Thursday, July 1, 2010

Amsterdam Travel Guide: A Perfect Last Day

Hello Bloggy Friends,

Since our first day here, Amsterdam has continued to grow on me. By now I'm head over heels in love and I'm not ready to leave.

To kick off our final day we headed out on bike in search of another food dish that came highly recommended: pannekoeken (pronounced pan-a-koo-ken). Pannekoeken is essentially a cross between a pancake and a crêpe. It can be prepared savory or sweet and is usually enjoyed in the morning. The restaurant we chose was unfortunately presided over by a pushy waiter, but the person in the kitchen was on their A-game. Our food was scrumptious. We each took the savory route, choosing a pannekoeken with eggs and ham. As you can probably tell in the picture to the left, it was an indulgently heavy meal, but perfect for the strenuous day we had ahead of us.

After some planning, Alan and I decided to take a bike trip outside of the city. Our first thought was Haarlem, but our landlord Daniel suggested we take a quicker, more pleasant route to a village called Durgerdam.

Durgerdam is a tiny seaside town that consists of a single mile-long street littered with adorable Dutch homes. We took that street past the town, which turned into a bike lane running parallel to the water. We rode for miles breathing in the fresh, salty air and listening to the mass of sea-dwelling birds flying all around. It was great.

On our way back to the city we took a detour through a peaceful village named Ransdorp. The people living here have it made, with canals flowing past their charming homes and a sense of separation from the hectic world. I wanted to sit there for hours, just soaking in the serenity. Sigh...

By the time we rolled back into the city we had worked up quite an appetite. We decided to walk to the Jordaan to try a soul food restaurant called Harlem Cafè. I had a flavorful veggie wrap thing-y and Alan had a big ol' plate of ribs. It was fantastic.

Amsterdam has been my favorite part of the trip so far. Our stay here was enhanced by an element of relaxation that we didn't choose to adopt to in Paris. Instead of running around like crazy trying to take in sites, we chose to sleep in, get lost on side streets, and take daytrips to get a feel for what's happening outside the city. That made for a perfect experience that will undoubtedly influence the way I travel for the rest of my life.

I hope you have a great night. Thanks for stopping by to read about Amsterdam. We still have one leg of the trip left - Belgium! We'll meet you there.

Love, Josh


Bill Fogle said...

Blogger ate my first attempt to comment!!! Arrrgh!

Anyway, I said that I found Durgerdam on Google Earth, and that I thought your landlord made a great suggestion. He turned out to be a real asset, huh?

I thought your post was well-written because I could feel your relaxed enjoyment and your reluctance to leave. Good work.

You chose the right profession, Josh. Journalism. This was good writing.

Morrie said...

A belated Happy 4th lads. Thanks for the excellent travellogue and the wonderful stuff you continue to post.

Casey said...

Gurl, you drove a bike with one arm and held an umbrella with the other. Next thing I know, you're going to be playing rugby or football.