Amsterdam 4/18/22

We arrive in Amsterdam around 8:00 AM having come through the Noordzeekanal (North Sea Canal) which is kind of a shortcut to Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s patchwork of waterways forms about 90 islands connected by 1500 bridges. We have a lazy morning since our excursion, ”A Taste of Amsterdam” does not depart until the afternoon. We have decided on this excursion because all of us, and especially Sarah, have been to most of the Amsterdam tourist sites multiple times and this tour sounds like fun.

Our sardonic guide, Pim, starts our excursion off with a talk and walk. Here we are near the Heineken Brewery and the Heineken Experience, a multi-media tour. It is obvious that Pim loves his city but maybe not the tourists so much? After walking around for a bit we stop at the Kaas Bar for cheese and drinks.

The Kass Bar, The Cheese Bar

We are pleased to be served any drink that we want and a large platter of cheese, fruit, accompaniments, and crackers. Starting at 9 o’clock and going clockwise are truffle brie,, de grutte grize (goat cheese), fiore cow”s milk cheese, another cow’s milk cheese called brokkel oplegkaas, and brabants blauw (blue).

Platter of delicious cheeses
Sarah suggests we try Ijwit, a tasty wheat beer

John with Ijwit beer

We reboard the bus after a little more walking around. Amazingly we walk through the very square where John and I ate lunch several years ago.

Amsterdam is 1/3 water and a million bicycles

Our next stop is at a place called Grand Cafe 1884 which is near our ship’s parking place. Sarah is very excited to order Kwak beer for John and herself. It comes in an odd wooden holder. You are supposed to pick up the entire holder to drink the beer. I decide to stick with the Ijwit.

Sarah is also excited to introduce us to bitterballen one of the foods she got to try during her visits to Mark. It is like a bunch of gravy encased in a spherical deep fried crust that is served with mustard and cheese.

John and Sarah have Kwak in its weird drinking contraption

Mary sticks with Ijwit

Our fun taste here is bitterballen with cheese, dried olives, and mustard

Later John and I have dinner at The Restaurant. Sarah is uncomfortable with everyone trying to please her so she eats up at the World Cafe which is less formal and cafeteria style.

The ship casts off around 6 PM and executes a 180 degree turn to head back down the Nordzeekanal. We enter the North Sea around 9 PM. We will sail all of Tuesday to reach Bergen, Norway.

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