Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Euro trip, part II

Amsterdam, what a city! The water, the houses, the cobblestone streets—the bikes, the trams, the church bells. Noisy, busy, crowded, fun—ideal for aimless strolls and people watching. My parents and I had a wonderful weekend in this bustling hub, which I wouldn't think twice about revisiting.

Just look at the houses. And the canals! Love it.

Our hotel was situated perfectly, right next to the Singel canal, in an area that was full of restaurants, bars, and cafes. And bikes. Bikes everywhere!

Across the street: a restaurant with a name that warms the heart of every Bank Für Alle-fan. I mean, this has to be the Dutch version of Hasse-Klas, right?

So what did we actually do during our three-night stay? First on the list was a visit at the Rijksmuseum, to check out Rembrandt's The Night Watch and other world-famous works of classical art. We ended up spending almost half of the Saturday there, walking through all four floors with a break for a good lunch in the museum cafeteria.

The magnificent museum entrance, with the bike paths going straight through the buildingAmsterdam truly is the bicycle capital of the world.

The evening was spent celebrating my parents' wedding anniversary (32 years and counting!) with a three-course dinner at Humphrey's across the street followed by Eurovision (and candy) in our hotel room. The drama! The excitement! Dad was perhaps a little less eager to watch the spectacle and didn't manage to stay awake even for the entire performance round, but mom and I followed the whole thing, through the excruciating presentation of votes all the way to the triumphant end. Way to go, Måns!

Sunday started with a morning run in the beautiful Vondelpark—for me, at least. The parents took the opportunity to sleep in a little. After breakfast, the three of us walked the short distance to Bloemenmarkt, allegedly the only floating flower market in the world (can that really be true, though?). Tulip bulbs and flower seeds were purchased, and we then moved on towards Singelgracht for a 75-minute sightseeing tour of the canals.

Bulbs, seeds, flowers, and souvenir trinkets.

Dad, admiring the drying eternal flowers.

On the sightseeing tour we soon learned that the canals were quite heavily trafficked, and our captain actually bumped into a smaller vessel that wasn't familiar with the practices around the major nodes. According to him, it happens quite often—I'm not the least bit surprised, after seeing the partying that goes on in some of the boats.

The Frosts, on board.

When the tour was finished it was time for lunch, and I had checked out a promising place for some Dutch pannenkoeken: Pancakes Amsterdam. We went all in and picked three items on the creative menu to share; two savory pancakes (camembert/chicory/ham/raspberry sauce [mom and dad got that one for themselves] and mushroom/spinach/onion/paprika/pesto) and one sweet (apple crumble/vanilla ice cream). Filling and yummy
—I can highly recommend a visit.

We strolled around some more, had some coffee and beer by the canal, chatted about this and that, and concluded the day with hamburgers at a neighboring pub. Early Monday morning we rolled our luggage to Station Amsterdam Centraal, where we parted ways. Mom and dad train-hopped their way back to Sweden whereas I headed to Schiphol and onwards to Seattle.

Such a fun week in Europe! First Warsaw with colleagues and friends, and then Amsterdam with the parents. Lucky me! Lucky, lucky me.


  1. Wow, what a great time you must have had. I'm sure you missed the pierogies though.
    Lucky for those of us who got to spend time with you too!
    And now, I have to brag a bit: I love Amsterdam and it's bicycles, and in the just published best bike cities of the world it came in second behind Copenhagen, but my home town Strasbourg came in fourth, just so you know.

    1. That's good to know - way to go Strasbourg! (But which city came in third...?)

  2. Heh, måste verkligen vara många cyklar om du som Seattle-bo noterar det! Kul att det blev en så bra vecka! :)