My two-week trip to France and the Netherlands seems like it began months ago. I barely remember the small hotel in Toulouse that marked the beginning of the journey. The following day, I was soon marveling at the view from Maison Panoramique in Saint Cirq-Lapopie. My first visit to the Lot region of France did not let me down. I can still smell the freshly cut lilacs that were waiting for me in a white pottery vase. I can still taste the red wine purchased from a family who have worked their land for five generations. And I can still feel the soft texture of monogrammed vintage linens. There weren't enough hours in the days to photograph it all, and by each evening, it was all I could do to write a few lines on my blog and upload some of my photographs, before tumbling into a dream-swept sleep.
After a week in this tiny village, it was on to Amsterdam. I wondered how the bustling city would compare after all that "French green" countryside. It was actually just as wonderful in its own way. I'd only visited once before in 2005, and then it was just for a couple of days. Amsterdam was even better than I remembered. The weather was perfect. Sunlight sparkled on the water in the canals, and boats bobbed up and down. The city centre is crowded, but the people are friendly. Everyone speaks English; unlike the United States, students in the Netherlands learn multiple languages, mostly at an early age. My studio apartment, on the ground floor of a historic canal house, was in a location convenient to shops and restaurants. It was easy to discover many areas on foot, and so I did.
I am now home again, but I'll be adding photographs from the trip to the blog each day for awhile. As you can imagine, I have more than a few. Until next time, and thanks again for your company.