Trip Start Feb 27, 2008
31Trip End May 28, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
At dark we returned to Amsterdam to find it in shambles. It looked like an orange feathery party bomb had gone off during the day. Balloons and pieces of feather boa were floating in the canals. Several all-day revelers were still partying strong in the town squares. In Dam Square, there was a huge carnival set up with Ferris wheels, cotton candy, and the usual carnival stuff. We ended our night with a walk through the red light district. Everyone except Karla had been through it at least once before, it was interesting to see her reaction. She was a bit shocked and stunned by the reality of the district. "they're....like...women in windows...with...real red lights, I didn't think they would really have red lights." We continued on, "I kind of like it." She later said. I got a wide eyed look on my face, but she corrected me. She said she liked the theatrics of it all
Day 63 - Up and at 'em! Time to make breakfast. Karla and I had originally said that we could make Jens real American pancakes. But seeing as how I couldn't get Bisquick in Europe, and we didn't want Jens' official opinion to be based on our baking skills on the road. I did however find enough European equivalents to make bacon, eggs, Euro pseudo hash browns and toast. The breakfast was improved when we found Nutella for the bread. The Europeans have truly mastered the best toast topping in the world. Nutella turns any normal piece of bread into delicious doughnut bread. Sytske also blew our mind when she showed us hagaslag (pronounced: hacht-isht -slaght). Hagaslag is flavored sprinkle pieces that the Dutch put on top of the nutella or peanut butter. It's the best thing that has ever happened to bread. We especially liked the dark chocolate ones. At about noon, we went to the Anne Frank House to confirm our suspicion that the line was around the block. You gotta get up early in the morning if you don't want to stand in line for hours here. Plan B: The Rijksmuseum. It had the largest collection of Dutch art EVER ever. Not really but, it's a large portion of the famous Dutch painters from their Golden era. Most of the museum is under renovation so we were only able to see about 200 pieces. But they were the most famous ones (Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc) so we didn't feel bad
Day 64 - We got to the Anne Frank house today ten minutes after it opened, and the line was already around the block. This was not a good day to start our day as we planned on NOT standing in line this morning. Plan B: Crap I don't have a plan B! We wandered around Amsterdam waiting for something to happen as we had gotten up early for absolutely no reason. We met with Jens in the early afternoon as he was coming in to town and we swapped the house key and went back to Sytske's apartment. Karla took a nap and I went back down in to the city to confirm that the Heiniken museum was still closed. It had just closed 14-months ago when I was last here. That museum better be freakin' sweet when they get done with it. All four of us met in the early evening at an Irish pub in Liedseplein. I love Liedseplein square-it's a great place for watching people. This particular evening, we were watching two dozen guys all dressed in scrubs making asses of themselves. This was either a stag party or a twisted European surgeon's guild initiation. Sytske took us on a walk through the beautiful Jordaan district and then we caught the tram back to her place.
Day 65 - Today the weather was looking and Sytske had the day off, so we decided to go to the beach. On the way, we stopped in Haarlem and looked around while we were there
Day 66 - Today we rode a train south to Den Haag
Let me digress for a moment and talk about the use of flash photography in museums. I understand museums not wanting any pictures to be taken because if they say "pictures but with no flash," every tourist jackass out there is going to be snapping away because they can't figure out how to work their $500 camera and turn the flash off. Most of these works are behind glass and flash screws up the picture so the person won't even keep the picture in the end. Ridiculous if you ask me.
After the museum, we started walking down the Den Haag streets enjoying the good weather. Karla spotted a beacon of light in our traveling tunnel...a Mexican restaurant! I can't begin to explain to you how many miles it's been since we've had tacos. We returned to Amsterdam in enough time to meet Jens and Sytske for an important event. Today was the Dutch Memorial day remembering all those who lost their lives in WWII. Thousands gathered in Dam square and the queen and the royal family placed wreaths on the war monument. We were told there would be two minutes of silence. Everyone in the city was silent: even the trams and buses stopped for two minutes. It was kind of eerie to see a city that large be silent. After the ceremony, we had dinner and then Karla and I walked through the red light district one more time before going home.