A day in Amsterdam

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Last weekend one of my best friends  from Belgium visited me, besides some fun in my neighbourhood, I decided to show him a bit of Amsterdam. Normally when I go to Amsterdam it’s mainly for shopping, so I’d never seen Amsterdam through the eyes of a tourist and I decided that it was about time. So this is how I had a blast doing touristy things in Amsterdam.

In the morning we took the train from the town next to mine, to Amsterdam. In about 1,5 hours we arrived at the always crowded station of Amsterdam Central. One of the things that had always peaked my interest when visiting Amsterdam, was the sexmuseum. Which sounds a bit like a strange sight for a city, but it is one of the main ones. And the entrance fee was only 5 euros, so naturally we decided to visit it. The only thing I really have to say about the museum is that it was quite odd and rather shocking, but what do you expect from a sexmuseum, and I would still recommend it.  After the museum we just did a little bit of a city tour, we walked along the canals, through the red light district which was rather empty since it was a Monday morning. After that we walked around on Dam Square, through the abundances of pigeons, and after that of course I also had to show my Belgian friend the shopping street. When we finished the walking tour it was lunch time, for lunch we ate some classical Dutch fries, meaning that they are served in pointy paper bags with peanut sauce on it (makes sense right?), served with a snack you get out of the wall (aka a fending machine placed in a big wall that serves hot snacks, again makes sense). After lunch and all the half-naked bodies we had seen  that morning, we decided to go for something fun and bubbly, so we went to Artis, Amsterdam’s city zoo. Artis I one of the things I would highly recommend when visiting Amsterdam, even though almost every place has a zoo. Artis is definitely one of the best ones I’ve ever visited, it’s not only the oldest zoo of the Netherlands, but it also has a galore of animals, and it’s very spacious, for both animals and humans. And above all Artis is really big on education, which I always appreciate in a zoo. For example in the aquarium they portray the fish life in Amsterdam, and how littering has an effect on animals and the envirionment. We had spend much time in the zoo that afterwards it was dinnertime already, we bought some snacks at the Albert Heijn To Go (city-supermarket) and ate them at the side of one of the canals.

So yeah, that’s basically how I tried being a tourist in my own country. I hope it brought you some inspiration to do touristy stuff close to your home, or just some ideas of what to do when you visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam!

-Until next time-

Brit

Food& travelling

FOOD AND TRAVELLING IMAGE

Wherever I go I love eating some unfamiliar  stuff, I won’t go all the way like eating chicken feet or cow brain because those things definitely don’t sound appetizing to me (no offence towards people and cultures that do eat foods like that, just not something I’m used to). However I do like to try out a fair amount of traditional food, if its snacks or a full on main course it doesn’t matter! Food is just part of the experience. So here by I would like to give a list of top picks food wise of a few of the countries I’ve visited, just for good old fun and maybe for you to try out. And although this article might not include pictures of the foods I’m talking about, in a strange way I always find it fascinating and satisfying to read stuff about food, especially when foreign.

Finland

Since I go to Finland quite often I’m quite familiar with the cuisine. My favorite dish by far, is reindeer stew, with mashed (or as I always like to pronounce it smashed) potatoes, cranberry sauce and pickles. I may sound strange but oh boy it truly is a combination made in heaven.  The Finnish are also great in their chocolate, every time I go there I have to eat Fazer chocolate, whether it’s a basic bar or a classic peppermint crisp one. I. Have. To. Eat. It. And I also love Tupla chocolate nougat bars.

Switzerland

One word: cheese. You can truly wake me up for a delicious cheese fondue. Combined with veggies or bread, just true perfection. Also I what I learned in Switzerland is to eat cheese next to your dinner, although this is not necessary a Swiss thing. Still fun to try out. Also rösti is a delicious thing that the Swiss cuisine has brought me, these potato pancakes used to be breakfast food, but are now enjoyed anytime of the day. I strangely enough always eat that with Christmas at home, in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands

Although I’m not a big fan of the cuisine in my own country, we do have some delicious things. Most common thing for us and foreigners to eat are stroopwafels, these are two waffles fused together with caramel sauce, truly yummy an often enjoyed with a cup of tea. Another thing which other people seem to like are the haring fish, eaten with onions. Not a fish person so something I really really hate. But we do however have some great fries traditions, we classically eat our fries in pointy bags (great explanation) together with peanut sauce and a frikandel (kind of sausages but not really, again great explanation) highly would recommend you try it out if you ever come to the Netherlands.

Canada

I really wish I could say poutine with this one, but I’m not the biggest fan. Poutine are fries with cheese curds and gravy, but you can also add bacon, onions etc. When you find them in a good place they can be quite delicious, but in some cases (most I’ve tried) the fries get to soggy because of the gravy which is not really appetizing to me. However they do have some delicious snacks: Namaimo bars for example. These are bars with that mainly exist out of coconut flakes and chocolate. And damn, they are phenomenal.  Another typical Canadian thing that I really enjoy is maple syrup, I loved that stuff. Maple syrup on pancakes, in pastries, in cereal, you name it I’ve eaten it. A drink I really enjoyed in Canada, although it’s more local Whistler and Vancouver, was the Whistler bear paw honey lager. I’m not a great beer lover but this one was truly delicious with its hint of honey.

Greece

Greece has quite an interesting cuisine, something I really like is souvlaki, basically meat on a stick. Can be chicken, pork or lamb. Times I had it, it was served with fries and I mean, who doesn’t like fries. I also really enjoyed the pita bread with meat and tzatziki sauce (yogurt, cucumber and spices), something I also make at home quite often.

Norway

Something extraordinary I had in Norway, which I’m pretty sure is just a general Scandinavian thing, is cloudberries. Cloudberries are these orange berries shaped like a cloud (surprise). When I had them in Norway they were served in cloudberry sauce, with vanilla ice cream on warm waffles. Terrific combination, one of the best desserts I ever had.

Poland

As I mentioned in my article about Wroclaw, something I loved in Poland, were perogies. Dumpling like lookalikes with either sweet or savory filling. I’ve never had a try at the sweet ones, but the savory ones I tried with both a potato filling and a mushroom one. I also once bought them in a Canadian supermarket as a freezer dish, but nothing beats the real thing.

I can talk on and on about food, one of the great enjoyments of life. Hope you liked reading about these view dishes that I love!  Maybe this article will get a part two who knows.

Anyway

-Until next time-

Brit