16-24 August 2003

I arrived at the main train station in Amsterdam on Saturday and walked to my hotel, the Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel ( on Prinsengracht. I originally had reservations at a hotel on Rokin, but this is a heavy tourist area with lots of construction. My friend, Buck Pennington, who lives on Prinsengracht, suggested the Wiechmann. He got for me a front room on the third floor with a very nice view of the canal. This is in the Jordaan area and very charming. Interestingly, the next street over was Eland Straat, where my ancestor, Dirck Gerritsz Keyser lived in 1655.

I spent several days walking all over the old part of Amsterdam using extensively the guidebook, "Rick Steves' Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels, 2003" by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw (Avalon Travel). I had never used Rick's guidebooks before this trip, but my Mom recommended them. I found this book to be very useful and entertaining.

The Jordaan and adjacent areas west of Damrak and Rokin

East of Damrak, the R.L. District (I visited this area early Sunday morning to avoid the crowds)

Southern Part of old Amsterdam

I had many good meals in Amsterdam including Huis Buck Pennington. I had Indonische Rijstafel, Argentinian steak, Italian meals, etc. One night I went to Restaurant Cafe Van Puffelen on Prinsengracht ( The food was very good, but a very large party came in and, consequently, I was entirely forgotten by the wait staff. I had to keep asking for each component of my meal. I hate eating alone.

Because I had some ancestors from Amsterdam, I asked around and found that the best place to go for historical records was the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam ( I walked to the archive on Amsteldijk street, got a dagpas (day pass) and entered the archive. I found records about my family dating back to 1589! I got photocopies of the microfiche.