more amsterdam!

April 13, 2008

there’s really no such thing as too much amsterdam (not the way i do it, anyway). ; ) at the end of jen’s stay, we visited as another long weekend trip…we had lovely weather and were able to eat frites and stroopwafels to our hearts’ content. i think amsterdam is such a beautiful city, and it was so nice to be able to see it in the springtime, with trees budding and flowers blossoming.

we stayed in the most amazing and best-located hotel (the greenhouse effect, if anyone’s interested)…this is the view from our room! this canal is called the damrak, and it’s right smack in the center of the city, about a two minutes’ walk from amsterdam centraal train station.

each room has a theme…we stayed in ‘tropical paradise,’ so here’s jen and the view inside our room. ; )

the first thing we did was to take a canal tour, which i’ve never done before in amsterdam. it was fun, but difficult to get good photos. above are a refurbished trading ship in front of nemo, and amsterdam centraal train station.

this is the first of the ‘seven bridges’ in amsterdam…a famous scenic viewpoint

some canal sights…duck on a green houseboat roof/fancy canalside mansion

we took a walk through the vondelpark, amsterdam’s most well-known park

jen at the vondelpark gate/jen on the canal

we also visited the ‘hollandse manege,’ a dutch riding school modeled after the spanish riding school in vienna

riding lesson in progress

here’s me clearly enjoying a fun blue hammock chair i found…if it’s still on sale when i go back, it may have to come home with me…/and a colorful bike-graffitti-scene

typical view with canalside cafe seating : )

fo guang shan he hua,’ a buddhist temple in amsterdam’s chinatown/ typical canalside houses – one with a stepped gable next to a comparatively plain warehouse-style gable (click here for a web guide to amsterdam’s many and various gables)

an ad for febo, a dutch ‘automatic snack’ institution (which perhaps i’ll blog about in more detail next time i visit)/modern (and blue!) architecture in a traditional neighborhood, complete with requisite furniture hooks

souvenir magnets provide an alternative gable tutorial



October 26, 2007

after our quick trip to groningen, we took the train back to amsterdam for a couple of days.  i still think that amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities i’ve ever seen (hopefully i’m not the only one who can see past the drugs and the prostitution…).  it was great to be there for the fall colors.  : ) here are some of my photos:

for more on stroopwafels…

October 25, 2007

please see the following blog!

the blog’s owner added a link to my groningen post on his stroopwafel blog…which contains a wealth of stroopwafel knowledge: how to eat them (please note the proper form – let them get melty on top of your tea before you eat or dip them!), recipes, their history…everything you ever wanted to know. enjoy!

rhi and i also took a quick trip to groningen in the netherlands (where i did an urban planning exchange with some friends…two years ago now!) – this first photo is actually from the end of the night, but it has all of us in it, so:


that’s jaapi, ming-yi, rhi, me and ian at tante truus, my old group’s favorite hang-out spot. (ming-yi and ian are two of this year’s uw students in groningen). we liked this place because it was pretty low-key, with regulars like a crazy pilot and a bar cat…and it had board games like carcassonne (the quintessential urban planner’s contest of professional skill) for us to play! it was nice to be back at truus with our heinekens.

jaapi (who was my friend diego’s landlord/roommate in 2005…and our eventual bar buddy) was nice enough to let us stay at his house AND he cooked us a ‘typical dutch’ dinner of stamppot boerenkool (mashed potatoes with kale, gravy, sausage, and bacon on top…it’s a hearty meal for those cold dutch winters…). it was very delicious, and it was fun to hang out at jaapi’s house again.


here’s my plate before i tried to eat it all/partway through my struggle to finish…


jaapi offers marmite to an unconvinced rhiannon – it’s often served as a condiment with stamppot, but…it’s an acquired taste. i’ve got to mix it in until i can’t really taste it anymore… ; )



the next morning in the grotemarkt, we happened upon my very favorite dutch snack – fresh stroopwafels! (stroopwafels are “syrup waffles,” or two thin cookies joined by delicious caramel or sugar syrup). here’s the stand in the market, and here’s rhi enjoying her first stroopwafel : )


see how fresh?? those cookies are still warm, and that big bucket in the back is filled with hot caramel…yum… this is the same stand that i used to come to on market days when i was living in groningen.


and here’s me feeling very happy about my fresh stroopwafel… _______________________________________________________________________

and…a mini-groningen-slide show: