Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day in Amsterdam

On our way to Turkey, we were fortunate to be able to arrange our flights with a 12 hour stopover in Amsterdam. We figured since Dave has Dutch citizenship, it was about time that he actually set foot in the Netherlands!

Dave's co-worker Becca was on our flight, so she and her travel companion Wanda joined us on our first order of business - pancakes or Pannenkoek! Dave's primary objective in Amsterdam was to fill up on all of the nostalgic Dutch food his Oma fed him as a child.

We took the recommendation from the tourist office just outside the Centraal train station and headed to the Roem Cafe immediately opposite the Anne Franke Museum.

We both ordered savoury pancakes smothered in gooey Dutch Gouda. Dave got the Pannenkoek Deluxe topped with cheese, bacon and tomatoes. I got the cheese and ginger pancake simply out of curiosity and it was fantastic - a new recipe to add to our weekend breakfast repertoire!

Conveniently the cafe was located next door to the "Cheese Museum" so Dave could gorge himself on even more Gouda.

With Dave temporarily filled with Dutch food, we spent the rest of the day simply wandering the streets taking in all the wonderful canals and alleyways that are Amsterdam.

Since we didn't even have a full day, we chose to go against my obsessive planning tendencies and completely "wing it" - we didn't even have a guidebook, only a vague map we stole out of the magazine on the airplane!

Despite the jet lag and cooler temperatures, it was a fantastic day. Our 12 hour glimpse into the Dutch lifestyle has inspired us to make a point to return to the Netherlands to properly explore Dave's heritage sometime soon.

One of my fondest memories occurred while making our way back to the train station at the end of the day when we decided to at least pass through the infamous Red Light District since "while in Amsterdam" after all... as we were entering the Red Light District Dave had caught sight of a church with an impressive collection of gargoyles and barrelled on ahead. When I finally caught up with him I asked if he had noticed any of the windows as he passed... somehow he had been so enthralled looking up at the gargoyles he had completely missed all of the women flashing him from the storefronts went by!


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