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Amsterdam - My Favorite Things!

Old Oct 18th, 2011, 05:28 PM
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Their pancake and poffertjes
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Old Oct 18th, 2011, 05:30 PM
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Their famous brownies!
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Old Oct 18th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Amandel staf and gevulde speculaas durino the holiday season
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Old Oct 19th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Yes, PalenQ, that is a less known site we liked. As people may know, the Dutch were strongly Protestant, having gained independence from Catholic Spain, and yet maintained a tolerance of other religions. So it was OK for Catholics to gather for Mass so long as it was hidden from view such as in that house. A little later came a strong Calvinist revival with less acceptance and yet it was to Leiden that the English Separatists sailed, later to continue on as Pilgrims settling Plimouth Colony. We did enjoy the Pilgrim's House in Leiden. "Caleb's Crossing" is a good description of this struggle for religious expression.
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Old Oct 19th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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Correction on book...it is "Making Haste from Babylon" by Nick Bunker. "Caleb's Crossing" is about a Native American from Matrtha's Vineyard entering Harvard.
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Old Oct 19th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Got home two weeks ago, and want to go back...charming, historical, laid-back, and beautiful - what's not to love???


Apple cake/pie at Winkel - so good I schlepped one across the Atlantic for our Thanksgiving, and the chocolates at Puccini Bomboni, especially the tamarind.
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 10:54 AM
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VONDEL PARK

Amsterdam's 'Central Park'. Vondel Park is one of my favorite places in Amsterdam - either to just take a stroll or people watch or bike watch as a major bike route goes right thru the park and is perpetually thronged with all kinds of bikes and bikers, from young tykes to old grannies and grandpas - bikers with no hands rolling cigarettes (or other smokables!) - bikes carrying friends on their backs - often sitting sideways - big thick Dutch Tank bikes - weirdly painted bikes, etc.

In nice weather the park is often thronged with locals and tourists seeking to relax in the sun - or folks roller blading or skateboarding - on weekends there are often free concerts for the younger folk.

The Melkhuis is a unique outdoor cafe - the Milk House but really a cafe with booze and caffeine - it overlooks a young kids playground so mums can put their kids in the sand pit and sit back with a drink and watch them!

Vondel Park is also one of Amsterdammers favorite jogging and aerobic exercise venues.

Vondel Park has been going thru a restoration phase with lots of nice flora and fauna being put in - there was last I knew some cows in the southern portion and there is a large beautiful Rose Garden in the southeast sector.

Vondel Park borders one of the very nicest neighborhoods in Amsterdam IMO - a sedate and for Amsterdam very safe and quiet neighborhood - the link I give below lists several hotels that border or are near Vondel Park with rooms from 40 to 60 euros and up




ON TAP - Biking, Canals, Ijs Tram, Museumplein, Rembrandtsplaein, Leidesplein, Coffeeshops, Red-Light District, Amsterdammages, Centraal train station.



http://www.amsterdam.info/parks/vondelpark/
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Old Oct 21st, 2011, 08:25 AM
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REMBRANDTPLEIN

Not on most tourists lists to see but the Rembrandtplein nevertheless amazes me - this is a large typical city square but one that on many sides is lined by cafes with outdoor terraces - on a warm night the square is literally SRO with mainly younger Dutch folk coming out to drink and socialize the night away.

It is just off the Muntplein and even in daytime a visual delight - awfully quiet in mornings.



http://www.amsterdam.info/sights/rembrandtplein/
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Old Oct 21st, 2011, 10:01 AM
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PalenQ:;

