Sunday, August 9, 2009

Internet Blues

After returning from Paris, Giancarlo and I packed up shop and headed to Fano for a few weeks before we leave for Amsterdam. But, alas the internet gods are against us again. So stay tuned and we'll be back as soon as possible!

1 comment:

Angela Rhodes said...

Hi! I haven't been able to get hold of your email so I hope it all comes out here and so sorry for the delayed reply!

Ok so my suggestions for your Amsterdam trip :)

My favourite thing to do here is to bicycle ride to the Amsterdamse Bos. It is a big "forest" just outside of Amsterdam.
The way I like to go there is via the big and to take the ferry across (you can see on this map http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=amsterdamse+bos&sll=52.373801,4.890935&sspn=0.257808,0.595322&g=amsterdam&ie=UTF8&ll=52.321281,4.830379&spn=0.064529,0.14883&t=h&z=13&iwloc=A). In the forest close to where the ferry drops you off there is a strange fairy-tail like building that is a cafe and is a lovely spot to stop for some pancakes or just a coffee. The "forest" is massive so you can spend a lot of time riding in there, there are also canoes, kayaks and boat bikes for hire that are pretty cheap (around 5EU for an hour).

I would also recommend spending some time in Jordaan, there are plenty of nice little shops and the area is very pretty with all the bridges and canals and lots of trees. I have found this area has the nicest/cosiest cafe's and bars that you don't get in places like Leidseplein (which I think is a bit of a tourist trap). I try to stay away from the restaurants in the Leidseplein entertainment area because they're expensive and the quality of food isn't great. But having said that, people watching in Leidseplein is great and sometimes having a beer in the outdoor courtyard there can be really nice.

There is a really nice market in Jordaan called the Noordermark, it is a farmers market with delicious fresh organic foods, the goats cheese and the homemade truffle chocolate is to die for... Next to this market there is a small antiques market which is also worth checking out, they have some great authentic stuff.
http://www.amsterdam.info/markets/noordermarkt/
If you like markets as much as I do this website has a list and brief description of what's on offer http://www.amsterdam.info/markets/
If you get a chance, try some fresh made stroopwaffels (they often have stalls selling these in the markets), they are thin waffles with syrup in the middle and when just made they are warm and delicious.

If you do end up picking up some tasty cheeses and treats etc etc from the market or from anywhere else, a picnic in Vondelpark on the weekend or a sunny afternoon is bliss. The park is usually full of locals on sunny days doing the same thing!

A lot of people who visit jump on the canal tour boats, I don't think this is as nice as hiring a bike and riding along the canals yourself, that way you can stop whenever you want. This allows you to do my second favourite thing here which is bicycle beer and bitterballen crawl. My fiance and I love riding along the canals and stopping for beer and a bit of bitterballen every time we see a cosey bar... If we take this slow it can go on for ages and it's always a lot of fun :)

Hope this helps! And I hope you have tones of fun here!

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