The Amsterdam Bucket List

September 24, 2015 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

I slept like a rock last night.  Wow.  That was such a treat.  Today is the day we tick those things off our Amsterdam list that we might regret not having done some day.   We caught our first tram at Centraal Station and took it all the way to the Rijkmuseum without incident.  We both thought after-the-fact, that it might have been helpful just to ride around town on a tram for an hour when we first got there to get our bearings. Rijk side


We arrived at the Rijksmuseum around 10:30 a.m. and walked right up to the ticket counter.  It was another cloudy day; and a bit chilly to boot.  I don’t know if that kept folks away but by the time we left the line was all the way outside and heading down the side walk.  We wanted to especially see “The Hall of Honor” located on the second floor of the museum.  This section area of the museum houses many painting by the Dutch masters, including “The Nightwatch” by Rembrandt and The Kitchen Maid by Vermeer. The Kitchen Maid by Vermeer I especially liked the way Vermeer (who also painted “Girl with the Pearl Earring”) captured light in his work.  Also, we both swore there was a painting with Robin Williams in the mix!Robin Williams


From there we hit the Albert Cuypmarkt where I had intended to have ordered some kibbeling and frites (fish and fries); however, after a very long wait I received a plate of mystery food.  There was kibbeling and frites, but also several unordered foods.  I think one was fried shrimp but I’m not a shrimp enjoyer.  accidental lunchThe other was very odd looking and I really had no idea what it was.  Being ever brave I popped one into my mouth.  Cue the shark music from JAWS… fried mussel!  Nooooo!  The last time I had mussels while on vacation I ended up ill for weeks.  Bill had the frites.  I did enjoy the kibbeling and gave the rest to a table of hungry looking fellows.  smelled like fish to meWhile sitting there it was fun to watch the ladies choosing their fresh fish from the fish market for the day.  I also picked up a couple gerookte paling; smoked eels.  I had first had these when visiting my niece Jennifer in the Netherlands in 1994.  I had thought they were delicious.  I had these two wrapped securely to take back to the boat.  Bill is not a fish lover and I didn’t think he’d enjoy smelling fish for the rest of the day.taken with permission

in Albert Cuypmarkt

After leaving the market we witnessed something out of a movie, I swear (in fact, I’m thinking “The Da Vinci Code”).  Bill and I were waiting for a tram between lanes of traffic so we were pretty up and close and personal.  The sounds of police sirens were everywhere and guys on police motorcycles blocked traffic in all directions.  We thought someone very important must be traveling by.  Next followed the police cars, several black Mercedes, and then two heavy duty armored vehicles.  This whole procession disappeared into the basement of a huge bank on the corner.  We wondered out loud if it was a delivery of money and the Dutch woman next to us added, “Or diamonds.”  Wow.  It was quite a slick operation.

Rembrandt Plein

We took the wrong tram to a right spot ending up in Rembrant Plein; one of many lovely little squares (or in this case a triangle) throughout the city.  We took refuge from another rain shower and finally determined which tram we needed to take to get to the Westerkerk.  Rain or no rain we were determined to climb the tower for the view.  This church was built in the 1600s and has the tallest tower of any in Amsterdam.  Once arriving there, we had to stow anything carried (except for our mal-functioning camera) in order to climb to the top.  There were approximately 180 stairs to climb and the tower narrowed as one neared the view point.  As you climbed you passed the enormous bells in the bell tower and received a nice informative tour from the guide.  Only 6 people at a time were permitted on the tour because of the cramped space.  The views, in spite of the rain were impressive. view from church


Directly in back of the church is the “Homomonument”; a monument to the gay men and women who died during World War II as a result of Nazi persecution and extermination.  HomomonumentDirectly to the canal side of the church was Anne Frank House.  The line even on such a rainy day was very long.  I had visited the house and museum once before and we did not choose to do so on this visit.  We spent an hour or two wandering around the Jordaan district become more and more drenched before working our way back towards the boat.


But wait!  I hadn’t tried all of the Dutch foods that I’d wanted to sample and Bill was hungry.  We stopped in a cozy little place off Haarlemmerdijk for a burger, an order of bitterbalen and one last try at ossenworst.  Bill ordered the burger and I went for the Dutchie stuff.  Should not have.  dinnerBitterbalen looks like round balls of goodness all fried up, served with mustard and “perfect” for a beer accompaniment.  Or so it reads.  The inside of the crispy balls is mushy non-descript meat, and gooey-ness that I could not force myself to eat.  The ossenworst should have been cooked and eaten.  There was no spice evident and it was quite a disappointment.  At least I figure I have walked off the food I ate today.



We walked back to the boat without the company of rain though by this time we were quite soaked through.  I had to get into the eel before bedtime.  Ah yes, a most delicious bedtime snack!  Neighbors have arrived to the boat next to us and we can hear them travel over our boat to theirs.  We will be grateful for the sound of our fan tonight!eel snack


Across from the Rijksmuseum
accidental lunch
Cheese market

1 Comment

September 26, 2015
I never tire of the pic's looking down the canal.. Kodos to you,Kelly for trying local foods. Not only that but there are less calories if you don't consume the food.--:o)
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