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.


Expat Traveler said...

I think you've been hiding this post, but boy was it worth the wait!

First off, the buildings and the village of Volendam are so interesting, beautiful and a place I'd LOVE to visit.

Looks like you did have another incredible time but I'm sure it's the company and the people that make it so much fun!

Now you guys did go fast , been a long while since I've seen those speeds. Last time was somewhere near Garmische, Germany.

The Big Finn said...

Who knew that the Swedes could build a car that goes so fast? I'm guessing that OX's wooden shoes supplied the extra weight needed to bury the gas pedal!

Anonymous said...

Definitly a place to visit,romantic and beautyful,pictures speek for themeself.Maybee my turn might still come.Dad

Xmichra said...

omg... you were going too fast!! I would litterally freak out going that fast!

That windmill photo was just perfect! And the irgan grinder thinggy.. wow. I dont think i have ever seen one that was in use. I have seen them set up in wax museums etc, but never on the street in use.. that is cool.

CanadianSwiss said...

ET: Wasn't really hiding it, but I've been working on it only on-and-off, reformatting/rephrasing each time I edited it. I also think that you would have taken gazillions of picts in Volendam only ;)

TBF: No wooden shoes needed in this case.... His lead foot does it all.

Dad: Of course it will! Shall we set a date? Coco would love the shopping, too. :)

Xmich: Don't worry, we'd tie you up and gag you real good to suppress the screaming ;) Plus, in that car, you don't really notice the speed. BTW, you'd see quite a few of those street organs and many, many windmills. You would definitely LOVE A'dam & the region.

Ginnie said...

Ohhhh, and thank you for the windmill, CS! I have such a longing in my heart for The Netherlands right now....and I see that I owe you some catching-up! I will try to remember that.....

swenglishexpat said...

What a great post! And excellent photos. Impressive "Night Watch"! Judging by the speedometer you could not wait to get home! ;-)

Shammickite said...

Another great trip that I missed out on! Looks like you had a whale of a time. Volendam looks lovely, I've never visited Holland, would love to one day.

CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie: I knew windmills have a special place in your heart :) We'll have to meet-up again in A'dam soon.

Swenglish: We didn't drive the whole stretch at that speed, but it is an impressive 1st time experience for many.

Sham: Next time you're in the UK, check out Easy-Jet or Ryanair flights to A'dam. Then let us know... Maybe we can arrange a meet up?

Jay said...

Are you not back from your last adventure yet?

CanadianSwiss said...

Jay: Our adventures never stop :) We still have Egypt to go through and then a cousins' (OX's) reunion in the Netherlands. By the time I catch up to that, I'm sure we'll have another load waiting to be blogged. LOL!

Kelsey said...

Hey there. I found your blog while surfing expat blogs, and I have been enjoying reading it.

So, I was wondering, would you mind if I added you to the blogrolls on two of my blogs? You can look at them at these links, if you want:

Again, good writing! Thanks for giving me something quality to read!

CanadianSwiss said...

Kelsey: Thanks for you visit. I'll hop over to your blogs, and yes, feel free to add me to your blogroll :)

Tiina Kala said...

And STILL no coffeeshop pics? ;)

RANDI said...

Love the photos from Volendam. Have been there many years ago.

Regards from Norway