June 22, 2019 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

It’s interesting how very old buildings smell. You might experience scent memory just from reading that sentence, and if you didn’t, I’m a bit sorry for you.

First morning of summer, morning spent in Lord in the Attic Museum (lots of photos attached) in Amsterdam (only remaining “house church” from the days when Catholics and other religions were not allowed to practice openly, also one of the best preserved 17th century homes in the Netherlands), then walking through suffocating crowds of tourists to find the Van Gogh museum. Photos were not allowed there, but I am not ashamed to say I choked up when I walked into the first gallery of his self-portraits… completely star-struck and moved to see the actual brush strokes of someone who has been such a tragic, creative, and iconic figure.

Besides confirming the commonly held truth about bicycle ubiquity in The Netherlands, I was also struck dumb by a rack of unlocked bicycles. Unlocked bicycles. Where I am from, even locked bicycles are fair plunder.

June 21, 2019 – Aalsmeer, The Netherlands

My AirBnB in Aalsmeer…very peaceful and lovely. Forgot to take photos on the train from London to Amsterdam, since I had a great conversation with a lady from London the whole way. She’s an environmental engineer and has traveled and lived just about everywhere, it seems…figuring out the train+bus ride to Aalsmeer was, uh, an adventure, especially as I had only 2 hours sleep last night, dozed off on the train, woke up in time to see us pulling away from my stop, and had to get off at the next stop to backtrack…

Glad to be back in a land where people understand the culinary virtues of herring… My private summer solstice dinner from the market in my AirBnB. Was too tired to venture back into Amsterdam tonight, so had a peaceful night of eating and drinking and reading and making up for lost sleep.

June 20, 2019 – London

Flower Walk in Kensington Park, Royal Albert Music Hall, monument to Albert and the British Empire, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a lake and sculptures. (I took a video and happened to capture a guy standing there with his dog. I said, ooops, I caught you for a few seconds in my video! He laughed and said, that’s all right,you can admire me later when you get home…!) Also, Alfred Hitchcock’s house and Winston Churchill’s house (and for good measure Baker Street from the cab window).

June 19, 2019 – London

Sitting in a pub in Earl’s Court reading a book by Orwell, working on my second pint, having just finished the special of the evening, friend mackerels with horseradish sauce, mashed potatoes, and greens…. a just-right rainy summer evening in London.

My tiny and old but clean and affordable hotel room in Earl’s Court. I love the view from my window.