could update my etsy shop while having fun in Amsterdam.) I was totally impressed by the library’s architecture and services itself (especially the almost transparent bathroom), but on the top of it all there is a piano close to the entrance. Again: anyone can come in and play something. What an incredible idea! This way we were so lucky to hear a lot of good piano players and great music.
felt moose head by planetfur
And at last, but not at least: Amsterdam is home to absolutely gorgeous handmade shops and small galleries. It was there, when I decided: one day I will have a studio and shop in one space, that I have seen so many in Amsterdam. But untill then I just have to be content with visiting these studio-shops: I just found this useful guide to them the other day on Bloesem blog.
Unfortunately we did not have time to go outside of Amsterdam, though I wanted to see what Van Gogh saw: fields of sunflowers, tulips, windmills, cute Dutch houses – so I wanted to feel the Dutch country. So concerning the Dutch world outside of Amsterdam I can offer for you a few useful tips from Virtual Tourist. Besides, I can promise to go back and see everything for myself, come back and let you know if I managed to climb up on a windmill.
* * *
P.S: There is nothing Dutch in it, but I would like to share my giveaway with you. I am giving away my very last piece of fused glass necklace on my blog. So if you are interested, feel free to participate!