I cannot get my card reader working today to give you new pictures :( . I did want to post this and will do a picture post when it stops playing possum with me.
After such a nice day Thursday on the canal Friday was frankly awful. Very heavy rain and some wind, not nice at all, all day too, little respite.
|I like this picture but others were more descriptive I think.|
We had supper, yes, again, instead of lunch at the Uptown Meat Club, a burger split between us, burger itself was small compared to some but very tasty, rather have that than a bigger one that isn’t. Chef came out and talked to us for a bit, he said the theatre crowd sometimes comes to them before or after a performance, theatre is just down the street. What I heard from him was, there wasn’t much predictability in the business, especially since it’s in the museum district with tourists but they do have their regulars too.
Yesterday there was construction at both ends between the apartment blocking the sidewalk both ways for Bruce’s chair. He was able to maneuver the chair down but coming back we had to accept help from others to get the chair over the curb and into the building. Going right is no longer an option for him but going left, longer route to get to an exit is open now, just takes a run up and back to get to the other side of where we want to be. Construction to the right is permanent at least while we are remaining here, another week, scaffolding is erected. A bit inconvenient for Bruce and some seem to move things for his passage, others don’t care, blocking the entire sidewalk.
People with walking problems here tend to ride regular bikes many also use, not so much motorized wheelchairs but modified motorcycles, smaller versions of Bruce’s Pepe le Pew, four wheeled scooters. I didn’t mention, no one, or very few wear helmets here. If there is a way to modify wheels of any sort, here would be the place to find the invention! It is amazing to me what people carry on their bikes, from people riding sidesaddle on the back to large packages, even saw a sink go by the other day.
Charles dropped off two strawberry tarts to our door at 9:30 at night, on the good side they were delicious but what? timing and … well we ate them, and we are both going back to Freiburg a little bit heavier I think. Next day Omar dropped off more flowers, I caught him in the hallway and said thanks and he appreciated that.
Wandering again into the area of West Amsterdam, actually found a pet store with a beautiful, curious, orange and white male kitten about 10 weeks old, so cute! Wonder what Lexi would think to have a companion, it’s small enough right now to share the travel box with her, if she’d let it, sorry, not going to happen, I envision the box tumbling about with them fighting inside, nope, not going to happen. They sold cat food in a way I’ve never seen before, am I boring you, skip this if so, they put it in 1kg bags, which is handier but of course more expensive, good for us though.
|Photo Credit Omar Traore|
Omar brought in these tubs to add to the garden, naturally Lexi was curious. I almost got a picture of her in one, little head sticking out, she's too fast for me...
This area of town has many small shops and cafes. I had a tuna salad sandwich, toasted with gouda cheese at Vlaamsch Broodhuys, can’t get my tongue around the name but they are known for fabulous bread. Bought a few food products at another bio store which had a friendly ambiance about it. I think I shop in those organic stores for the ambiance rather than the actual product, there admitted!
Passed by a building with a ladder like structure and a male statue standing on the last rung. Another building with triangle like mirror looking sculptures in an open atrium, I read that they were installed to transfer light and move with the sun (like a sunflower does).
We had dinner at the Irish pub of bangers and mash, side salad, it was tasty, but with bits left over in our dishes a pigeon flew up onto the table, looked me straight in the eye and started eating my salad, thank goodness I was done with it. It didn’t listen to shoo, or my hand gestures, a fellow at a neighbouring table came and shooed it off. Actually two reasons it ignored me, we were face to face, birds eyes are on the side and it was a gutsy bird and used to pulling this trick. It came back for seconds but I caught it in time from mounting the table, same bird.
Saturday and it’s a nuthouse of hoards of people, Bruce found it quite difficult to drive. That would be my only caution about this city, being that your chances of getting creamed by a bicycle are pretty high, but it will be a tourist riding one I think, the locals manoeuvre expertly. It’s almost a ballet watching them weave around walkers, cars and trams, all at high speed.
