Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Amazing Amsterdam..

Darlings, I am head over heels in love with Amsterdam!
As you know, I recently spent a magic four days there and I fell utterly & deeply for the city, the people, and most of all my wonderful hostess Mariska Meijers!

Some of my snapshots of Amsterdam. Loving this sazzy bike!

 Noticing the little details here and there..

Lovely tulips spilling onto the sidewalk!

I left Sweden having never met Mariska, but returned feeling as if I had known her for years!  This girl is beyond generous, warm and kind! She opened up her home, her life, and her schedule for me, and made me feel so welcome and at home. Thanks to her and her super sweet friends (extended thanks to Herb, Lise, and Joost! x) I got to experience Amsterdam in a true and genuine way!
Spending these four days with Mariska not only gave me a much needed break, but also released a rush of energy and creative flow. In fact, I am still smiling! :)

Gorgeous vistas like this one everywhere!

My borrowed bike that took me around Amsterdam! 

 Fell in love with the orange shutters of this old warehouse building!

Wonderful old buildings and brickwork!

To me, every city in the world lends itself towards a particular way of getting around.. Paris to me is all about walking, Rome in my mind is best seen from the back of a scooter, in London I prefer the bus, and Amsterdam is to be explored by bicycle. So that's what I did! Mariska had organized for me to borrow a bike and I loved peddling my way around town. The freedom and flexibility that comes with riding a bike definitely adds a certain flavour to the city. People seem very relaxed, spontaneous, and easy going!

Mariska and her funky green bike waiting for me to finish my 100000th photo.. :)

I particularly loved riding through the beautiful Vondel Park in the morning seeing corporate suits, parents with children, students, grandmothers, and tourists alike zoom past on their bikes. What a wonderful & varied crowd, and what a great way to start the day!

Apple cake, fresh orange juice and coffee. For breakfast!:)

Colour prefection, right?!

And of course stopping to spend a moment in silence, remembering those less fortunate..!

I cycled the charming cobble stoned streets and avenues of the city, and snapped hundreds (!) of pictures of what seemed to be an endless stream of absolute eye candy. A never ending parade of bridges crossing wonderful canals that were fringed by stunning architecture and quirky house boats. The city has a tangible warmth and character that went straight to my heart. It is unique, charming and so full of personality and creative expression.

 Just look at this 'bearded' balcony! :)

Boho and quirky boats everywhere!

 Wonderful buildings shoulder to shoulder everywhere I looked!

 And cute houseboats moored side by side on the larger canals.

One of so many lovely canal views!

I was also incredibly lucky to be taken around the canals and the Amsel River by a dear friend of Mariska's. We spent a whole afternoon floating through the city on a private boat whilst sipping wine and enjoying wonderful company. Such a unique experience and so much appreciated! 

..and one more..!

..and cute houses like this one.

And the stunning 'Amsel Hotel'.. where the famous, fortunate and fabulous stay! :)

We passed the cutest river houses, charming bridges, historical sites, grand hotels, funky house boats, wonderful public sites and buildings. My camera snapped away and I loved every moment of this very special guided tour!

 Another lovely river house.

 The stunning 'Scheepsvart Museum'. I just love this building!

..and several contemporary architectural master pieces, like the Science Museum. What a beauty!

Another favourite part of my trip was when I got to visit Mariska's flagship store which is located on a sun drenched corner in the trendy '9 Streets' district, right on the cobble-stoned bank of the Singel Canal.

  The lovely and stunning Ms Meijers in front of her store!

Loving the tiger painting and Mariska's fab sense of colour!

Black walls show off art just as well as white ones. Sometimes better!

Lovely form pressed trays in all shapes and sizes. I bought a large one for myself! :)

This tray now lives with me and receives lots of comments and admiration from my friends!!

Housed in a 17th century canal house the shop feels authentic, confident, and true to the area. It has an air of chicness, edge and tangible happy energy all bouncing off the walls. Natural light floods through the large windows onto Mariska's wonderfully unique artworks and merchandise. In a corner, on a large easel is a half-finished piece of art, and everywhere there are vases with flowers from the near-by flower market ('Bloemenmarkt').

 Mariska's 'work in progress corner'!

 Tubes of bright colours giving life to Mariska's fantastic works.

The shop has heart, and it beats in total harmony with the city and Mariska herself. I can genuinely say that the art and the artist are one - everything about it feels genuine and real. And that is perhaps what I love the most about this girl - she is 100% true to herself and the life she leads. That is a rare thing to come by these days and something that I admire greatly!
Once again thank you Marsiska for my wonderful Amsterdam adventure. It was one of my favourite trips ever! xx

Before I go I want to wish all my American friends a happy 4th of July for tomorrow!

Love and hugs to all.

xx Charlotta

All photos by Charlotta Ward


Glamour Drops said...

Your photographs are astonishingly beautiful! Now while I agree Amsterdam is a beautiful city, I suspect your photography has brought out some of the most enchanting aspects. How good all the bikes look! Such a great way to get about - i cant see any spandex in any of your shots : hurrah!!!

