Swins diary 2009 Day 2 18th June

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Swin
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Swins diary 2009 Day 2 18th June

Postby Swin » Fri Jun 19, 6:18 pm

Started the day off as I always like to do on the first morning with a walk around the Jordaan. I noticed some changes despite my thoughts in yesterdays report. The canals are much cleaner than usual - perhaps I have arrived just after a clean-up but no sign of rubbish, pissed Brits etc in the water anywhere. Bloemgracht at 7am in the early morning sunshine was beautiful.
Then I went over to Spaarndammerburt via the Cafe Thyssen on the Brouwersgracht / Lindengracht corner for coffee (fortunately a great place to sit in the sun and read for an hour - the service is abysmal) to see the incredible het Schip building and museum, an interesting walk via Haarlemmerpoort and Westerpark to an area of the city I have never visited in all my trips. Arrived somewhat weary at 10am only to find it doesn't open until 1pm (I will never ignore the touristy guidebooks again)
Undaunted I decided to move on to Prinseneiland as I had never been there either and was interested to see the redevelopment. All very nice with converted warehouses and new blocks but still short of cafes and bars etc but I suppose they will come later.
The absence of anywhere to take on beer led me back to the Cafe Papeneiland on Prinsengracht within sight of Asoka (how do you stand the noise of the piledriving TAK?)
After that I trudged back to Spaarndammerburt via Westerpark. I arrived with aching ankles and knackered knees on the stroke of 1pm. If you haven't been to het Schip make a point of doing so. The three blocks of social housing are amazing whether you are interested in the Amsterdam School, architecture in general or not.
A superb tour inside and out for just three Brits (led by a gorgeously attractive Dutch girl) turned into an hilarious farce when the Dutch tour group numbering 20+ elderly people arrived on the stairs in the preserved 1920s furnished apartment as we were trying to leave. Much chaos ensued.
Totally exhausted by the time I get back to the hotel I sat and watched from my window as yet another extremely beautiful Dutch lady - clearly a model posed seductively in a very short dress on the bridge outside for a photoshoot.
A couple of beers in the Hoppe on the Spui was followed by tapas in La Plancha. Little known and mentioned only briefly somewhere on the internet, it's surely the best tapas bar in Amsterdam. Red wine and a free shot of something even stronger on top of the beers relieved the pains in the ankles and I wandered in the direction of the Gollem.
It was a marvellous balmy Amsterdam evening and Prinsengracht was packed with boats over and above the usual glass topped tourist variety. It was more like the Saturday or Sunday afternoon boat parade as dozens of craft loaded with revellers and beers (plus one in particular with the most wonderful barbeque on board) cruised past.
A huge party of very attractive young ladies had spilled out of an apartment door onto the street in Runstraat complete with copious amounts of wine but despite holding the stomach in and smiling sweetly an invite was not forthcoming so the Gollem it was for the usual Trappist ales before bed.
A truly lovely Amsterdam summer evening with the residents relaxing as only Amsterdammers can, what a great city this is.

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Mike
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Postby Mike » Sun Jun 21, 11:11 pm

Nice report.


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