Hallo vrienden, our next stop on our European adventure brought us to Amsterdam the capital city of the Netherlands. We ended up staying for two nights before we packed our camping gear and headed off to the most amazing dance music festival, Tomorrowland in Belgium. Although the pungent smell of weed lingers in the air around the main parts of the city, the overall architecture and beauty of the city is very quaint and extremely clean. Whilst putting this blog post together I noticed that a large selection of my photos showcase bicycles, the most common way of travelling around the city and probably the reason as to why the Dutch are quite thin.
The city is all built around these canals…I grabbed this shot whilst we walked around one night to check out the red light district.
We were blessed with beautiful summer weather. The overall feel of the city is very relaxed with the cafes and bars buzzing and people enjoying the sunshine.
All of the cafes in Amsterdam sell a bit more then the typical coffee, cake and soda.
Whilst walking up one of the main shopping streets we came across this beautiful cheese store Henri Willig Cheese & More. Really good idea for gifts but not really sure if the cheese would get through customs back to Australia. If you fall in love with the cheese you can order it online and they even ship to Australia.
Did a bit of taste testing whilst in the store. My favourite was the chilli infused cheese.
Henri Willig Cheese & More
Haringpakkerssteeg 10-18, Amsterdam, 1012 LR, Netherlands
Ph: +31 20 624 1006
Another street photo to show the beauty of the city….and the many bicycles.
Patisserie KUYT – Utrechtsestraat
Another shop which we came across whilst walking one morning was Patisserie KUYT. This patisserie featured some amazingly crafted desserts, each looking more edible and tempting then the other. You are able to sit and have a coffee/cake/meal. We decided to pick a dessert each and go for a walk to eat our chosen delights on the canal.
We will call this one the berry hexagon. The outside was a smooth velvety berry cream surrounding the inside sponge and pureed fruit.
Stepping away from the fruit for a second, this little jem is a caramel lovers best friend. Also creamy in texture the outside of the cake was crusted in toffee shards, with a decently sized toffee piece also sitting on top. Inside was a caramel flavoured mousse to surprise your taste buds one last time.
I chose the fruit flan as I have a huge love affair with figs. The base was a crispy pastry, a vanilla custard filling and then topped with an assortment of fresh fruit. Its a rather healthy choice :P well I convinced myself that it was.
Utrechtsestraat 109-111, 1017 VL Amsterdam
Ph: +31 20 623 4833
We spent the afternoon at the Heineken museum learning many a thing about the brewing techniques of beer. I personally am not a big fan of the beverage, but the museum is hands on with little activities to keep our inner child entertained.
A popular food option in Amsterdam is the FEBO vending machine shops. Perfect for a quick and cheap snack/lunch option. I was intrigued yet slightly frightened as to what we would be eating. Some friends in the hostel said we must try a croquette so we gave it a go. Place your coins in the slot and then reach in and grab your chosen delicacy. Easy as 123.
We each had a bite of the croquette and surprisingly it was not too bad. You can also grab fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and these deep fried cheese sandwiches. I wonder if this concept would work in Sydney? Late night party animals may take joy in the quick and easy food options.
Wagamama – Amsterdam
Craving Asian food we gave Wagamama a go. The overall concept, look and feel is exactly like the stores in Sydney. The menus are slightly different, obviously to cater for a different palette.
We shared some gyoza, steamed and grilled chicken dumplings with cabbage, chicken, chinese leaf, chives and water chestnuts. Served with a chilli, garlic and soy sauce dipping sauce.
Ana chose a salad of chicken with mandarin, coriander, snow peas, caramelised red onions, spring onions and roasted cashew nuts. The salad was dressed in sesame seeds, mandarin, thai basil and mint.
My choice was not as aesthetically pleasing. I went with a chilli vegetable stir fry with chicken and tossed ramen noodles. The noodles were bland and the sauce on the stir fry was barely spicy.
Isi chose the moyashi soba with wholewheat noodles in a vegetable broth topped with stir-fried zucchini, snow peas, mushrooms, bean sprouts, garlic, leeks and tofu.
Each of us agreed that for the price paid the meal was nothing special. We decided that we would try not to eat at any more chain restaurants and would search for a better option instead of settling for what we see first.
Three different locations in Amsterdam, check out the website below for location addresses.
Today I leave you with the I Amsterdam sign….can you spot Isi climbing up the ‘a’.
Next post is….PARIS! We took so many photos because the city is just too beautiful. I might even have to split it into two blogs if it becomes a bit too much.
Vaarwel voor nu xxx