Our third and final day trip from Amsterdam was to the city of Utrecht. Neither of us had any preconceptions about Utrecht and it ended up being a wonderful surprise only 20 minutes away. Utrecht is home to over a million people, but the beautiful historic center feels more like a small town than a city.Read the full post »
We visited the former home and studio of the painter Rembrandt, located in the Nieuwmarkt district of Amsterdam. Rembrandt lived and worked in the home between 1639 and 1658. The house remains intact and has been refurnished with period furniture using a detailed inventory from the time.Read the full post »
We took a free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal to the new Overhoeks district on the Noord side. With multiple ferries in constant motion, we didn’t have wait more than 5 minutes to travel in each direction.Read the full post »
We’ve arrived in Amsterdam, where we’ll be staying for about a week as we explore the city and some surrounding towns.
Our hotel is in the Amsterdam Zuid (South) area, a little ways out of the city core, and it feels much more sane than the overcrowded areas near Dam Square. The immediate surroundings are a mix of upscale residential and modern office parks.Read the full post »
We didn’t visit many churches on this trip — Europe is stuffed with them, and no matter how impressive they are, they tend to blur together after a while. But we did visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, partially lured by the famous Caravaggio painting hanging in its oratory.Read the full post »
We took a bus to the town of Mdina, located about 30 minutes from Valletta in the Northern Region of Malta. A picturesque fortified city on a hill, Mdina served as Malta’s capital until 1530. When government business moved elsewhere Mdina earned the nickname of “Silent City,” a description that remains accurate today.Read the full post »
We’re staying in the heart of Valletta and it’s easy to walk to any point in the old city without too much exertion. Valletta holds the distinction of being both the smallest European capital (at 0.8 km2) and the southernmost European capital. The entire city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 and historic treasures are crammed together more densely than anywhere we’ve visited.