Saturday, October 22, 2011

Honeymoon Part 2: The Netherlands

For some, Amsterdam brings to mind tulips, windmills and wooden shoes. For others, marijuana, prostitution and Harold and Kumar. Me? Amsterdam's allure was it's geographical location directly in between our other vacation stops, Ireland and Germany. Don't get me wrong, I was very interested in seeing Amsterdam, it just wasn't at the top of my list. Now having been there, all I want to do is go back to our little houseboat on a canal!

This was our floating oasis for 3 nights. It was directly across from Anne Frank house
- you could watch the queue from the bathtub.
Sirrussly, you guys!

While reading your morning paper, you could also feed swans
out the window. Sirrussly, you guys!

Amsterdam really blew me away. I found myself walking around just groaning; "Waah! It's so beautiful!".
The medieval city centre looks like a postcard at every turn.
Sirrussly, you guys!

Some highlights: Bikes!

Special traffic lights just for bikes!

As
a cyclist who has to navigate busy city streets riding between traffic on my left and parked cars on my right (ready to open a door in my path at any given moment), the dominance of bicycle transit in Amsterdam made me want to cry. We rented bikes one day and it was so refreshing and fantastic to ride along dedicated, separate bicycle traffic lanes - with their own traffic lights! The only downside? Getting lost on a bike happens a lot faster than on foot.

Beer!

Now y'all know I'm a wino at heart, but Holland is beer country. The Arendsnest serves exclusively Dutch beers - 120 bottled and 30 on tap. You could have a different brew every day for almost 6 months!

Food!

Moeders (Mothers) is plastered floor to ceiling with pictures of people's mums.

While herring doesn't exactly appeal to me, let's not forget the Dutch like to serve french fries with mayonnaise (sinfully yummy!). I did give the old' hutspot a try at Moeders.

Shopping!
True to form, where He purchased records, She purchased yarn. I made a point to check out De Afstap. The store was very cute, though the majority of the yarn they carried was Rowan, which I can get anytime in Canada. I didn't find any Dutch yarn (does that even exist?), but picked up a nice skein of Swedish lace-weight wool. I also picked up a couple of really cool Dutch stitch dictionaries.

It's a good thing the books have readable charts because one thing
I didn't pick up in Amsterdam, was Dutch.


Warning: If you feed those canal swans once, they come out of nowhere,
Terminator style, every time you open your houseboat door!


Since returning home, I find myself sounding like a pretentious Gweneth Paltrow; "Oh, you really MUST go to Amsterdam, it's simply DIVINE!". I need to go back there someday! Sirrussly, you guys!


1 comment:

Reckless Glue said...

omg that pic of Austen feeding the swan kills me! I wanna stay in a houseboat now! (though it does seem vaguely like camping in the middle of the city, I would feel like strangers could just walk over and touch me if they wanted to...)