We are back in Amsterdam eating, drinking & trying to get in a bit of culture. Today was much more about eating and drinking, but we promised ourselves to ‘culturized right proper like’ tomorrow. We are headed to the Rijksmuseum via a canal boat as it is the safest means of travel at this point… the endless speedy cyclists, mopeds, vehicles & trams are ping-pong-processing in our brains like a pachinko machine. Just when you think it’s safe to cross a street – blamo! It’s kinda like Frogger on crack or at least level 38.
Riding the canals was beautiful. It was wonderful to see older buildings still in place and noting when the were erected, most before America was firmly established. The first stock market was formed in 1611 here – that’s amazing! What’s even more amazing is that it’s still such a crap shoot, unless of course you’re Warren Buffet.
Some of the restaurants have come of age and are making delicious dishes. We had a great dinner at Van Rijn last night and were delighted that everything that we ordered exceeded our expectations. Steve chose the venison-freaking fantastic; it’s a shame we don’t see venison as much in the states. I had a delicious oxtail consume with truffled ravioli, yes please! We tried to order martinis after our meal aaaand that’s the only time Van Rijn missed the mark. The place has a WALL of liquor so I just assumed we could order a classic cocktail. Even getting an olive or a lemon twist sent the barmen on a futile scavenger hunt that ended in a glass with an abundance of sweet vermouth, a bit of gin and a scant twist of thread like lemon zest. A for effort! Tonight we are eating in at our apartment. We have a fantastic view of the Amstel River and a plethora of snack foods, some of them classically Dutch. We’ve just devoured half a smoked mackerel (packaged in it’s mandatory anti-stink cre-o-pack sack) and half a block of hard Oude Kaase with beautiful salty crystals and funky monkey turned butter kind of taste. Prost! Until tomorrow.