Sunday, 17 December 2017


Back from a very snowy weekend in Amsterdam which turned into two extra nights as our flights were cancelled and earliest home was Tuesday.

Easyjet found us complimentary hotels for both the unplanned nights and looked after us very well.  The crowds at the airport were scary - we allowed 4 hours to get to our flight home and needed it, the doors to the airport were closed as they could not manage the crowds.  Luckily we had entered via the train terminal so got in ok but had to stand in long winding queues for most of the duration just to get through security.  Home safely now and any inconvenience was outweighed by the wonderful snow and pretty places we visited.

We took a train to Haarlem to see the Christmas market and also to visit Corrie Ten Boom's house.  We missed our booked tour in English so joined another in Dutch, we had read up before visiting so knew the story.   This tiny house over a shop had so much atmosphere and there were pictures of the family and their original furnishings in the rooms.  They were a Christian family who saved the lives of many Jews during WW2 by hiding them and enabling them to escape transportation. Corrie was imprisoned for her actions.  I felt privileged to sit in her living room and look at her picture hanging there and know that I had touched the same walls as her.
The house is just off the main square in Haarlem where the Christmas organic food market was in full swing.  Below is a coffee machine and cake stall, there was lots of cheese and flowers....

 We also took a free ferry over to the North side and tried the tram too.  At times the snow was very thick and the pavements slippery which slowed us down a lot.

We went to Microbia, a museum full of live bacteria which you can view under microscopes.  We learned about algae, good and bad bacteria and the bateria inside our own bodies.  They have a laboratory where the bacteria is maintained and replenished and you can see the people in there at work.

I loved this little shop display below with the 'houses' to grow your tulip bulbs, inside is a glass container so you can see the roots growing.  Unable to carry home or I would have taken quite a few to fill a windowsill!

Back home all that creativity got me feeling inspired and I made our Christmas wreath for the door.  This year I also helped my neighbour make one and a swag for another neighbour.  There is so much holly and ivy out in the woods although not so many berries, I only took rosehips and some cottoneaster hanging over garden walls as I don't like to deprive the birds.  I have noticed a lot of tiny nests around the woods so think the birds are bedding down for a cold spell.  Squirrels are very active in the woods which I think may mean they have not put on enough weight to hibernate this Winter, some of them look very young.   I will have to ensure I put food out for them regularly.

This Christmas we are all home and are looking forward to having a traditional dinner together so I am busy looking for things that will decorate our table.  I try to make things myself or rely on lucky finds in charity shops but the best things are found in the woods, we are so lucky to be able to put wellies on and walk straight out there exploring.

I'm off to catch up on your blogs now.......


  1. Amsterdam is a lovely place for a weekend away, and you certainly saw plenty of it! Corrie Ten Boom was such a remarkable woman, it must have been a privilege to be in her home.
    Love your wreath.

  2. A worthwhile visit..I think I wouldn't fly,myself,I'd use bus/train/boat !

  3. Glad you are home safe and sound with lots of lovely memories to cherish.

  4. Sounds like such a good trip despite the problems! Love those lanterns!

  5. How wonderful Betty - to have a snowy weekend in Amsterdam!! I am so envious! All your photos look amazing ... best of luck with the christmas decorating, yes I like to use lots of live foliage too. Your door wreath looks wonderful Xxx

  6. Thanks for taking me around Amsterdam, your photos are lovely. Love the houses for growing tulip bulbs and the coffee and cake stall look very cool.
    Glad you finally got home safely. Bloody snow. Delighted to open the curtains this morning and see that it's finally gone - ten days of the blasted stuff!
    Your wreath is very classy! xxx

  7. Great pics. Your visit to the bacteria museum was certainly different!!I love your wreath, it looks very professional. Looking forward to the Winter Solstice. These dark days aren't suiting me at all. Great to 'see' you home safe and sound.

  8. A wonderful trip to Amsterdam! Corrie is quite an inspiration! Thanks for sharing. It is nice to have woods full of pretty things to decorate with. You are blessed! Have a great Christmas!

  9. Bonjour chère amie,

    Une très jolie publication...
    Merci pour le partage.

    "Chaque jour est unique, chaque année est une promesse de joies et de découvertes.
    Que 2018 soit pour vous une année spéciale, que des milliers de petites joies viennent embellir votre vie. »

    Gros bisous et joyeuses fêtes ❄️❄️ ☃️☃️ ❄️❄️

  10. So pleased that in spite of the problems you were able to have a lovely time.
    Your photographs look lovely, I enjoyed seeing them.

    Have a wonderful Christmas time.

    All the best Jan

  11. Oh how wonderful! I loved Corrie ten Boom's house so much and I love it that you sat on that sofa, too.
    The market in Haarlem looked grand!
    Have a wonderful Christmas, sweet Betty!

  12. i am glad that snowing did not spoil your trip dear Betty !

    free ferry sounds lovely float on water ,looks so charming!

    loved the all glimpse you shared here from amsterdam , crowds are scary to me to ,this is great that unplanned stay at hotel was either comfortable .

    it sis always superb feeling to get back to home after long tiring outdoor trips ,hope you enjoying your arrival and just one day to christmas my friend ,wising you very happy and wonderful festival dear

  13. i loved you wreath so much ,this is gorgeous!

    corrie 's story is touching ! helping others selflessly is rare and she is inspiring


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