So no sleeping in today: we had ground to cover.
First up was sustenance, and I needed a bloody Mary. HWSNBN insisted I would never find one. Seriously: he has no faith in my investigative prowess!
Camera in hand, we set off to the tram station (no directional errors this time) and headed to a neighborhood known as the Jordaan. It’s very cute, full of shops and restaurants and kitsch. I had found a restaurant called Gs, and we feasted. we got there just in time, as the tiny place filled up fast and a line formed. We almost felt guilty, sitting in our little window seat, feasting and sipping. I got the Dirty South: cheddar waffles, fried chicken and bacon with hot sauce, and a Hete Ketel bloody (served with spicy Ketel One vodka). Actually, I didn’t feel guilty at all. I felt content. Fat and happy. Ready to roam!
Next we searched for a cool shop I’d heard of, hoping to find a souvenir for the girl. Rock Archive (http://rockarchive.nl/) specializes in knock out concert photographs of iconic performers. I really wanted to buy a Led Zeppelin one, but they started at $600. Seeing as my souvenir was a mug, I left the photos in the shop (but truly: check the place out if you are in town).
Now it was just time to explore and enjoy this beautiful city, from it’s quirky shop windows to it’s stunning architecture.
One cool thing about Amsterdam are the gevelstenen, or house plaques. These were put on buildings before addresses were invented, and are ways for folks to find homes. Some indicate the business of the building’s occupants, many are religious, and some convey philosophies or morals of the home owners. Here are two I saw:
We made our way to the oldest part of Amsterdam, and visited the Oude Kirk, or “old church.” It’s a huge space — and the oldest building in Amsterdam (built in 1213). The irony of course is that t is now in Der Wallen, the red light district. While touring, I had to nudge HWSNBN who was intently listening to his audio guide, and point out the view from the window — of a lovely lady proffering her wares from a window in the next door building!
Other snapshots of the city as we strolled around:
That night we decided to wing it. We started out by wandering towards the Rijksmuseum, to see the famous outdoor ice skating rink (and get a drink, of course).
As for dinner, we decided to grab food from street vendors and shops as we craved it. Asian food is big there, so steaming hot noodles on the go in the chilly rain seemed perfect to start!
We wandered the Red Light District, admiring the views (the women were so much prettier than I expected!), catching a drink here and there, and noshing some more. The Dutch are famous for waffles, and we had one dripping in molten milk chocolate that was to die for (we ate it so fast I forgot to get a picture!).
After the crazy weirdness of Der Wallen, I searched Trip Advisor for a nice bar near by, and we found an oasis: Bar the Tailor, inside the Hotel Krasnapolsky (https://www.barthetailor.com/). We had fancy cocktails, and a charcuterie plate, and sank into the plush cushions. We had planned to head back to the hubbub, but we just kind of realized we were happy where we were. We finished our drinks in happy silence, then headed back for our last sleep before heading home the next day.