Friday, February 4, 2011

Europe Day 09- Holland Amsterdam by Ourselves

Beginning of our free and easy time in Holland for 4 solid days!

here's ahren sitting on our bed with his space cakes.

we sent our fellow tour-mates to the airport and on the way back to the hotel we passed by Mahler 4 Office Building by Rafael Vinoly Architects and The Rock aka Mahler 4 by Erick Van Egeraat

our Hotel!! Movenpick hotel by Claus en Kaan Architecten+lift buttons which is so cool!!! who designs lift buttons like these!!! it's crazy.

+mimi map+our hotel room+welcome message on telly+us in the super windy outsides!
back at our hotel and there was a eastern docklands mini map for us to follow. BUT. it was not easy to comprehend, too abstract the images of the buildings, by the time you get there, most probably you'll have a hard time guessing which is which. Our Amsterdam Architecture Guide was way better....

us outside Muziekgebouw!! by 3xNielsen

Finally gotten our train tickets to go see Van Gogh Museum. I have been waiting for this day in anticipation!!!!

Van Gogh Museum - an art museum in Holland where it features the works of Dutch Painter Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries. It has the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings in the world. Absolute masterpieces of the Van Gogh Museum are:
  • Van Gogh’s self-portraits,

  • The Sunflowers,

  • The Potato-eaters,

  • The Bedroom in Arles.

Apart from the works of Vincent van Gogh, the museum has a collection concerning Van Gogh’s history and works from artists he befriended with or influenced.

us outside Rijksmusem....long Q here!!! and we are having a hotdog here cos im pretty hungry since breakfast and the walk inside Van Gogh musuem was pretty long, climbing 3 flights of stairs makes me famished!

after museum stops, we dropped by Amsterdam's flower market.

wj is deciding whether to buy some tulip bulbs home from the flower market.
A vast array of flowers, plants and flower bulbs are for sale at the Netherlands most famous flower market, The Bloemenmarkt. Established in 1862, this floating market can be found on one of the oldest canals of Ámsterdam.

Vleminckx- The best french fries in town!

"Named after the French and invented by the Belgians, the Dutch certainly love their fries no less than these nations and make and consume them in masses. Many restaurants serve them as a side dish and there is a snack bar with French Fries on just about every corner."

quote from another source, which i think it's so true! The dutch really love their fries.

But where can you find the best French Fries in Amsterdam? Somewhat surprisingly, but undisputed, hole-in-the-wall Vleminckx on Voetboogstraat makes the most delicious fries in Amsterdam with a lot of variety of dips you can choose from! So make sure you try some next time when you are in Holland!!!

Finally we found a cafe along a small sidewalk to rest our feet and have some local snacks! They call these- Brown cafes.

some history here or brief facts:-Bruine ("brown") cafés are to Amsterdam what pubs are to London. That is, they are casual, neighborhood gathering spots located all around the city, featuring dark wood and people looking for a drink, a snack and friendly conversation (unlike British pubs, most Dutch brown cafés stay open until 1 or 2 a.m.). The term "brown" comes from the dark wood and stained walls that supposedly owe their hue to years of smoking patrons.

Amsterdam's brown cafés are as much a part of the city's charm as its canals and architecture. Most of them epitomize the Dutch term gezelligheid (pronounced "khuh ZEL ikh hide"), a word quite difficult to translate into English; coziness or a feeling of friendly welcome best describes it.
And most Brown cafes have limited food menu that may include small salads, sandwiches and/or Dutch hapjes ("pronounced "HOP yuhs"), which are light snacks like cheese, olives, nuts and bitterballen (Dutch fried balls of meat and potato) all of which we tried too!!!

ahren's looking kinda of hungry and longingly at the mini pancakes which are called Poffertjes here (so difficult to spell!!!) ...oh they so small, just like him!
Proffertjes + bitterballens
Proffertjes = a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour= MINI PANCAKES lah....
Bitterballens = are croquette-like meatballs which are very popular in the Netherlands.

Back at our hotel and we received 2 messages from an old friend to ask us to come visit! and our hotel was just 3 stops away from her place!!!

dinner was a blast!!! tracing back old memories, how's everyone are we doing, how's work there in holland and so many well wishes! The Pangs had just came back from the zoo with their 2 lovely daughters and they managed to whipped up dinner so fast from scratch. And it was all home cooked food, nothing like instant pizza, sandwiches or pasta.

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