Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Netherlands


Saturday morning, Maarten drove us to Amsterdam’s Pijp neighborhood, where Meredith and Elliot live - they had prepared a delicious Turkish-styled brunch, with a variety of dipping sauces, olives, breads, tomatoes, cheeses, jams, honey and coffee. What a feast.

Our Turkish brunch at Meredith and Elliot's

Afterwards, Maarten left for home and the four of us went on a bike ride along the Amstel river. At one point, we took a small ferry across the river and continued riding the bike trail on that side.

Stopping at a wind molen on our bicycling tour along the Amstel River 
A ferry ride across the Amstel River

The view from the other side is always better

The next couple of days of our stay we went to an open air farmer’s market where we shared a Hungarian bottle of champagne, we bicycled across town to the Winkle Cafe, (reportedly it has the best apple tart - served with a big scoop of heavy cream, and window shopped.

At De Winkle enjoying apple tart
With a delicious crust and tangy apples, the cream complemented it perfectly.
A walk along one of the many canals in Amsterdam

This cheese shop smelled sooooo good

Checking out the smoked fish at the market

One of the more colorful vendors at the market

Elliot and Meredith riding back from the market

Diane riding along the canal

On Tuesday, we met Maarten at the Rijksmuseum. It had gone through extensive renovations and just recently had reopened. We saw master pieces of classical Dutch painters including Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh, a beautiful (and large) ship model, ceramics, furniture, intricate 17th century doll houses and much more.

The entry hall to the Rijksmuseum
Rembrandt's Night Watch 

More Rembrandt

This model of a 16th century Dutch war ship was about eight feet in length

Poppen huizen display (doll houses) were really the in thing
among the elite Amsterdamers in the 16th and 17th century 

A van Gogh self-portrait

After the museum, we met Meredith for lunch and enjoyed some croquettes and beer, then Diane and I walked further into the center of Amsterdam and dropped in at Wijnand Fockink jenever (Dutch spirits) for a sampling. We then headed home to M&E's. Another satisfying touring day. 

Wijnand Fockink Jenever Tasting Room