05 November, 2008

A Second Visit to Amsterdam

For Halloween weekend Paula and I took a train up to Amsterdam to enjoy the sights and sounds once again. We had visited for a day in May when visiting Utrecht but this time we spend the entire weekend in Amsterdam and Amsterdam only. We got up there early on Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel near the Van Gogh Museum. We wandered around for awhile and then found a pancake house for lunch and some traditional Dutch lunch pancakes which were yummy. We eventually ended up at the Anne Frank house for a tour of this sad but historic museum and then we headed off for a drink and then on to the Van Goghn Museum for a visit of his paintings. On Friday nights they open the Van Gogn until 10pm and have a dj and light food and drinks. We stuck around for a glass of wine while hanging out in the lobby of this cool museum. After the Museum we walked over to our destination for a late dinner, The Pantry, which had traditional Dutch food that was very good. My dish consisted of 3 different types of mashed potatoes and a meatball the size of a softball which was great! Paula had a nice dish of grilled prawns and we shared a really good bottle of Dutch wine. I didn't know there was good Dutch wine but apparently this was one of the best. After dinner we headed back to the hotel for a few drinks at our hotel bar.

On Saturday we were greeted by rain throughout the day but we made the best of it. After a proper English breakfast at a nice little cafe, we roamed the city doing some fine shopping and dipping our heads into a cafe here and there for a drink or 2. We had lunch at a nice cafe off the main track but still busy with locals. It was canal side and we happened to be across the street from a bar where a group of about 8 American's and maybe some Dutch were still dressed for Halloween...as several world leaders including Barack Obama, Kin Jon Il, Vladamir Putin, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela and several others. After smoking a few cigarettes and downing a few beers, they jumped on this huge red bike that all of them could peddle on. Check out a few pictures of this at the link below.

Later on Saturday we had dinner at Boom Chicago and then stayed for their very very funny show about the presidential election called "Bye, Bye Bush". We had heard about this show when we were therer in May and had to come back for it, especially since it was only a few days before this historic election.

Sunday was our last day in Amsterdam so we spend the last few hours before our train doing more shopping, picking up some little touristy things here and there, including by big orange clog slippers! All in all another fine trip to Holland which made me wish more and more that we were living back in Holland. Maybe somedays...

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