Our last day. We were in a quandary about what to do. We hadn’t shopped at all, hadn’t gone to the Resistance Museum or Het Schip, the Amsterdam School museum. Ten days just isn’t enough!
We ended up going to a shopping area, passed the famous dental store (click on the picture to see the toothbrushes riding the Ferris wheel), had delicious burgers for lunch at Burger Meister, and then went to an antiques market. I spent time on the bridge from which the view is pictured below while Jim did some shopping at the antiques market.
Then we visited the Houseboat Museum, which was really great. I had been wondering about what the deal is with houseboats since we arrived and was able to get all my questions answered by the woman running the museum.
Houseboat living started in the ’40s, when there was a housing shortage. It went on unregulated until the ’60s, when it completely took off. Now there are no free moorings. If you want to live on a houseboat, you have to buy an existing boat, which comes with a mooring. If you want a different boat, that’s fine, but you have to buy the boat that comes with the mooring and then replace it. As you can see in the houseboats-for-sale listings pictured below, each sale comes with an annual mooring fee. The mooring fees and the prices of the boats vary according to neighborhood.
Until the ’80s, houseboats were able to just pump their sewage into the canals. The canals are flushed three times a week, so it’s not quite as disgusting as it could be, but the houseboats are now required to be hooked up to the city sewer system.The boat was far more spacious than I would have thought, quite roomy. On our boat ride later, we passed many with their curtains open and could see all kinds of interiors.
After the Houseboat Museum, we walked to a canal boat stop near the Anne Frank Museum and went around the north of the city and back to Waterlooplein. We realized that we hadn’t made a reservation and it was Friday night, around 7:00. We stopped in a few places on Utrechsestraat with no luck at all. Finally we thought we’d try Harmsen again, even though we were slightly embarrassed to be going back a third time. A woman who had waited on us once before at first said that they had no room. Then she worked on the owner to let us sit at a table that they normally use to hold bottles of wine and other things the waiters use on the upper level. We both had a third lovely meal at this great restaurant.
Finally, we walked across the Magere Brug, the skinny bridge, the most famous of the Dutch-style drawbridges over the Amstel river.