Amsterdam, Netherlands Day 88

Today may have been a bit of a Murphy’s Law day, but it was still a very, very good day. You can’t have a bad day when it mixes a boat ride, beer, pancakes, art and pizza, right? Katie booked a canal ride for noon, and we were going to head over after we stopped by the train station to reserve my train to Germany the next day. I forgot my Eurail ticket, so we had to go BACK to her place to get it and waste 20 minutes doing so. Yup, always thinking! We get to the station and there are 2 agents doing reservations. V E R Y slowly. Of course, we needed to get done ASAP to make our boat on time, but it was just tediously slow. We finally get our turn and decide we’ll still try to make the boat even though we’re already late. I forget, we’re not in Kansas anymore, and thankfully Amsterdam isn’t exactly the most run on a dime punctual place, so we made our boat, despite being 15 minutes late. Our guide Miguel had just been in Vancouver, and loved it. Guess what? He knew of the Amsterdam Cafe. Yes, of course he did! So, we head to the boat, stop en route for some beer, proceed to lose a couple of people from our tour along the way (by accident) and sit in the boat waiting to get going. Miguel goes to start the engine, and realises he’s out of gas. So, a few of us decide to go to the bagel place to grab a coffee and muffin while we wait for him to go and get some. The bagel place is run by someone who I can only describe as being like Manuel from Fawlty Towers, only Dutch. He had the funniest accent, and spoke in this really over the top flamboyant way. It’s the kind of thing that a comedian would use as material… I could see a Mad TV sketch of him… sheer comedy. He was so slow, and also did our orders one at a time. Don’t these people know how to multi-task? Come on! I order 2 muffins, a lemon poppy seed and a “special” muffin. Of course, being in Amsterdam, I’m sure you know what  thought “special” meant, but no, it was just chocolate hazelnut.Then he tells me that the lemon muffin was a little cold, so did I want to wait for the ones baking, it would be 15 minutes. We didn’t have time to wait so I said no. What he meant by “cold” was “frozen solid.” Not so helpful…
The canal ride was cool. I like seeing the city from a new perspective.
Heineken doesn’t taste very good compared to the other good stuff I’ve been drinking, but it was cold.
I look annoyed because the wind was blowing my hair into my mouth. It was Canada Day (oh Canada!) and a couple in our boat was from Montreal. When Katie wished them HAPPY CANADA DAY she responded that she doesn’t celebrate that holiday. I just looked at her and said, well, you ARE Canadian, right? She said that in Montreal July 1 is just considered to be “moving day.” Fine, don’t celebrate with us then spoil sport! The Americans were happy to!
After the canal ride we went and had some pancakes. yes, I finally got my bacon pancake! It was good, with bacon cooked right in! Then I went to Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Both are amazing and definitely worth a visit. The Rijksmuseum has paintings from the Dutch Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. They also had a special show happening that compared the self portraits of Edgar Degas (an Impressionist) and Rembrandt. The Van Gogh Museum was what I was really excited about though, as he is one of my all time favourites.The museum chronicles his life, how he got his start and his slow decline into madness, then suicide. He was absolutely brilliant, mostly self taught, but hung out with some pretty influential artists of his time.Paul Gaugin (another fave of mine) Toulouse Lautrec, Emile Bernard to name a few. If I could paint like one person on this earth, it would be Vincent Van Gogh.
Just in case you need clarification of what they’re selling here…
Bikes are the rulers of the roads here.
I AM AMSTERDAM!
This duck sculpture has large breasts for eyes, no?
This is SO unfair! Urinals on the streets for men! Um, hello? Where was the ladies version of this when I almost peed my pants the day before?
The only photo I took before we walked through the red light district. We were on our way to a brewery, so I wanted to see it since we were close by. It’s gross. It reminded me of Vegas in all of it’s men behaving badly stuff. Now, I can say I’ve seen it and put it out of my mind forever.
Hot food vending machine. No thank you!
Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Awesome brewery with awesome beer.
First we enjoyed a blond…
Grimm didn’t want any beer, just our neighbours cheese!
Then we shared a sampler… Beer heaven!
We were supposed to meet Jared at 8:30 for dinner, so we left the pub at 7:35 to catch the tram. They’re supposed to run every 10 minutes, but we waited and waited and no tram came. At ten after eight we decided to get a cab, but he wouldn’t take the dog, so we were hooped! Thankfully right then the tram arrived, almost an hour late. SO annoying, but if it hadn’t have come, we’d have had to walk a long way, so we just counted our blessings and didn’t ask any questions!

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