Like the copper facade of the science museum.... i'll have to go look that one up in more detail.

And it's lovely that you made a friend from your trip: it makes everything worthwhile.

Sarah B said...

What a wonderrful holiday! I visited Amsterdam many years ago, very briefly, and never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did. It is such a scenic place. The canal tour sounds amazing and Mariska's shop looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing :)

Karena said...

Charlotta thank you for sharing so much of your exciting trip and visit with Mariska! She and Amsterdam are true gems!

Art by Karena

martinealison said...

Je viens de passer un très agréable moment en votre compagnie aujourd'hui. Cette dernière publication est absolument charmante. Il y a très longtemps que je suis allée à Amsterdam. J'en ai toujours conservé un souvenir magnifique. Un arrière goût de "revient z'y" et vos merveilleuses photos me donne envie de retourner y faire un tour. Prendre plus de temps encore pour admirer cette ville extraordinaire. A l'époque mes enfants étaient très jeunes et je ne pouvais pas apprécier de la même manière que je peux le faire aujourd'hui...
Votre amie me semble être une personne au grand coeur. Cela devait être absolument captivant que de visiter cette ville en sa compagnie.
Merci aussi pour le partage photographique de sa boutique. Elle peint un peu à la manière de Matisse. J'aime beaucoup... J'aimerais aller à sa rencontre...

Je vous fais à toutes les deux de gros bisous et continuez de nous enchanter avec vos publications.

Mariska Meijers said...

Dear Charlotta,
This is some post wow amazing pictures of my city (and store :)). You give me way too much credit. I loved having you and it was just fantastic to finally meet you in the flesh.
Lots of love and next time I will see you in Sweden!


Tuuli - Lumo Lifestyle said...

What great time you had! Stunning photos you have taken.

I have been twice to Amsterdam and would love to go back!

Meine Dinge Franka said...

Your images are so absolutely wonderful!

♥ Franka

Casa Très Chic said...

Charlotta, your pictures are exceptional, really wonderful.
I can only imagine how much fun you had in Amsterdam.

Yvette said...

Beautiful photos of one of my favorite cities!

carolina @ patagonia gifts said...

omg Charlotta, I'm such a sucker for trays... and these are simply gorgeous! loved Amsterdam btw. beautiful city! hope you have a fabulous weekend, darling!

caroline @ patagonia gifts and jewelry

Stacey said...

WOW! Your hubby better watch out. Your photography skills are awesome! These are really beautiful pics and what a picturesque place Amsterdam is! Thanks for sharing!:-). XX

Charlotta Ward said...

Hi gals!
Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and compliments on my snapshots.

I really did have such an amazing time and I can highly recommend you go!

Mariska - Stockholm this Autumn!! :)

As of tomorrow I am off on a two week beach holiday with the kids, but will be back here after.

Big hugs and thanks again for stopping by.

xx C

Meera @ firstsense said...

Love love love your photos, they have reminded me of my Amsterdam trip last year and I fell for the city too!

Have a great beach holiday! I could so use one too, summer has turned to monsoon here!

Meera xx

Canvas art said...

I also love Amsterdam for its atmosphere. It is so green and so peaceful and not that crowdy with all those tourists. I'm glad you had a wonderful time!

A Casa da Vá said...

Charlotta that looks SO much fun, wow wish I was there! And let me know if you ever in Florida...


Casa Très Chic said...

Oh, Charlotta!
Do you know how good your photographies are?
You have an exceptional talent, but I guess you secretly know that.
Doors and windows are the details which catch my attention, love those orange windows.
You have an award today and it's in my blog.
Have a nice Tuesday.

myflower said...

Anch'io amo Amsterdam.....
quei canali, i fiori, le case..tutto è meraviglioso!
vorrei andare lì a vivere!!
Un abbraccio


A Perfect Gray said...

a dream come true, charlotta. so beautiful; a lifetime of memories! hope you and the kids are well and enjoying these days! love to you, donna

Anne said...

Dear Charlotta,

Thanks for the wonderful tour of Amsterdam! This is a city I have wanted to visit for a very long time, and your photos have fueled that desire. The romance of the canals calls to me, and my ancestors were from the Netherlands, so going there would be like returning to the motherland for me. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Big hugs to you!


Maria said...

Beautiful photos! I have never been to Amsterdam, but it certainly looks lovely!

Lana {lanalou style} said...

Oh wow, Charlotta, your photos are amazing! It looks like you had a wonderful mini-break and how fantastic that you got to meet Mariska xx

Renée Finberg said...

wow wow wow
i have seen several of your images that i would to try and paint.
waht a great post!

Mike said...

Amsterdam looks really fun. Sounds like the people there are really friendly. Glad you had a good time.

Mike said...

I hear what your saying. I myself try to spent as much time as possible outside. It's snowing here now so I can't go outside. Makes me feel trap. Enjoy the nice weather while you can because other days won't be so nice.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this images . Thais is so beautiful.

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