Saturday, September 06, 2008

DAM, DAM, DAM: VolenDAM & AmsterDAM

Ah, yes! Life has been very busy in the CS household these past weeks.

It still is. This weekend, we're off to a cousin's reunion in Amterdam... And the partners are invited, too. Lucky me :)

We had hardly came back from our Egypt holiday (OX is still working on the photos, but getting there), that we were picking Ma & Pa up from the Basel airport. They stayed with us for 3 weeks and we had us a great time (and plenty of Ma's home cooking! Yum!)

So, then. Back to our Amsterdam trip with Chris and Bob trip before we move on.

Saturday, July 12:

After having taken Chris and Bob through some Amsterdam-ish nightlife on their first day, we thought it would be a good idea to show them to a more idyllic side of Holland. Our first idea was to take them to a beach like Scheveningen or Zandvoort, but since we weren't sure what the weather would turn out to be, we decided that Volendam would be a good choice.

Volendam is a typical fisherman's village and a popular touristic attraction in The Netherlands. It's known for its fishing boats (tjalk, or Dutch barge) and the traditional clothing; the pointed bonnet probably being the most recognizable accessory.

Before entering the village, however, we saw this beautiful old windmill (this one's for Ginnie ) and we just had to stop to take a few pictures. How idyllic is that?

We parked the car and walked throught the village and along the harbor taking in the beautiful settings. The view on the lake was beautiful, and don't you just love the house fassades? No wonder it's such a touristic attraction!

Anyhow, while our poffertjes (another culinary must - fluffy tiny pancakes typically served with powdered sugar and butter. I had mine topped off with a shot of Amaretto liqueur. Mmmmmmm!) were being prepared, Chris and I went trough the shop looking basically at everything and nothing. It was jammed with hand-crafted goods and other typical not so hand-made souvenirs.

Chris found a really cute hat. But honestly, I'm not sure whether I prefer Bob wearing it - cuz she can wear just about any hat and looks great.

What do you think? I think it suits him pretty darn well, no?

Then we saw one of those old mechanical organs. They're beautifully hand painted and very well kept. Think back! - those of our generation and older, of course. I can remember filling cards with my brother to "feed" the computers to punch holes through them in order to be able to read what was on the card. Kind of the same thing, no? Punched holes through cards will hit the right note. Fascinating. I wonder how far back these prehistorical CDs go.

Anyway, after eating our way through Volendam, we decided to take a drive to Amsterdam and have an aperitif at café on Rembrandtsplein, where Harry also took a picture of "The Night Watch" figures portraying one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings.

After that we had a lovely tapas dinner at the Kelderhof, followed by the obligatory nightcap at "Harry's office", where we took this nice picture of Bob, Pierre (the owner) and Chris.

The next morning, time came where we had to say goodbye. But not without a shot of Amaretto in Chris' coffee!

After breakfast came an unexpected bottle of champagne to celebrate new friendship. And then, the time came to really say good-byes, but were still, looking forward to seeing Dale.

The highway was free of traffic, so we drove fast,

... and faster...

And we made it home safely. Home sweet home.