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    "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful we must carry it with us or we find it not."

    R. W. Emerrson

    « Great Expectations - Spain | Main | Everything Old is New Again - Trier, Germany and Luxembourg »

    Up in Smoke - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    We closed the door as we exited our rented houseboat and followed the canal-lined streets into the historic center of Amsterdam.  We reached the right neighborhood after a long walk and started looking around for the hard-to-find shop.

    “Where is this place?  According to the directions, it should be right around the corner.”

    A tiny sign suspended above the narrow store’s doorway announced that we had finally arrived at our destination.  We entered and were immediately met by the rich aroma of smoke accompanied by the sight of a wide variety of pipes on display.  We made our way to the salesman seated behind the counter, said hello, and commented on the wonderful scent that permeated his shop.  He looked pleased, “It’s my own special blend”.

    We had finally arrived at the Pijpenkabinet Amsterdam Pipe Museum where we received a private tour from an extremely knowledgeable gentleman who had authored numerous books on the topic.  He walked with us, explaining each case and answering our questions.  The impressive collection, amassed over the past 40 years, includes thousands of pipes (and counting) from various parts of Africa, Europe and Asia.  These pieces of art are in all shapes, sizes and made of various materials.  And to top it off, this museum / shop is housed in a typical 17th century Dutch home with original wood floors and period-appropriate furnishings.

    The Pijpenkabinet is just one of the many unique and quirky Amsterdam offerings and we couldn’t help smiling from the fun of it.  We both agreed that one visit wasn’t enough and we’ll be back to visit this very eclectic city again.