he first week of July I spent on conference in Amsterdam. I'd never been to Amsterdam before, had very few expectations and left feeling pleased with the place and wishing to spend more time there. It felt very familiar and easy, as well as peaceful and relaxing. The virtual complete lack of cars rendered an otherwise dynamic and exciting city, particularly easy to loll about it - especially along by the canals whilst drinking white beer. I spent most of my time here, in the RAI conference centre:
...but it was Amsterdam, so there were a few floral delights to be had amongst other more serious things. I was most enthralled by the streets giving birth to an impressive range of Hollyhocks that were seemingly growing straight out of the pavement.
made it to the flower market too, but honestly I was underwhelmed. It felt sterile and lifeless. I know I'm a spoilt rotten Londoner with my regular visits to Columbia Road Flower Market, which is a heady (and costly) experience any Sunday of the year. Yet, plant fetishist that I am (and particular lover of bulbs) I left Amsterdam without a purchase. The varieties of tulips on offer were dull and uninspiring, and everything else had 'Do not touch' signs on it. Half the pleasure of a trip to the market (or garden centre) is fondling the foliage and stroking the petals.... I'm not even giving space to the market photos, they can live together in this montage and be done with:
nyway, regardless of what was a minor dissappointment, here's to a pretty city, and to dreams of going back (still need to check out the Van Gogh museum at the very least, if only for the Dr Who geekery of it all). And if I can entice you further, here's a city guide from 6 music's Laverne show. Just to be ultra obnoxious, I got to go to a pretty cool party at Melkweg whilst in Amsterdam, it really is a cool place...