Wandering towards the centre of the city we found Rembrandtplein, Rembrandt Square https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandtplein
It’s a large square ringed with restaurants and clubs. One must be particularly rowdy, because a team of fellows were using a hose to power wash the inside!
We found the only garlic restaurant in Amsterdam! Walking by many restaurants and I liked the ambiance of this one and hadn’t even seen the interior yet which is beautiful in a minimalist way. Many portraits of queens inside, good ones too. www.garlicqueen.nl I had garlic soup which had just a hint of garlic with a broth and cream base, served into a chive covered bowl with a metal flask of the soup. Bruce had a grilled cheese sandwich, come on Bruce! but that was what he wanted and was tasty. Walked back over three canals, after all this is Amsterdam.
One of the first days we were here and I overheard a woman say “but I don’t see any water”, she had to walk about 100 meters to find it.
Back to The Seafood Bar for dinner, best king crab legs either one of us has had, although we don’t get them often. Last time we can remember was in Tofino on Long Beach, BC, years ago. Usually they come with drawn butter and lemon, these did not need either, so tasty. It is weird I go on and off crab but I figured that this would be a good place to eat it and righto! Sunday and they are turning people way if they don’t want to wait or have a reservation, busy place, always.
We took the number 2 tram up to Central train station and got a good fill of architecture, which was our intent! Cost for one hour is 2.90, daily cost is 7.50 which is a bargain if you are going very much further. Overheard a fellow saying, in London that would cost 15 GBP. There are some stops which require use of a ramp for Bruce’s chair, some not although they say wheelchair accessible, maybe they mean the push type, because Bruce’s chair required a ramp for the beginning station and the one at the train station. Especially at the train station I would have thought it would be accessible. I should probably do a separate post on accessibility in the cities we’ve been in, but for now we aren’t finding Amsterdam very much so.
Had another rather mediocre lunch at an old Irish pub, different from the one we’ve been to before, chosen mainly due to the fact it had heating outside and a good awning. Rain and wind were happening so we went next door to another outside seating area for a glass of wine to wait it out, not a bad thing at all. It feels like fall here now and likely will until we leave on Friday.
I haunted many of the tourist shops looking for actual cards, not postcards and they didn’t have any, just the same goods i.e. wooden shoes, fake tulips, well I won’t go on. Went into a shop that sells all Delft products, wow, nothing but Delft pottery, whole shop was white and blue, and blue and white. Anyway, the fellow told me of a card shop along the next canal. Only in Amsterdam are you given directions by canal! well, maybe in Bruges.
Found the shop and a delightful owner, she said it’s not a Netherlands thing to send Thank You cards, “we’re rude”, but it is changing with more people doing so. Step into the shop prevented Bruce’s entry so I asked if I could show him the selection I’d picked, she said “no problem I don’t expect you to run off with a few cards”. She thought we were brave travelling with Bruce’s chair, I told her it’s just a matter of booking ahead, loosing spontaneity, but better than sitting in one place all the time. She was a "card" in a card shop called Friends of Art.
There was an American/British store on the way back, always fun to see products we haven’t ever or haven’t for a long time. Bruce found some liquid smoke he uses sometimes so we bought that. The clerk in there was nice too and gave me his business card so we can email them with an order if we want at Eichholtz Delicatessen.
Out for dinner again at the Aran Irish pub after checking out the other two pubs close by. We watched a fellow set up large fake dice coloured gold with white pips along the entrance and wondered, as we do, what event is happening. This was outside the Holland Casino, they advertise as the only one in Holland (not the Netherlands). Here’s another factoid for you, I had thought that Holland and the Netherlands were the same, not so. The country is called Netherlands, Holland is both a North and South state in it, thank Bruce for that tidbit.
All for now, next update will come from Freiburg. We travel to Cologne Friday and then Freiburg Saturday. There is a major break in the rail system at Karlsruhe so we'll have to be taken around that, inconvenient for us, but I can imagine very much more so for hauling freight.
Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat