Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
Top 5, huh? Do elaborate. I have enjoyed that time of year when the grass is slightly brown but still green, but Top 5 is high praise indeed.
Which kind of grass, Sab? The lawn kind or the other?
Top 5 because...
Since pretty much everyone can speak English, it was simple to go about and not be hindered by a language barrier. (Even though, sometimes while traveling, language barriers can be part of the fun/adventure.)
I really like how a large chunk of Amsterdam is laid out, with its streets and canals built in a circular fashion as opposed to a square, grid pattern. Very different.but not confusing at all.
Now, I love cars & car culture but was very impressed with the way things were structured towards bicycles as a major mode of transportation. I’ve never seen so many bikes before in my entire life! There were literally thousands of them everywhere (though they are all ugly looking bikes). That said, I didn’t see one, single BMX.
I already knew that their liberal way of life was in contrast to North Americans but experiencing the difference, firsthand, made a big impact on me (even after living in Europe the past 5 years),. We didn’t really talk much with any locals but the general, Dutch attitude towards is obvious with the existence of all the “coffee shops” and the crazy Red Light District. (My best friend in high school had Dutch parents and I was always amazed at how easy-going they were!)
We indulged in 2 ’coffee shops’. One was De Dampkring, which had awesome psychedelic designs on the walls and organic-shaped, hanging lamps. A great choice of tunes, too. The other was the famous, Bulldog in the Red Light District. The decor was like a troll’s cave and the music was enough to send you into a trance.
Museum-wise, we went to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijkmusuem with the Rembrandts (and, unfortunately, only 2 Vermeers), and Anne Frank’s house where you can explore the secret annex her family lived in during WW2. (I wanted to visit the Jewish Historical Museum but we didn’t have time.)
We also did a canal tour in a boat and I have a funny story about the Red Light District but will save that for another post.
Originally Posted by inky_skin
Pity I missed your post. Could've recommended a great Nepalese restaurant there. The wife and I stayed in a cool little boutique hotel a few years back - only partially spoiled by the fact that our luggage didn't join us.
Too bad about your luggage, Inky. That sucks but…as the old adage goes: Try to make the best out of a bad situation…which, I’m sure you & your wife did!
That restaurant would’ve been very interesting, Inky, because I’ve never eaten Nepalese before. Now you’ve piqued my curiosity! We did stumble upon a good Thai restaurant in Amsterdam called, Chao Praya. (We went in because our favourite Thai place in my hometown of Montreal has the same name and we felt it was only right to try this one out!) Our meals were DELICIOUS and the interior was decorated with photographs relating to the Dutch East India Company, which was a cool bonus for me.
An old Dutch restaurant, Haesje Claes, wasn’t bad. Great atmosphere. Food was satisfactory with a very friendly staff. The last night we went to an Argentinean place for some superb steak. (It was surprising how many Argentinean steak houses there are in Amsterdam!)
Originally Posted by Indy99
Glad you had fun, Stoo. I am heading there in early April. My secong trip. Went a few years ago, but just for the weekend. I'm driving from Nurnberg, Germany, planning to hit a few places on the way. Got any great recommendations? Maybe next time you drive through Germany, we could meet for a cold one.
INDEED, Indy99! Over a big beer, we can talk about visiting Cairo & Tarzan movies. Bring your wife/girlfriend along and we can talk about Gertrude Bell. (Given enough time, we can talk about Indy, too!)
If you haven’t been to it already, I recommend visiting Anne Frank’s house. (And, if you like Thai food, I also recommend the Chao Praya restaurant. Will find the exact address if you’re interested.). Have a great 2nd visit!
Next time I go back to the Netherlands, I want to visit Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem because of the WW2 battles of Operation Market Garden.