From Amsterdam’s maritime museum it was a fairly short walk to our next tourist destination, Hortus Botanicus, the city’s botanical gardens and some of the oldest in the world, founded in 1638 originally as a herb garden for doctors. As with everywhere in the Dutch capital city we passed a few canals and bridges en route to our destination.
The area immediately outside the gardens was suitably lush green with grass, most noticeably between the tram lines that ran along the curved streets.
We had a short wait to get our free tickets through use of our I Amsterdam city cards on account of a woman ahead of us and a man with his son who complained angrily in Dutch about something, gesticulated at the prices, and eventually drove the ticket clerk to get so flustered she then started getting angry too and pointed in frustration at her computer monitor and had to be replaced by a calmer, younger man. We wouldn’t have minded so much but it had started to rain again and there was no shelter as we waited to get through the gates.
We headed immediately for the large greenhouse to our right on entering the gardens as the rain was still spitting enough to warrant getting under shelter. On the way we either passed evidence of plants knocked over by the high winds that plagued our few days in Amsterdam or it’s possible that even nature needs a sleep every now and then. I will confess to knowing next to nothing about gardening.
The first section of the greenhouse was warm – as you’d expect – but it was still maintained at a standard climate. Up a walkway and through some sliding doors we entered the tropical area. A lens cloth almost permanently wiping the front of the camera and very quick shots allowed me to grab some photos without having them completely fogged over (even though the eyepiece was fogged over and I had to rely on the camera doing a lot of the focus work and shooting effectively blind). Eventually, the temperature and moisture levels even out on photography equipment when you move from one climate zone to another so if you wait long enough you don’t have to take this approach to taking photos but there’s a little thing called impatience and I have it.
From the tropical zone we hit the desert zone. The transition from wet heat to dry heat, fortunately, has no effect on a camera lens so after one last clean to remove any remaining moisture I could put away my lens cloth to take photos in this part of the gardens’ greenhouse.
The weather had brightened considerably by the time we left the greenhouse. Just outside and over a small bridge we found a heron.
The final stop for us in the small but pleasant botanical gardens of Amsterdam was the Orangery. A few people were inside making use of its space to relax and sketch the small number of plants around. We took a few photos and climbed up a spiral staircase to a metal walkway to bring us closer to the glass dome of the building.