Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Europe 2011 - Day 3 Amsterdam - Van Gogh Museum and Canal Cruise

Today was a late start and we didn't hit all the things we wanted to go to (mostly me, as I wasn't able to hit any of the locations I had on my list.
We started off with the hop-on/hop-off city tour on one of the companies that run red buses circling Amsterdam. We stopped off at Museumplein and took a walk around the square and took some pictures before we went (and lined up) for the Van Gogh Museum. I would have rather preferred going to the Stedelijk museum as I'm more interested in modern art, but I couldn't really just leave the rest of my family.

We were there for a lot longer than I was expecting. There are 4 floors + an extension area of Van Gogh's paintings as well as of some other artists that influenced Van Gogh. It's definitely something worth checking out if you're a fan of impressionist art or of Vincent van Gogh. I didn't really appreciate it as much as I haven't really studied his work that deeply.

After the Van Gogh museum, it was already really late. I was hoping to check out Droog, but that was totally out of the question at that point. We decided to head over to the Stadhouderskade outside the Heineken Experience where we hopped on to Amsterdam Canal Cruises' 75 minute long cruise of Amsterdam. It was definitely great to get to do this as I wasn't able to do it when I was here last year.
After we got off, the weather was being uncooperative and erratic as like the past few days and the flashes of rain are really annoying. We decided to go for an early dinner. As we got off the cruise where we got on by the Heineken Experience, I thought it would be a good idea to head towards the De Pijp neighbourhood. We were already planning on checking out the Albert Cuyp Market, but by the time we arrived, the market was already closed and in the process of being cleaned up. Disappointed, and still the rain starting to pick up, we just roamed the De Pijp area for a good restaurant. I checked out a place I was searching for the last time I was here called Warung Marlon since I was hoping to try Surinamese food. Unfortunately, it was closed last time, and apparently also now as well. Doh.

We ended up at a bar/pub called Het Paardje. The food was awesome! We all ended up with something, but we tried a lot of local dishes like Bitterballen and something called Grillworst. There was also a really awesome beef dish that we ordered that was the dagschotel (special of the day). I'm not really sure what it's called in English and neither did our waitress, she just said it was beef and she pointed towards a part of her abdomen to indicate what part of the cow it was.

Definitely had a laugh when we asked a waiter of what classic Dutch food was. He asked another patron and all they could come up was the pannekoek (Dutch pancake), and maybe a 'stempel'? Some type of beef stew. I can't really find it online so I have no idea what he was talking about.
We got some dessert afterwards nearby at Yscuypje which had excellent ice cream.

Afterwards, the rain really started to pour so we decided to head back instead of trying to visit the Sarphatipark. Doh.

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