April 24, 2011: Amsterdam
|Inside our houseboat|
The place is packed -- with the ubiquitous "take a number" system in effect; the Dutch don't queue well -- but Tea and Kae manage to wrangle someone stocking shelves; as well as pointing out which tram we'll need to take to the Dutch brewery, Brouwerij ’t IJ (attached to the De Gooyer windmill), she offers some excellent suggestions for both windmill and flower gazing. (The plan for the next two days.)
[Note: you don't need to stand in line at the tourist information unless you're booking something (e.g., tours, hotel rooms, etc.), which isn't immediately obvious when you first enter the madhouse.]
De Beiaard's 'bierencafé' (on Spui), is our first order of business, though; happily, it's another excellent choice: the smoked chicken salad with pineapple, walnuts and raisins that I share with Tea is fantastic, and Kae really enjoys her fried mushroom and pesto sandwich with cheese. They also have De Bekeerde Suster's beer on tap; I enjoy their tripel this time, while the ladies stick with the excellent Witte Ros of the previous evening.
|Kae in Oud Holland|
April 25, 2011: Zaanse Schans
|The mill in De Zoeker|
|The view from De Zoeker|
|There's a queue at the locks back in Zaandijk|
|Walking through Zaandijk, toward the train station|
[My notes jump around a bit, with the history of this and that. After we crossed the bridge, but before we got to the mills, we spent some time in the clog workshop and museum.]
Kooijman Souvenirs & Gifts combines a wooden shoe workshop, store and museum, and is "one of the largest and best collections of clogs in the Netherlands," according to our guide book. We see them made before our very eyes -- the demonstration of how wet they are prior to the days of drying is my favourite bit: blowing inside, toward the toe, causes an enormous froth to gush forth -- and we spend a good, long while trying to decide which ones to buy.
|"Start the car!"|
Up next: the Keukenhof, and the best pubs in Amsterdam
Check out our Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans albums for more pictures from the two days.