All about the B’s.
We arrived in Amsterdam around 4pm Sunday afternoon (10am EST) . Let me tell you, AMS Schipol Airport is HUGE! I mean crazy big! I will say though, once we got down and around to it, going throughcustoms was a breeze. Thankfully most everything is in Dutch and English. If you have a question, there are plenty of people to help guide you. We took our prepaid vouchers and picked up our HollandPass and headed to our reserved Shuttle Service to grab our ride to the Hotel Park Plaza Vondelpark to get settled in, get our bearings and find some dinner.
Amsterdam is a walkable, bikable city. It’s what everyone does. There are also plenty of trams and buses, so you really do not need a car to visit. Bicycles are EVERYWHERE! They are parked on every street, on every block, and in bike lots. People are constantly wizzing by you. Most bikes have baskets or racks to carry all sorts of goods. Definitely seems the mode of choice. Just be aware and try to stay on the walk ways, because those bicycles are noiseless! We had plenty of close calls!
My friend and I walked a few blocks to get the lay of the land last evening and found a few restaurants with interesting menus, and ended up at a nice little place called Brasserie de Joffers. It had mainly small plates, wine and cocktails. We split mini burgers, truffle cheese and Thor Bittenballen. EVERYTHING was absolutely delicious. I teased her about ordering burgers, but, really? One was topped with a quail egg and truffle cheese and the other with eggplant and pesto. They were out of this world! The truffle cheese was served with a grainy bread, mustard and pickles, but my new favorite obsession is the bittenballen! I think the best way I can describe them is that they are a savory deep fried fritter (?) I mean, I have never really had anything like them before. I wanted to think croquette, or falafel, but they were just so perfectly fried, but soft inside, sort of like mashed potato, but not really. I can’t even come up with a word for the texture. We had 3 different kinds, a truffle and mushroom, a spinach and cheese, and Coconut Thai Curry. OMG they were to die for!
After paying our bill, we continued down the street, Willemsparkweg, toward the Museum District. Everywhere you walk, the architecture is just stunning. It’s easy to step off the walkway, because we were constantly looking up at the gorgeous buildings. The brick and ironwork, mosaics, fresco, just continually draws your eye. Photographer friends, you will not want for interesting subjects. Actually, no matter where you turn, there’s something you simply must photograph. I hope my sd card holds out!
Exhausted from our overnight flights, walking and exploring, we hit the hay around 10:30pm.