Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday in the park and around town

Post: Bernie: March 27, 2011
Note: To follow our trip to Amsterdam from beginning to end, choose The plans are made from the index at right.

This morning after coffee and croissants in our room we headed out to Vondelpark the largest park in the city, with the picnic we assembled last night; Goudse Oud, fresh Campagnard rustic bread, smoked herring fillets, nouget cake, other baked goods and a bottle of French Red. It was a lovely sunny day so thousands of locals were heading there too. On bikes, walking and on roller blades. Families, couples, dogs and singles all taking in the day.

Dutch cheeses in market
Shopping for our picnic lunch.

Vondelpark gate
Gate to Vodelpark near the Paradiso.
We found a picnic place overlooking a spraying fountain and settled in for our picnic lunch.

Joey and I in Vondelpark, Amsterdam, NL
Our picnic spot.
I also got some natural pigment drawings done, but maybe not so natural, seeing I used the waxy rind from the cheese, the skin off the smoked herring and more than a little bit of spilled red wine.

Nature pigment drawings
Resting for a while.
I also used dirt and sand and grasses and twigs from under the tree we were sitting near. Had to chase dogs away few times, they must have thought it was a treat for them!

I've titled the two drawings/collage works: Amsterdam, March 27, 2011.

We walked around the whole park and really enjoyed the day.


There were early spring flowers in bloom and some type of early tulip.

One area had these hedge bordered areas that had plantings of one variety.

Like roses and tulips and other flowers. This must be especially beautiful as summer comes and all these areas are in bloom!

The first small arched window is our room.
Returning to Hotel Nadia after a day in Vondelpark.
We were pretty mellowed out by now and came back to Hotel Nadia to rest up before going out.

I had found a place on the Leidsekruisstraat but they had no tables for two. So we walked around a bit more in that area but came back to the Leidsekruisstraat and went into a restaurant we had seen before called Kop Van Jut that served traditional Duch food. The waitress was extremely helpful in pointing out the real Dutch food on the menu and we were not disappointed! The dinner was fabulous. Joey had a Dutch Beefsteak with onions, mushrooms and a great sauce, while I had a chicken dish with mushrooms and a very tasty sauce as well. For dessert we had vanilla ice cream with raisins soaked in Dutch Brandy. Did you know that the Dutch invented brandy? And Gin! We also had this amazing liqueur made from almonds and peaches  "...delicate bitter almonds and persico, combined with infused peaches..." It was truly to die for! It is called Bitterkoekjes and is made by Van Wees Likeus. We are going to try and bring some home. We also need to try creating brandy soaked raisins using our brandy!

Not to detract from our wonderful experience there but we discovered that the restaurant is for some reason named after an infamous murderer from Holland. We would have been less likely to choose the Lizzie Borden restaurant had we understood the language. Good thing we don't know Dutch.

Kop Van Jut, Leidsekruisstraat 24, 1017 RJ Amsterdam.

We had a table right in the front window.

This is our dessert.
They also had their own beer. Very good as well.
From there we wandered off into Rembrandtplein (plein means square) and then over the Skinny Bridge.

One of the many Dutch cheese shops.
Statue of Rembrandt with friends.
Statue of Rembrandt.

The "Skinny Bridge" as seen from another bridge.
Then back to the Red Light District...
A male Swan with feathers aroused in a mating ritual.
The Red Lights of The District reflected in the canal
...where the Swans were doing their mating ritual along with countless others.

Yes, those are cows on the ceiling
Wandering back..

One last stop at an Irish Pub at 11 Dam for a couple pints of Guinness. Nice place. We left there at closing time 2 a.m. And headed back to Hotel Nadia.

What a great, relaxing day seeing new things, meeting new people and experiencing more of this really amazing city.

The clock in the tower down the block just chimed three. Time to get some sleep we have a day planned with Rembrandt and Vinny... and Bitterballens.

Next: Monday with Vinny and Pablo [READ NEXT AMSTERDAM POST]

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