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Two weeks or so in Belgium and Netherlands

Two weeks or so in Belgium and Netherlands

Old Dec 16th, 2013, 10:02 PM
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For Indonesian food, go to The Hague, not Amsterdam.

this one is excellent

http://www.tripadvisor.nl/Restaurant..._Province.html

it's a warung, so small and cantina like. but it's excellent.

side note: there's a different between Indonesian and "Indisch" (eurasian) food. Most "Indische" restaurants serve Eurasian food. The rijsttafel is a modern invention and not at all how you would eat a meal in either an Indonesian or Indisch restaurant (or at home: the most memorable food was served to me at people's homes, at birthdays and such)

A classic way of composing your meal: white rice as a base, a sayur (mild vegetables in a spiced broth), a meat or fish or vegetarian sambalan (like ayam semur, rendang, or tahu peteh), something for crunch (serundeng, kerupuk) and a pickle like acar ketimun or acar campur. some sambal for extra spice, if need be.

ideally, spicy (pedis), sweet and sour are in balance, and textures are varied. too often, Indonesian food suffers from the "vindaloo syndrome", the hotter the better, but a good cook gives you not too much heat, but a real depth of flavors.

In general, a restaurant with women as cooks is the better restaurant.
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 04:49 AM
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don't judge a Rice Table by the number of dishes advertised, like tourist ones do in Amsterdam - some 'dishes' are rice crackers, etc.
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the hint. Sometimes those passes in other cities are useless.>

Yes like the I Love Amsterdam Pass or whatever they are calling it that gives free entry to only a handful of museums, maybe a boat ride, etc. and a tram pass - way more cost than average person would spend - but with the Museum Kaart I always go into some museums I never would have paid to go in - and here are some of the less-herlded and IME superb museums the pass covers: The Troppen Museum - of life in the tropics with street scenes re-created and always some cutting-edge display; the Dutch Resistance Museum documenting the heroic struggle of the Dutch during the Nazi Occupation;

The Ship Museum on the port with all those all sailing ships;

The Lord in the Attic museum - kind of museum - old church hidden away in attic of a building from times when the Dutch were less tolerant

The Hermitage of Saint Petersburg branch in Amsterdam.

The Jewish Museum

The Reubens House and on and on and on

and the City of Amsterdam museum with all its fascinating exhibits and some old churches, etc.

And of course museums in many other Dutch towns (Kroller-Muller being an exception that I was shocked to learn after getting there!)
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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If you want to go to the Tropen museum (which I would recommend on sundays, because then they play the beautiful Gamelan there), make haste, because they're scrapping it. A scandal, but there you go.
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 08:18 AM
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Gamelan - please enlighten me - wow after going to Amsterdam so so many times you are a font on new ideas and things I've missed out on!

another off-beat museum well not museum but thing to see is the Cat Baot - Pussy Boat I think in Dutch - a houseboat refuge for lost cats - zillions of cats running amok: on a pretty canal in the heart of town-

http://www.poezenboot.nl/?taal=uk
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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http://www.tropenmuseum.nl/smartsite...8&paid=2122698

OK I failed to fin anything at first but found Gamelan and Troppen Museum - Indonesian folk dance, right?
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Thank you all for the very helpful information on all different accounts. Much to mull over.
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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I can recommend The Coffee Trader, by David Liss.

The Coffee Trader is an historical novel by David Liss, set in 17th century Amsterdam. The story revolves around the activities of commodity trader Miguel Lienzo, a Jew who is a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition. (from Wikipedia).

Also, if you are in the Netherlands during April/May, then a trip to the Keukenhof is a must. Do not miss out on the tulips.

menachem - Thanks for the heads up about the Gamelan playing at the Troppen, but they're "scrapping" it? Had I known it was there, I would have made an effort to see the museum. My friend, who is a percussionist travelled to Bali to the Gamelan factory and ordered a full orchestra set, which she had shipped back to the states. I think it cost her about $6000.00 to do the deal!

Robyn
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Thanks again.
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Old Dec 17th, 2013, 10:21 PM
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They're threatening to scrap the entire museum.

http://www.tropenmuseum.nl/smartsite.shtml?id=14048

Can I also recommend FOAM and Huis Marseille for lovers of photography...?

http://www.huismarseille.nl/
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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I checked out the website, and had I known the Tropenmuseum had 5500 instruments, I definitely would have visited. I'll have to add it to my list of reasons to return to Amsterdam, hopefully before the museum closes.

