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Crushed Mice for the New King: two unusual weeks in The Netherlands

Crushed Mice for the New King: two unusual weeks in The Netherlands

Old May 31st, 2013, 07:46 AM
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Crushed Mice for the New King: two unusual weeks in The Netherlands

Yes, weird topic, I know. We thought so too, but that's what we were told when we were all guests at dinner in The Hague. More to come.

Most of the trip time was in Amsterdam, where we had super museum- and flower-filled days, staying in an unusually fabulous place.

I've been trying to find time to write this trip report since we returned on the 18th of May, so I thought if I write a preamble, I will be too embarrassed to stop!

By some stroke of internet luck, after searching for months for a rental house with four bedrooms, each with bath, I gave up, since such a creature is very very very difficult in Amsterdam. (We are a fun-loving group of 4 couples, who were on our third trip to Europe in search of beautiful gardens, and whatever culture and art were available.
A casual and flexible group to be sure, but NOT about bedrooms and bathrooms,)
NOTA BENE: that was the first of many tangents, as I have learned I am hopelessly tangental)

So, to finish the sentence beginning with "By some stroke of internet luck:" I found on the web, an Inn which claimed to be just 15 minutes from Amsterdam's Centraal station, in a small restored country village, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms!

Too good to be true?? Well, it would seem so, but it WAS true: I hesitate to tell you, but it is the Inn on The Lake, in Broek in Waterland. www.innonthelake.nl/‎

We investigated and took a chance, we hired the entire inn for a week, and it turned out to be very special indeed.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 08:02 AM
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By crushed mice I assume you mean the sweet topping made out of anise, that you sprinkle on bread.
Don't know what this has to to with the new King though, so hope you can enlighten us!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Yes, I will happily. Commemorative tins of the "crushed mice" were distributed with photos of the King, former Queen, etc. and we were each given a tin.
It took a while for us the "get" what was inside!!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 08:16 AM
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Oh, before I forget and go off on another tangent, may I thank all Fodorites who helped me so much with various parts of this trip.

Some of you may remember the search for the four bedroom place, and also my various questions about museum tickets etc.

I am totally convinced I could never have made this trip so successful without so much help on this forum.

PLUS, you make me look like a genius to my fellow travelers!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 08:29 AM
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I always enjoy reading your trip reports. I'm along for the ride on this one too!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 09:07 AM
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Ah yes, they also had these tins with hagelslag; chocolate sprinkles. I like the aniseed stuff - nice on white bread with butter.

The Inn on the Lake looks beautiful. That's a nice place to stay, very close to Amsterdam but quiet.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 01:00 PM
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That is what we loved about it. 15 minutes by bus to Centraal and buses running many times per hour, up until late at night.

Coming "home" along the fields with cows to a simple but elegant restored part of the village was very special. And we learned the public transportation system early on, making so much of Amsterdam more accessible.

The Inn was every bit as marvelous as the write-ups on Trip Advisor say. Pamela was not only a good hostess, but also a superb cook. The breakfasts were very special, some taken on the porch, looking at the beautiful garden, some in the elegant dining room, some even in a little nook off the kitchen, up a few steps from the remarkable larder and wine cellar.

I am trying not to be too effusive, because I want to be able to get a room the next time!! (but it's hard not to.)
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 01:21 PM
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I too always enjoy your reports. ;^)

>>>
I am trying not to be too effusive, because I want to be able to get a room the next time!! (but it's hard not to.)
<<<
Sorry to foil your cunning plan but here's a working link to the inn: http://www.innonthelake.nl

Looking forward to more as her indoors tells me Amsterdam is a possibility in 2014! ;^)
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:20 PM
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ParisAmsterdam: I gave the link to the inn up above in an earlier post. I was uttering a sentiment that I have heard from others. When you find a place you love, that is small, it is hard to advertise it, for fear of not getting a room next time, but only fair to do so, as the owners can use the business and, after all, that is what Fodor's travel talk forums are all about, isn't it?

As to the inn, it is hard to find anything wrong, but I will say that there is only one large room on the main floor, which is very very nice.

The other three rooms, all very well decorated, with lovely bath rooms, are up a narrow but sturdy winding staircase.
This is quite usual in Dutch houses, and our younger friends had no trouble with the stairs.

For people who would like to get a view of small town, )albeit chic small town) life, and a calm place at the end of a day in the city, this is definitely a place to consider.

The owner is also a chef, and she provided a marvelous dinner for us, plus 2 Dutch friends who came to see us the night we arrived. She provided a herring appetizer, with drinks on the porch, a starter timbale of tuna tartare with avocado, a luscious veal cheeks in red wine reduction, served on a turban of mashed potatoes, accompanied by the marvelous, ubiquitous white asparagus.

Dessert was a pear and chocolate tarte served with warm custard. Quite an elegant meal, not cheap, but a decent buy at E35 per person. Unfortunately, we drove the price up by drinking excesses of wine, since no one had to drive!!

I think I already said that the breakfasts were superb also.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Just want to say a word about MuseumKaarts and OV anonymous card.

We found both to be invaluable, saving us lots of time, and being well worth the cost.

