It’s a funny thing, visiting a city every few years for a couple days at a time. We’ve only been in Amsterdam about a week in total, yet the city is small enough that the repeated memories make the city seem so familiar. I found out where to get great fast food in 2008 (Walk to Wok – 4 locations in Amsterdam!), Kristan found great pancakes in 2011 (Pancakes!), and together we found the city’s best appletaart in 2013. (No, really, it’s at Winkel and it’s amazing.)
We stayed in a small apartment in the Jordaan district through AirBNB and loved walking around and exploring the area. There’s an abundance of small cafes, bars, shops, and a weekly market which we stumbled into the day we arrived. Our host provided us with a few local suggestions, but mainly we walked street by street throughout all hours of the day getting a feel for the neighborhood.
On our first full day (amazingly without much jetlag, except for when we fell asleep in a park), we visited the Rijksmuseum which was closed when we last visited in 2011. The renovation was incredibly well done, leaving a beautiful (if somewhat hard to navigate) building combining modern and original elements. Kristan enjoyed the Delftware exhibition, and I enjoyed the model ships and warfare area, showing just how far we’ve come in the past 200 years. I’m very grateful we’re boarding a modern cruise ship and not anything with cannons. Although I do enjoy cannons, but I digress.
We biked through Vondelpark, enjoyed fika at the Spaceship/Tea/Treehouse, and finally ended up at Restaurant Blauw for Rijsttafel (Indonesian rice table, a delicious 15 dish assortment of rice, vegetables, and tofu). Kristan had been looking forward to this for approximately 2 years, and it didn’t disappoint.
On Wednesday we navigated public transport and chipcards to take a bus to Edam for the weekly cheese market. While the market (and performance of elderly men throwing cheese wheels back and forth) is no longer used for actual business reasons at this time, the charm of Edam is still untouched. Other highlights of the day: climbing to the top of the Edam church spire and doing our best to not be blown off, and taking “historically accurate” dress-up photos in the small fishing village of Volendam.
We prepared to board our ship on Thursday, visiting our old (and new) favorites one last time (on this trip at least) – Pancakes! and Winkel. After a long walk to the passenger terminal and an even longer wait in various lines, we boarded our ship for Norway, the Eurodam.