We've been to Amsterdam.
It's a very beautiful city.
A short flight and free wine? Thanks, KLM. That's what I call a good start to a city break.
We stayed in a typically tall and narrow 17th century house in the Jordaan area...
complete with original staircase and stepped gable.
At the end of our little street was the Brouwersgracht (Brewers canal).
The elaborately-shaped gables on the buildings in Amsterdam are wonderful.
We spotted one of the the hook and pulley arrangements being used; most staircases are too narrow and steep to get large pieces of furniture into a house any other way.
Canals and bikes are ubiquitous.
This is the river Amstel;
I fancy staying in that hotel one day.
We really enjoyed our food, coffees, and a Heineken or two...
and the company of Sabena and Gary is always much appreciated.
There is no way Simon or I would have gone up there with the kids, so it's just as well auntie and uncle were with us to do the fairground bit.
The Beginjhof courtyard...
so peaceful, it's hard to believe you are in the middle of a bustling city.
We even found a few local vintage shops for a browse...
and a flea market at Waterlooplein.
Vintage fur coats, wedding dresses, heaps of clothing, and boxes of all sorts; it was like an open air jumble sale. Cheap too; I bought a jacket for 2 Euros (£1.45).
Always useful to have a warm coat that breaks the wind.
As you can see, the weather was perfect; sunshine and clear blue skies.
We couldn't face the lengthy queues for the Rijksmuseum or Anne Frank's house, so those will be on the agenda for any future visit.
Instead, we ambled in the sunshine, took a boat trip, ate and drank, and thoroughly enjoyed this cool and relaxed city.
Dankuwel, Amsterdam - we'll be back!