After a long flight and some minor delays, we landed in Amsterdam and made our way to the houseboat where we were renting a room. There was a minor mix up with the room so we dropped off our bags and headed out into the city while our host prepped the room.
We stopped at a cafe for some much needed coffee then walked to a small city park. I commented on how their mallard ducks were a little different than ours and we saw some birds that we couldn’t place. (just looked them up and they were Eurasian coots) These birds would float along the canal passed our houseboat, crackling and chirping.
Next we wandered over to the Museumplein where we marveled at the Rijk Museum architecture and watched some skaters gliding along on the temporary skating rink.
By that point our room was ready so we stopped by to freshen up (much needed after the long flight) and then headed out to grab some dinner. Ryan looked up restaurants and found one not too far from us that served Turkish cuisine called Bazaar. So we headed out, even though I desperately wanted to just lay down and sleep.
On our way to the restaurant we strolled into a street market, the Albert Cuyp Market. The street was filled with hundreds of stalls, lining both sides of the street. As we wandered the market, I was a bit overwhelmed by the delicious smell of food and fresh flowers on display. It struck me that the flowers actually smelled like flowers, not like the scented flowers in our grocery stores, and the vegetables were amazing. There were stalks of asparagus that were bigger around than my fingers!
Arriving at the restaurant (which was located in an old church) we stumbled our way attempting to order in Dutch before our server took pity on us and spoke to us in English. At least we tried! Dinner was fabulous. Ryan enjoyed his chicken dish and I had a lamb dish that we both agreed was the winner of the two. After dinner I ordered mint tea, hoping it would help give me a little kick to stay away. They brought out a tea cup with hot water and fresh mint leaves in it. So refreshing and crisp.
It was still fairly early, so we didn’t want to just go back to our room but we were feeling pretty jet lagged so we didn’t want to do much that required a lot of thought or attention. We settled on checking out checking out a local cafe/bar to try some Dutch beer and just hang out. All the beer we tried (2 or 3) were good. We both were surprised to discover that we actually like Heineken when it’s available on tap. Which I later discovered was good to know since Heineken was available at most of the cafe/bars we went to.
By 8:45 I was struggling to stay awake so we walked back the couple of blocks to our houseboat and began settling in for the night. The room is a tiny bit smaller than we pictured, but it is warm and comfortable enough.
It was a successful first day and a good start to a trip I will never forget.