This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Amsterdam Day Six

Today we ventured outside of the city and took a bus to the hamlet of Edam. Another benefit of Centraal Station: it is a one stop hub to get to anywhere in the Netherlands...bus, tram or train.

The trip was probably about 30 minutes, although there were frequent stops along the way to pick up passengers. I noticed bike paths all along the roads we were technically, you can work in the city and bike home in the 'burbs'. Pretty darn cool.

Here are some pics along the route to Edam...truly amazing, the difference between this bustling city to the tranquil country:

There's no good way to see this, but there are swans that 'lay' out in these fields of green...if you see a white blot, it's most likely a swan...or some other white bird. They were all over the place.

Passing through another town...

Another shot of just green space...

If I'm correct, then this is a pretty good shot of two geese flying simulataneously, alongside a small windmill...

Edam is a quaint little town that doesn't have anything remotely in common with Amsterdam...well, maybe one little section of it, but as you delve further into it, the little shops and cafes start to appear.

A sign as we alight from the bus:

A shot of the first part of the town, before entering the 'alleyways'.

The bikes that 'hang out' at the bus's hard to believe that bike theft is one of the top crimes here...

There is a canal separating the town into two sections.

It was just a beautiful place to walk through. The cobblestone paths with buildings quite close together, making you feel like you're in an alleyway, albeit much cleaner and nicer.

The shops start to appear and they were picture perfect. I loved seeing these...First, a flower shop. This is one of the places I would love to see in Raleigh. Sure, I have the fresh flower section of my grocery store, but somehow, it's just not the same.

A souvenir-type shop:

This sign says delicatessen, but the shop was full of cheese. We bought a sampler and found out that we can buy locally (in the U.S.) from folks he distributes his cheese to. The cheese is made by the dude that runs this shop, at least his family, on their farm...heavenly...

And what little hamlet could be without a candy shop?

It was just a wonderful experience and I felt great carrying my bag of cheese, not even worrying about how to get through customs at this point (although we knew we could).

When we got back to our houseboat, I was ready to have a night of dining without my girls. I love them, but man, they can drive you crazy. Tim and I didn't venture far, just right down the path from the boat to another local place.

We've passed this place numerous times as it's on the way to one of the tram stations. It has always been packed, and this night was no exception. We were able to find a table and the first thing we noticed was that the menu, as everything in our area, is in dutch. We did our best to decipher...I just wanted to be sure I wasn't ordering a 'filet', thinking I was getting steak and ending up with fish.

The place was bustling and the waitresses were busy, busy, busy. I noticed the table near us with a dog and again, I was quite happy with the idea that a dog could hang out with their peeps at restaurants. This dog happened to be running behind the backs of the patrons, on a bench seat. It was quite amusing.

Later, that dog came up to somehow knew I would be a sucker...I must have smelled like a tourist...I shared my steak savors with him:

Isn't he adorable? He didn't belong to the table near us...he was just looking for suckers. Apparently he owns this place.

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