I, too, will recommend the National Museumkaart. We've bought one the last 3 times we visited Amsterdam, and each time got more than our money's worth. Having the card gives you the opportunity to see the museums that you might not normally visit. Like the FOAM, mentioned above. Although I enjoy photography, we wouldn't have paid to visit the museum, but since we had already paid, in essence, we went and enjoyed. We also enjoyed touring several of the canal houses, and we both, my husband and I, thoroughly enjoyed the Tassenmuseum, The Museum of Bags and Purses. The history was fascinating.

Robyn
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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Our day trip to Ypres was done from the French side (we drove in from Arras for the day.) With a car you can ferret out interesting places nearby like reconstructed trenches, and the odd memorial or two.

Ypres (careful, it may be spelled Ieper) itself has the In Flanders Fields museum, well worth seeing - we were there for two hours. Ypres is a 2 hour train journey from Brussels - I have not come from that direction but google suggests it would be just over an hour by car. Add in a few nearby sites and you've easily got a daytrip from Brussels (or Ghent.)

We've also seen the Vimy memorial - careful, you can't just 'pop in' as part of a day trip from Brussels to Ypres. It's an hour or so south of Ypres by car (and you do need a car!)
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Thanks again for the various responses.

While in Belgium, we wish to visit, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Ypres, and a quick dip into The Netherlands to see Oosterscheldekering.

Right now it seems the best way is rent a car from Brussels and return it in Bruges and then from Bruges take the train to Amsterdam. Does that make any sense?

The roads seem very good in both countries, is that the case?

And there is any difference in useage between Holland and The Netherlands?

Thanks again in advance.
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 09:07 PM
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I was in Belgium and Holland in the summer of 2012 and loved it. I preferred Delft over Amsterdam(Delft is a smaller version on Amsterdam). Kinderdijk in Holland is an amazing place to se windmills. There are 19 windmills and nice polders and you can enter a working windmill. Also Waterloo is worth a visit if you are a history buff. I also went to a beach town called knokke, So-So. Antwerp is an amazing city. I thought Brussels was so over-rated. You wouldn't ever notice the Mannekin Pis if it weren't for all the people flocked around the area. BEWARE OF DRIVERS IS BRUSSELS!! I was walking through a pedestrian crosswalk and had the green light to go, and this car backs up into me and breaks my hand, he just took off. SO be careful!
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Old Dec 19th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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And there is any difference in useage between Holland and The Netherlands?>

Only to the Dutch I think as there is a major difference but for Americans at least we are likely to call the whole country Holland.

But Holland technically is only about the southern and southwestern part of The Netherlands as I can decipher it - you have Zuid (south) Holland - say the Delft/Leiden/Rotterdam/Den Hague areas and Nord (north) Holland - Alkmaar and the whole peninsula north of it - Haarlem and Amsterdam may be some kind of dividing line betwen south and north Holland - I do not technically but many Dutch say 'we're from Holland" themselves so I think even the Dutch use the word Holland to refer to the whole country though technically that may be incorrect.

Point is don't worry about it - I say Holland in part because The Netherlands is longer to type.
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Old Dec 19th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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Thanks.

I am glad it is not like the British, English, Irish, Welch, Scots thing, where a slip is a major insult.

How strong is the separatist movement in Belgium today?
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Old Dec 19th, 2013, 09:16 PM
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Well, being Dutch myself, I know that many people to foreigners just use "Holland" because that's recognizable.

But you'll never hear people who are not either from North or South Holland province refer to themselves as being "from Holland". To say to someone from Limburg or Friesland or Drenthe that she is "from Holland" is indeed somewhat as an insult.

So just call the country The Netherlands.

IMDonehere: why not return your car in Antwerp and take the train from there. That's a direct connection.
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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I think a day and a half in Brussels is too little. It is more than the Grand Place.

I wrote a trip report in 2011 with quite a lot about Brussels and Antwerp
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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Thanks again.

The opinions concerning Brussels are like a kid pulling the petals from a flower, "She loves me, she loves me not...."
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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www.holland.com/uk/‎
Welcome to Holland.com, the official website of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, where you receive all the information for your stay in ...

Well since the government tourist board uses Holland I think that says it all - why don't they have www.thenetherlands.com but instead use www.holland.com?

so on this board used mainly by non-Dutch Holland is OK - according to the Dutch Tourist Board!
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