What Does Amsterdam Smell of?

A month ago the first leg of my month+ journey went in a smooth arc southwest from Europe, then down – right down to the bottom of the earth; then it was back up north (er, where else?:) to Saint Martin (the island) – specifically the Dutch 40% thereof (not the French 60%) (confused?!?!) – where the worlds’ craziest beach is and where we had our SAS-2017. Next, it was back home to Moscow. But not directly…

No. First of all, that would have been impossible (no direct flights). Secondly, it would have been boring, as we’d have missed out…: Amsterdam!

So off we flew – from the same runway where we were getting our kicks on Route 66 Beacon Hill Road earlier that day. Only… we didn’t blow anyone over. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, normally planes begin their acceleration from the beach end of the runway, blasting the tourists behind them as they do; but our KLM plane did it the other way round. Another strange thing: flying from the Netherlands to Holland took… eight hours and 15 minutes. And there was me thinking the country was not so large :).

All righty: Amsterdam!…

So, as the title asks – what does Amsterdam smell of? I mean – in the old city center along the banks of the canals? Yep, you guessed it: ganjer! Practically everywhere!

And we had some free time to ourselves! Whoah! So where did A.B. and I head? Of course – to a coffeeshop! Then to the red light district! Actually…

Actually we were a lot better behaved. We went… to a museum.

There are plenty of museums in the Dutch capital, but we went for the Stedelijk Museum of modern and contemporary art:

Well, we were on a bit of a roll with the modern/contemporary art theme, so we thought we’d continue to roll with it. And – coincidence of coincidences – there was a Russian (Soviet) exhibition running at the museum – Constructing the New Man! And that was in addition to the Malevich and other Russian works on the floor below.

I wonder, in one or two hundred years, will the political (trolling) digital banners of the early 21st century be hanging in cool museums to be admired by all? Hmmm. And what out of all of today’s digital garbage will become immortal, quaint, sign-of-the-former-times masterpieces? One of the first USB sticks? :).

The following day we drove to Antwerp in neighboring Belgium for an industrial cybersecurity conference. After it we only got the chance for a quick walk around the old center, which turned out to be just round the corner from our hotel.

Since we got just a nano-dose of tourism done in Antwerp, if any of you, dear readers, knows all about Belgium’s second city – please tell me about it! In particular – why the construction of just one of the steeples of the cathedral appears not to have been completed. Locals told us that there had been a fire and then there was no money to repair and reconstruct it. But that just didn’t seem to ring true to me – after all, Antwerp was (and still is) an important world seaport hub, in a country not known for poverty…

And I heard a rumor about a historical intrigue concerning why the residential buildings surrounding the cathedral are so close to it. If anyone can shed any light on this mystery too – I’d be much obliged.

That’s all for today folks. Nice weekend! And see you Monday…

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    Norman Hirsch

    Partially correct. Both hops an pot smell very much the same. They are related plants. Amsterdam has major breweries (surprised you didn’t mention them knowing you :) and so the smell is from both. Recommend Heineken experience tour there.

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