Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Next stop: Amsterdam - Day 1

Friday, July 11: We were up bright and early, and off to the suburbs of Amsterdam we drove with our two Canadian friends to Harry and Brenda's. We made the trip in roughly 6 hours. Not bad.

Once there, we unpacked a few things, had a quick welcome drink and took the train to Amsterdam Central Station. And what better way to introduce our guests to Amsterdam's sights than a one hour boat tour through the canals.

Discovering a city sure can make you hungry. If you go to Holland, there are a few musts in the food sector that you should try and one of them is FEBO. Yes, it's fast food, but this place is kinda special. The only things you get directly from the counter are fries and drinks. Hamburgers, frikandel, cheese dumplings and other hot deep fried goodies are always freshly filled up in automatiek machines (vending machines). They make for a solid base if you're planning to go out and have a few beers, so make sure you have plenty of Euro coins ;) Chris and Bob tried a few typical dutch and indonesian specialties, but I think that the kroket was their favourite. Isn't this shot great? OX was trying to feed Chris, but she still hadn't finished chewing down her last bite.

Bob was fascinated by the fact that the public urinals could be planted right in the middle of Leidseplein. Honestly, Amsterdam is the only place I've ever seen them.

Before going for dinner, we spent some time on the Museumplein and took a few pictures of Bob and Chris - as well as a few unkown others - in the big letters spelling "I Amsterdam".

We then took a shortcut through a nearby park where "the big kids" began to play. When I grow up, I wanna be ... Rambo?

............................But, beware................

................The Rambettes are out there. Life in the jungle is tough.
You win some, you loose some.

We finally made it to Café Loetje (pronounced Loot-yuh), the restaurant that Brenda and Harry had picked out for us. While waiting to be seated (no reservations), we had an aperitif at the bar and soon made a new friend. He was so funny.

The food was great and the service very friendly. I strongly recommend the beef. I had the biefstuk Bali and it was excellent! They have a website, but it's only in Dutch, so I thought a link to reviews would also be welcome.

After dinner, we made a quick stop at Harry's "office". Chris originally thought that we were going to a real office and was surprised to end up at Heuvel, a typical cozy Amsterdam café/bar.

Last but not least, we took them through the red light district; a must for every tourist! On the way, we passed this magnificent building called: In de Waag, built in 1488 in which used merchants met and was later to become to be a meeting place for the different guilds. Today, it serves as a restaurant.

All that in one day!

I've got one more post about our travels with Chris and Bob, then we'll get to our vacation in Egypt. I'll be putting up all of the picts from this series up on picasa in my next post.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We're ba-aaaaack!

Tomorrow is back to work day after a fabulous two weeks in Egypt. We're back home with our four-legged son, Dale, and spent the last two days vacuuming two weeks' worth of cat hair-shedding, doing a bit of wash and having a few drinks last night with TBFs and our neighbours, Andy and Diana.

I'll be putting up the last posts about Christiane and Robert's visit in the coming days and by then, we should have gone through the 1'500+ photos we took in Egypt. Yep, that's right. 1'500+ pictures!

So stay tuned and until then, have a great week!