Woke up yet again to another sunny and beautiful December morning. Throughout the years I have visited at all different times but this was my first trip during the early to mid December time period. Really didn't know what to expect but as always knew to pack layers and an umbrella. Never really needed more than our warm jackets and never once during our 2 week stay did we open an umbrella, didn't even need to carry one. Probably just got lucky but this seems like a great time be here. Crowded which is the norm now but not as bad as the spring, summer or fall and not as cold as later in the winter. And it was great to watch the town decorate itself for the holidays. Seemed like every night something else would be lit up along with the Lights Festival on the canal.
Today was to turn out to be another fun day of beer bar hopping that started off nicely at In de Wildeman. In fact any day that starts off at de Wildeman is a good day. Decided to take it easy so we started out with a couple of Jevers, a refreshing German pilsener at only 4.9% and some smoked mussels and meatballs...breakfast of champions! It was already 12:30 so more like brunch I suppose. We actually hardly ever go out for breakfast here... usually just our morning coffee which is pretty much the same routine as back home. Difference is that back home we 're not bar hopping all day and night as we are ust casual weekend drinkers. Like I mentioned before, since we usually only stop for one or two beers at each bar and we snack here and there and walk quite a bit along the way, we really never feel too inebriated. But at the end of a couple weeks of this, we usually take a month or 2 off from drinking much of anything after we return back home. Guess its a drying out period. I know that I'm pretty lucky that I can turn it off when I want to and sadly have a few friends that aren't so lucky. But enough of this melodramatic BS, time for our next stop.
We decide that a nice canal walk is in order so we make our way yet again over to the Paradox where the volcano awaits. Decide to go old school and get a nice bud of their white widow. A couple of bags later and we're ready to venture out again. We like to keep moving so we never seem to stay in any place for too long....not that we're in a hurry mind you, just that I suppose we enjoy the journey through the city, especially when we're buzzed.
We head down Prinsengracht and over to Raamstraat for a visit to another favorite of ours, Profekaal de Zotte. Another very nice Belgian beer bar attracts mostly students and beer nerds like us! Food there is also very good so we decided to have a late lunch. Can't remember what it was but it must have been pretty filling as we skipped dinner according to my notes. I do remember that it must have been pushing 5 o''clock when we left as the sun was setting and we went on a search for a new bar that had opened recently just off the Leidseplein.
This was the Jopen bar that was opened by the brewery from Haarlem and which of course specialized in their beers. For some reason we had a hard time finding it as it is a tiny place located at the end of one of those streets off the plein that has like 100 letters in its name. Turned out to be worth the effort though as this funky little bar had some really nice beers, not only from Jopen but from some other small Dutch breweries that I was not familiar with. They let us create our own flight which was a nice way to sample these.
Time to start heading back up towards our apartment so we decided on the Lights Festival walk up the Herengracht. Never grew tired of this as it is quite a sight to see. I read that some of these exhibits went on tour to other cities. The other nice thing about the festival is that it ends at the Arendsnest which is always welcoming for their beer, their atmosphere, and not least their bathroom as I was in dire need once again! Another Dutch beer or 2 here with mostly locals from the neighborhood and then off to our next stop.
Back to de Wildeman as I guess we decided it would complete the circle, or actually its a semi circle of today's journey. Forget what I said earlier about not getting too inebriated as we were definitely getting pretty buzzed by the time we left de Wildeman! Good thing we limited the vaping today or we would not have been the happy campers that we were.
Made our way through the shopping area and towards the Dam, peeked down Gravenstraat and decided to break the circle and stop in Belgique for a nightcap. Sure enough, one of the tables was open so we drank a couple of Kwaks and were joined by three very nice folks from Spain, two of which were professional dancers here for a competition. Time to bid fare thee well and call it a night as we had reached our limit and beyond for this day!
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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
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