Adventuring in The Netherlands – Go Somewhere

I love the world. Sure it has it’s issues but it’s also where you can find the best meal of your life in an unexpected place. I have never had Indonesian food and I certainly did not expect to find a great Indonesian restaurant in the Netherlands…though historically and geographically it should have been obvious. Sure the whole colonization thing was maybe not the best for everyone involved, but the lasting results worked out really well for me this evening.
My brother took my to Restaurant Blauw, which he said was the best Indonesian place in a country that has lots of them; a result of that colonization thing. I thought, “Yeah, whatever, I’ll give it a shot.” I didn’t know what the food would be like, maybe a mix of Filipino, Indian and Thai or something; not even close. I cannot even begin to describe the culinary experience I had, though I now have a new appreciation for what Anthony Bourdain and Guy Feiri do (hope I didn’t butcher their names too badly there.) I’ll just say that each bite I took required me to wait for all the subtleties locked in the food to emerge and entertain my taste buds. We ordered, for lack of a better term, a sampler that arrived looking like this


And wound up looking like this


Not only did I have a fantastic meal today I also went here

and saw this

Saw some cool architecture (pay attention to the grassy slope on the left)

Yes, that grassy slope is the roof of a supermarket.

And found another cool door.

Now, why I do love the world n’ all, this concerns me:


Categories: Amsterdam, food, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Mistakes are O.K.

Day 4 of 8-ish, I say “ish” to account for travel days.

Mistake #1: getting a late start. An earlier start would’ve gotten me to amsterdam sooner, which in turn would’ve allowed me to arrive at the Anne Frank house earlier, which would’ve likely meant a shorter line. The line was long:
From the back-

Near the front looking back-

I’ve waited at least as long to ride a roller coaster that turned out to be lame, so the wait wasn’t that bad. Besides while waiting I noticed we were near a home of another noteworthy person

And there was a film crew working on a documentary that was fun to watch

Anne Frank’s house from the outside looks like this

I can’t show you the inside because no photos were allowed. I can say that it is fairly minimal, but impactful. For me the wall showing where the growth of the children had been kept was moving as was seeing Anne’s actual diary. Well worth the wait. Afterward I had a savory pancake (basically a crepe with ham and cheese inside) at a cafe along a canal.


Mistake #2: missing the drop off point on the canal tour. I had meant to get off at the Van Gough museum stop which was the closest to my intended destination

(There’s no way I could do Anne Franks house, Van Gough AND Heineken in the same day! I got a late start after all; and my getting off in the wrong spot translated to a 40 minute walk.) Anyway, the Heineken tour is beer Disneyland and really fun, especially since the price includes 3 beers and there was this cool horse


Mistake #3: upon returning to the Utrecht Centraal station I turned left when I should’ve turned right, or visa versa I forget now, and took an inadvertent stroll through a not so nice part of town and wound up right back at the station!
All’s good, I saw history, had beer and made it back safe n’ sound. Van Gough tomorrow; barring any mistakes….

Categories: Amsterdam, anne frank, beer, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Impressions, Observations, and Photos

Itinerary to date: (for context)
28 June, arrival, walking tour of Utrecht with brother, ending with beer, then Afghan food with brother and his colleague.
29 June, brief walking tour of Amsterdam guided by brother, wandered solo around Utrecht
30 June, baby sat nieces for 6 hours or so, remainder of day was spent lazily with brother and nieces at amazing local park that had some play structures that would fail safety inspections in the States.

Random thoughts from the first three days:
1. The Dutch seem really nice.
2. Wow. That is a LOT of bikes.
3. Why can’t we have affordable clean public transportation?
4. Dutch people are tall.
5. Wow. More bikes.
6. “……they flip the fuck out if you walk in the bike lane,” says my brother, “I thought they were just being dramatic, then I started riding a bike.”
7. I’m going to need to carry a stool around for these damn urinals. (Refer to #4)
8.Ha! The “Americaans” section at the local supermarket is junk food!


9. Europeans smoke a lot.
10. Man, I’m sleepy.
11. Hey, guy in the costume that makes it look like you’re riding on someone’s shoulders; the fake guys head is awkwardly placed.
12. This fried cheese is good….
13. …so is this beer
14. The Dude abides

15. Fried eggs on top of cheese on top of prosciutto on top of giant slabs of bread? Yes please.
16. There are few things more funny than you’re two and a half year old niece saying, “I just farted.”
17. The Dutch seem to not be fond of Nazis

18. They also apparently frown on wasting food (I don’t think it’s related to #17)

19. I think this sign is helpful

20. Uh oh, think I’ll be taking too many pictures of doors again.


Categories: Amsterdam, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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