We were lucky enough to have our Dutch friends purchase the Museumkaarts for us, but they required each person's name address and birth date. They are good for one year, for almost every museum in the Netherlands, including the biggies in Amsterdam.

They cost E 50 as I recall, but when I toted up the cost of each individual museum we visited in Amsterdam, The Hague, and even in Maastricht, we would have spent more than double that.

Many previous posters have said that you can buy the museum kaart in any museum in Amsterdam, so just go to a not-so-busy museum to get this card before going to the large museums.

Our museumkaarts were more than helpful as we got caught up in the less-than-simple entry in to the Rijksmuseum. It was a comedy of errors, which I happily blame on the crazy system of entry, even though I thoroughly loved the improvements in the museum.

We went in at a busy time, searching for other friends who were supposed to meet us. When they were not at their appointed place at the entry, we decided to grab some lunch, as it was mid-day, and our other possible meeting was to take place at 3 PM.

In order to go to the cafeteria/restaurant, we had to (Yes) LEAVE the museum, and then come in again later.

The same drill occurred when some of us wanted to use the ladies' room, and had to leave once AGAIN, and then come back in.

Each time necessitated a "ding" on our museumkaart, so if you are paying cash for your entrance, I HOPE, but am not sure, that they would let you back in without paying again.

Nevertheless It is a beautifully restored museum, well worth seeking out, but go early, as everyone on this forum says, and plan to spend a lot of time, if you go soon.

The huge crowds were not surprising, but getting to even see the painting called "Night Watch" - (I guess the most famous one, now,) was frustrating because of the crowds.

Lunch in the cafeteria was excellent, do not hesitate to go there, and the museum shop is a gem as well.

As to the OV anonymous card, it is for the buses, and trams, and usable for trains, if you have at least E 20 on your card.
This is a debit card, negotiable currency, so don't lose it!!

Luckily, our Innkeeper provided each of us with one of these cards, already topped up with E 20 (although we soon found out that some of them did NOT have E 20 or anything near that much.)
However, because she provided them, we did not have to go through the exercise of buying them. I believe other posters have said you pay E7.50 to get a card, and then you top it up with whatever amount you wish.

The system works well, once you figure it out, the most important part being that you "ding" your way on to the bus, and you must "ding" your way off the bus.

It made life much easier to be able to jump on the buses and trams at will. We even took a tram to Delft from The Hague, easy as pie.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:37 PM
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I much prefer you in person to your reports, but then I have never seen one of your reports before...

did the camel go along?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 05:18 AM
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Well what lousy comment! Why not read my other reports, Bob? There are a couple in which I am channeling Mai Tai Tom, who is one of my all time favorite hilarious persons.

Would you rather I talk about what seat I had on the airplane, or on what "metal" we flew? Or how many discounted entries we managed?

Either that or you must think I am drop dead gorgeous in person.

(Or you want the camel back.)
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 05:25 AM
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Good morning, taconic. I, too, am reading along on this report. I love love love Amsterdam, but we always stay in the city (very near centraal) and just walk and walk everywhere, although we take trams to some areas.

I like the sounds of your inn! I understand about not being toooo positive about a place, because you might not get a room next time.

Anyway, keep it coming. See you in October, I hope!!

Carol
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 05:38 AM
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Ttt to follow the fascinating tangents.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 01:52 PM
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I recently returned to the U.S. from a two month trip to Europe, including about a week in Amsterdam. That city was a highlight of my trip. I was lucky to have the use of a friend's apartment there, but if I hadn't I probably would have looked to airbnb.com for a place to stay, as I did in England for a month.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 07:23 PM
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<B>Taconictraveler: </B> Loving the report. The inn looks wonderful - someplace I'd want to stay.

<B>rsmartin: </B> OK you love airbnb. You registered today to recommend it multiple times, even on threads where it is totally irrelevant like taconictraveler's trip report which has nothing to do w/ airbnb. (It is hardly an unknown/obscure website)

One would think you are either a shill or a one trick pony
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Taconictravler - Following along your trip report which is, as always, a delightful read. Can't wait for more!
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 04:00 AM
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>>>I gave the link to the inn up above in an earlier post.<<<

True... but go ahead and try yours. Kind of like an OV anonymous card without enough euros on it! LOL

Looking forward to more...
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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janisj,

My suggestion of airbnb.com is directly relevant to Taconictraveler's initial May 31 posting in which she stated:
"after searching for months for a rental house with four bedrooms, each with bath, I gave up." Your suggestion that I have some ulterior motive for suggesting airbnb is misplaced; I have none. I hope you will be more welcoming to others new to this forum.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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ParisAmsterdam: thanks. I did nit realize that link did not work. I thought I was doing well to just get it up there in blue, LOL. I can't begin to figure out how to put photos up, but maybe soon.

Simpson, we are planning for Boston, as I think its a command performance, and I don't blame you for loving Amsterdam. We walked miles every day, and THEN took trams, and the bus back to our Inn.

Piccolina: thanks. I equally love your reports.

Right now we are visiting friends in Maine, and I don't like to do reports on my iPad since I make so many mistakes. So maybe no more til Saturday, though I may try.
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