Your detailed posting, the publication (and my acquisition) of the new Van Gogh biography (by Naifeh & Smith), a recent viewing of Minnelli's "Lust for Life", and a desire to break free of my travel comfort zone (Italy/France/Spain) have inspired me to set my sights on Amsterdam (with sidetrips — Haarlem, Delft, The Hague, it would seem) as my next European destination, probably in May.
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Old Oct 21st, 2011, 12:53 PM
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On one of our visits we stayed in a Canal Boat on the Amstel. What an intersting perspective.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2011, 05:51 AM
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THE CAT BOAT

distahl, who could be a dentist I believe, talks about the wonderful adventure of sleeping on a houseboat on a romantic canal - brings to mind the Cat Boat, a houseboat given over to rescued cats who live there in the hundreds. Has become quite a tourist draw as well.

http://www.poezenboot.nl/?taal=uk
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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ALBERT CUYP STREET MARKET

Amsterdam's famous Albert Cuyp Street Market, called the largest in all of Holland, also fascinates me - not only because of the lower-end clothes and goods being hawked but for produce and exotic edibles since the market vendors come from all over the Europe as do their clients.

At the market you will see neighborhood locals dressed in native garb from places they immigrated from - especially the Dutch West Indies and Africans and South Asians, Asians, etc.

The market is close to Museum Plein thus easy to fit in with a visit to say the Rijksmuseum and is just a few blocks from the ever-popular Heineken Experience, where tourists learn all about Holland's famous pilsner beer and gulp some down as well.

De Pijp is what the multi-ethnic neighborhood that surrounds the market is called - built in the early 1900s or so it offers brick rowhouses all looking in great symmetry. De Pijp has also been called Amsterdam's Latin Quarter for its many trendy (with a young and or ethnic) folks to its cozy pubs, coffeeshops and pubs.

(Coffeeshops legally sell marijuana but may well not coffee - a koffie shop sells coffee.)

So for something different, a cheap meal or to gather picnic supplies check out the Albert Cuyp Market in the town center's southeeastern area.

http://www.albertcuypmarkt.nl/ac_english.html
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Old Oct 27th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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THE HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE

Though I much preferred the tour thru the old now demolished Heineken Brewery, once the flagship brewhouse for Heineken in Holland the Heineken Experience is still a lot of fun, especially when guests get to drink some fresh suds in the post-experience cafe.

Popular especially with younger folk I nevertheless enjoyed the experience - not nearly as much as the old brewery tour but still a bit of piss and vinegar. Right close to the Rijksmsueum and Van Gogh Museum this could be an aparitive to one of those or an apres museum thing.


http://www.heinekenexperience.com/
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Old Oct 28th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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http://wikitravel.org/en/Amsterdam#b

a site with lots of good practical info on Amsterdam!
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Old Oct 29th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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SHOPPING STREETS

Like all larger Dutch cities Amsterdam has an oft thronged main pedestrian shopping street as well as other shopping enclaves. I do so enjoy strolling along the main shopping street during business hours - but after stores close it becomes a ghost town.

GOOD INFO ON SHOPPING
http://www.amsterdam.info/shopping/
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Old Oct 29th, 2011, 03:08 PM
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Along with museums mention, we also enjoyed the National Martime Museum. We have only been to Amsterdam twice. However the first vist my sister foirced me to visit her in Amsterdam and that was our first vist to Europe. Our trip to Spain next year will be our 33rd. We gained the fever after that first trip.
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Old Nov 1st, 2011, 01:00 PM
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One of the values of the National Museum Year Card mentioned above is that it covers museums like the excellent National Maritime Museum iris mentions above - with the pass you can just go to any museums without being sure you will love it or not and not worry about the often expensive entry fee.

The National Maritime Museum is not far from the Troppen Museum or Dutch Resistance Museum if I recall correctly.
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Old Nov 1st, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Don't forget the library .
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Old Nov 1st, 2011, 03:17 PM
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This is awesome! Will be transiting AMS in two weeks and have a day to burn there, so will most definitely be parsing this report for information. Thx PalenQ
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 01:31 AM
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A new museum opens this week - www.amsterdamtattoomuseum.com.

It is Henk Schiffmacher's dream come true. He is a top tattoo artist and the museum could be a quirky place to visit.
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