After leaving the efficient and modern Schiphol Airport in a good mood ready to enjoy the city Sophie received terrible news. The giraffe has been moved from a species of “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the organization that administers the world’s official endangered species list.
Numbers of giraffe have gone from around 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015, according to the organization. The decline is due to habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest in many parts of Africa. The decline is particularly steep in East, Central and West Africa, while numbers are increasing in Southern Africa. The next stages on the IUCN list are endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild and extinct. Sophie shuddered at thought of extinction.
Sophie slowly placed her phone in her custom LUC8K wallet and took the train into the heart of the city.
Walking along the streets and canals of Amsterdam the mist and darkening sky, which normally add a hint of mystery and romance to this city in the wintertime, intensified Sophie’s sadness as she thought about her friends and family back home.
Window shopping at the boutiques along the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) neighborhood perked up her spirits. She stopped in Otentic Perfumes to check out the 65 unique fragrances. She chose big going for a perfume containing pink berry, Angelique, blue ginger, tarragon, fennel, walnut, cardamom, cedar and white musk. She next looked at the windows of vintage watches at the Amsterdam Watch Company, and saw an Omega De Ville Chrono that caught her fancy.
Sophie walked north to the W Amsterdam hotel and visited the X Bank concept design store. The retail space features the breadth of Dutch design, ranging from high-end furnishings and artworks to apparel and accessories. She bought a pendant made of scarab wings by Bibi van der Velden, who makes hand-crafted fine jewels by combining precious materials with organic materials, such as ostrich eggs and fossilized mammoth tusk.
Feeling better she stopped at the Duchess restaurant inside the W Amsterdam and immediately felt good as she had no problem walking with the high ceilings and wide space. She sat at the bar and ordered a Fish-House Punch.
Sophie heard about the Amsterdam Light Festival where artists from around the world create large light-infused sculptures displayed outside throughout the city. For the best view she went on a canal boat tour where she immediately took a liking to Jenever, the local herb-infused liquor served in a tulip-shaped shot glass. The colorfully lighted sculptures and touch of alcohol brightened up her spirits some more.
Feeling even better Sophie took a quick ferry ride to North Amsterdam and headed to the brand new Sir Adam Hotel on the first eight floors of the black A’DAM Tower. She took a comfortable seat in the expansive lobby with views of the water and central Amsterdam, where she sipped a Bourgogne. The DJ was playing techno music and the place was filled with young people, local and tourists, which made her even better.
As the evening continued she put her troubled thoughts behind and fell in love with the warmth and casual comforts of the city.
The Dutch are the tallest people in the world, which was one more reason for her to feel comfortable and at home.