The Keukenhof Gardens: Europe’s Best Spring Destination

The Keukenhof Garden's windmill is a popular attraction

There’s nothing as encouraging as seeing the first spring flowers pop out of the ground after a long, cold winter, their colors a first hint that warmer times are on their way. But just imagine seeing millions—yes, millions—of them spread out over fields and lawns and in wooded parks. You can witness a natural spectacle like that in the Keukenhof Gardens in the western Netherlands. The ... Read Full Article

Amsterdam’s Ever-Evolving Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Luckily, we had a free day in Amsterdam to visit the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum before our AMAWaterways Tulip Time Cruise. With complementary admission to the Rijksmuseum and a citi-card from the Amsterdam Tourist Office, we were on our way, taking the fabulous local bus system to the Museumplein and a short walk to the Museum. Founded in 1800, the Rijksmuseum is the premier history and ... Read Full Article

Hiding Away in Amsterdam

Close up hair bed peace

It’s not so much bright lights, big city in Amsterdam – but, of course, red lights. Though many visitors are still intent on ticking the tourist track highlights and ubiquitous sex industry scenes, I’ve visited on several occasions and have to say that – for me – Amsterdam stands out as a city with a powerful and palpable history. The first time I visited I was lucky enough to follow in the ... Read Full Article

Visit Three Quaint Villages on a Day Trip from Amsterdam


The Netherlands has so many fascinating cities that it’s tempting to ignore the verdant countryside. However, this isn’t just any countryside: this is The Netherlands, where two-thirds of the land is below sea level and the vast green fields are framed and dissected by canals. The three villages of Volendam, Edam, and Marken are less than 45 minutes from Amsterdam by bus, and visitors will find ... Read Full Article

Red Light, Green Light … Amsterdam is Going Green


  Amsterdam has long been known as a pioneering city, now Amsterdam is going green. Four hundred years ago, it was a leader in religious tolerance and global commerce and now it’s the front runner in the world’s next challenge “Climate Change”. Among Amsterdam's 17th century town houses and winding canals, green changes are popping up all over the city. On major shopping avenues in the ... Read Full Article

The Sad Tale of a Forgotten Passport


It’s one of the worst things that can happen while traveling, and it recently happened to an acquaintance of mine. A United States citizen, he arrived in Amsterdam with his old passport that was no longer valid, his new passport was left behind in America. This simple mix-up almost resulted in his immediate return to the United States. We all know that an invalid passport is no joke: it is ... Read Full Article

Literary Café Culture in Europe

Cafe Americain

The beautiful photographs and interesting stories in the book, Grand Literary Cafés of Europe, by Noel Fitch, provide both the background behind the history of café culture in Europe and great ideas for places to relax on your next European city trip. “Coffee is the beverage of thought, dialectic and dream”.  From the first cafés formed in Ottoman Empire to today’s chain boutiques, café culture ... Read Full Article

Springtime in Amsterdam


A sunny spring day in Amsterdam is as good as it gets. Sunlight sparkles on the canals, cafes set up outdoor tables, flower stalls bloom with color. I could spend weeks strolling this picturesque city in the Netherlands, dodging bicyclists and admiring the architecture, but with only a few days to explore, John and I hit the highlights. A one hour boat cruise is a great introduction to the tree ... Read Full Article