Walking through the Jordaan

After last night’s little contretemps, and because we had no appointment times to worry about, we slept late and took our time getting started. From Centraal Station we walked in a leisurely way down to Dam Square, filled with tourists like us. We slipped past the Juliana exhibit and found our way to, of all things, a quilt shop! In fact, two of them!

On our last trip I took home several fat quarters from Den Haan & Wagenmakers, so of course I wanted to return so that I could collect more unused fabric more of these delicious fabrics and make them into a quilt – eventually. Imagine my delight to discover that well-known Dutch quilter Petra Prins has a shop that adjoins Den Haan! Since I have no room in my suitcase, I brought only a few fat quarters back with me, but I enjoyed chatting with the staff (who, like everyone else in Amsterdam, with only minor exceptions, spoke English). The place was bustling with a couple of bees that were working on applique and other handwork, and the mood was entirely warm and friendly.

Very traditional quilts, but with bright colors and playful designs. Yum!

Our main focus was a walk through the Jordaan district, following Rick Steves’s directions. We enjoyed the flower shops like this one,

this display of many people with a pearl earring,

this elegantly quirky shop

and this historic house on the Moolsteeg, dated 1644, one of the oldest in Amsterdam.

Hard to tell in this photo, but the house leans just a bit out to the street so that when you attach a pulley to the hook above, you can hoist your cargo safely up through an upper-story window. Once you notice the hooks, you see them everywhere!

It was past time for lunch and just beginning to rain, and we identified a nearby coffee shop, but it was so crowded that we didn’t think we could find a seat.

Somehow the nice young waiter squeezed out two chairs and a tiny table for us. It’s a Greek place, so we had spanakopita with feta and spinach (me) and with ham and cheese (AO).

The place was full of young folk, a couple guys playing backgammon, etc. But as the rain began to relent, they gradually melted away, and so did we.

From here we headed to the Noordemarkt, which was allegedly right down the Prinsengracht but in actuality not that easy to find. But we got there eventually, scoping out the fresh-cut forsythia, fresh shellfish, sausages, and more.

The advertised textiles and clothing were not so enticing, so we found some apple pie to bring home for dessert and otherwise enjoyed the doorways and steps of the neighborhood.

Although these steps would be a bit daunting if you had to scurry up and down them every day!

Home to pick up our laundry (thank you, Sebastian, for recommending this local service) and find dinner for tonight. We went back to the Lunch Place for takeout, which is really all we want to do if it’s not our local dive. Sadly, tomorrow is our last day, but we will take in a few more museums before we leave.

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