Friends from Canada planned to visit us in early April and since we’d already moved out of Amsterdam, I went on the hunt for great accommodations around the city. After contacting what seemed like hundreds of bed and breakfast owners and hotel web pages we found the perfect place for our stay in Amsterdam! Graeme and I met the host & hostess one evening in March…
They immediately invited us in to have tea and cookies with them. She worked for years as an archeologist and he ran businesses wherever the dig took them. They spent a couple decades in Asia, throughout northern Africa and Europe and their house serves as a living scrapbook of their adventures. Graeme and I were struggling to keep our excitement within—we imagine what our house would look like in 40 years. As we sat on the second floor loft-landing, we admired the beautiful treasures imported from abroad: a Chinese bed, paintings and sculptures and artifacts from Indonesia, Portugal and Africa.
And…a 17th century, 2nd print Bible. It bears witness to WWII with its shrapnel wounds through the back cover into pour Esther which was shifted to the back!
This is one of those beautiful canal houses with four floors and a series of garden and balcony spaces. The windows offer leafy views onto the graght, canal and bikers below. The rooms are filled with literary classics and books on travel and culture. There are two kitchens, several bathrooms and two spaces they rent out.
They now own and operate a farm-retreat where people can stay, relax, learn to garden and enjoy the Portugese culture in the countryside. They grow a range of domesticated plants and flowering trees enabling them to home-squeeze orange juice, make their own jams and marmalades and collaborate with nearby farmers to cultivate their grapes into wine.
When we arrived for our visit in April, they immediately welcomed us to join them for drinks and appletart on their patio followed by a fabulous lunch: brie on bread topped with pomegranate seeds.