While we started the day a little earlier than day two, we still slept in partially due to staying out late the night before as well as adjusting to the bed in the houseboat.
We started off the day with brunch at DeBakkerswinkel with a variety of pastries and some eggs. I particularly enjoyed the lemon curd, it’s brightness helped perk me up. That and a cup of coffee. (Sadly I was not awake enough to think to get any photos)
We had plans for the afternoon and decided to finally make our way up to the city center to wander and see the architecture.
On our way we strolled through the flower market. While everyone was bundled up in the winter cold, I was surprised to see a wide array of flowers. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the market in summer but every stall was filled with bundles of blooming flowers, carefully wrapped bulbs, and fresh evergreen foliage.
As we continued our way along the canals, Ryan noted how clean the city smelled. We later found our this was partially because the canals are flushed a few times a week. It also is probably due to the street cleaners that we passed several times on our walk.
With how tightly packed the buildings are and the narrow streets, we only realized we had walked to the palace when we rounded a corner and discovered a large open square and a very ornate, large building. Still having a few hours to kill until our afternoon plans we decided to tour the palace.
The palace was stunning, everything was so ornate and it was interesting to tour a place that still used for state functions. While Ryan would love to model a room in our dream-house after some of the offices and waiting rooms there, I think the velvet wall paper would be a pain to clean cat fur off of.
After the palace, we wandered some more and found our way to the neighborhood where theatre we were attending was located, with a bit of time before the house opened we sat down at a cafe and both enjoyed a warm drink and our first stroopwafel. Perfectly sized to pair with my hot chocolate.
The show we attended was a marionette performance of Dr. Faust. While the entire thing was in dutch, we were able to follow along with the general story. From the listing I found prior to our trip, I was expecting more children at the show. The first row was reserved for children, but when it was only half full just as the show was starting a number of the adults moved up. We were among some of the youngest people there.
Visually, it was stunning. I was amazed at the coordination and amount of practice it must take to maneuver the puppets around. The puppets interacted with each other and at one point one rode off on a chicken marionette without getting tangled in all the strings.
After the performance, each row was allowed to walk up to the stage. From there we got a closer look at both the puppets and we could peer up to see how the puppeteers moved about on the walkways and controlled the marionettes.
We had hoped to go to grab dinner at a restaurant that served more traditional dutch home-cooking. But when we arrived we discovered they were completely booked for the night. (we did make reservations for later in the trip, more on that later).
By that point in the evening we were tired from walking. By the end of the night we figured we’d probably walked around 10 miles that day. Finding ourselves in a neighborhood that was mostly closed up shops, we ducked into a Falafel restaurant. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but was tasty and more importantly filling.
Then it was back to the houseboat, where we made a few plans for the upcoming days and then collapsed into bed.