Monday, April 29, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 2 - Bicycle Tour "Fresh Mint Tea"

Today was a bit crazy. Especially with me and bicycles since I have only learned how to ride recently. The groep travelled down to Starbikes near by Amsterdam Centraal to retrieve our rental bikes. We got a short amount of time to get used to our bikes by going up and down the laneway in front of the bike shop. Onwards to our bike tour, we rode down to the ferry terminal behind Amsterdam Centraal (while trying to ride in the bike lanes).

Robbie at the front of Starbikes

Me getting on my Granny bike

The groep practicing with the bicycles

At the ferry terminal

 Although it was already less traffic due to it being a Sunday, I was having problems weaving through traffic and just balancing the bike in general. From the ferry terminal, we boarded the ferry headed towards NDSM island.

EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam-Noord

View from the ferry

View from the ferry arriving at NDSM

We proceeded to take a quick lunch at the Noorderlicht Cafe. Russell recommended the fresh mint tea or muntthee. I tried this and I absolutely loved it. I ordered the 'gerookte bokking met mierikswortelroom' or the smoked red herring with horseradish cream. DELICIOUS!
Suffice it to say, I was in my happy place with this lunch.

Fresh mint tea

smoked red herring with horseradish cream
After lunch, we were able to check out the NDSM warehouse that was a winning development proposal by Eva De Klerk. The warehouse is an interesting mixed program space including different product studios, public spaces, a skateboarding park in the upper levels, pre-existing warehouse equipment, and also some art projects on display.

We then rode around the island towards the EYE Film Institute via the klaprozenweg(s118). I had a lot of difficulty staying on the bike, lagging behind the rest of the group. Every time I started running into bike traffic, I almost had a serious accident with trying to avoid them. A few times I ran the bike wheel into the sidewalk and crashed myself into the ground. Thankfully the area was relatively quiet and I was able to survive until we got to the south end of Amsterdam-Noord and then take the ferry back to Centraal.

I opted to not continue on with the bike tour with the group going through KDSM Island, Java Island, and the Oosterdok / Zeeburg area and a cross-city tour through the Grachtengordel or canal rings of downtown Amsterdam. I felt like I would have been too much of a safety hazard and I was stressed out with trying to just stay upright on the bike. I was joined by Vivian C. and instead we took a walking tour of the islands and got an up-close experience of a few of the neighbourhoods.

We timed it perfectly after our 2.5 hour walk and we were able to return to the bike shop at the same time as the group finished their bike tour of the city.

It was an amazing day. I'm happy I was able to bike somewhat and that lunch at the Noorderlicht Cafe was immensely satisfying.

Food Notes
-Fresh Mint Tea is amazing
-the Smoked Red Herring with Horseradish Cream from the cafe was delish!

-Amazing weather for a bike tour
-delicious lunch and discovery of fresh mint tea (at the Noorderlicht)
-got to ride ferries
-saw some really awesome bridges
-awesome sights of NDSM, KDSM Island, Java Island, Borneo-Sporenburg, Zeeburg area

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