How did we already get to the last day of Amsterdam? How is this even possible? I feel like I'm just coming down off the high of flying business class and yet here we are. As I sit writing this we are just about to pack for our train trip to Berlin. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, we had one full day left in Amsterdam and it was a great one.
In planning our time in Amsterdam we wanted to make sure our last day in the city was as relaxing and easy as possible. With that in mind we had one thing on the agenda for today, an Amsterdam Food and Canal Tour. We did our first food tour in Barcelona last year and absolutely loved it. The tour was a great way to experience the Spanish cuisine of the area without having to order a hundred dishes at various restaurants. The Dutch aren't known as much for their cuisine but we thought it would be a fun way to end our time in Amsterdam.
After going for a run this morning, we made our way out to the meeting point a fifteen minute walk from our hotel. In only the way Amsterdam can, the weather turned from dreary and looking like rain to warm and sunny day. When we met up with the group we were the last to join and the tour began right away. We started at Cafe Papeniland where Bill Clinton has eaten a couple of times in the last couple of years, a cafe known for its apple pie. Neither Jenn or I are big apple pie fans but this was pretty spectacular. The apples were nice but the crust was by far the best part. It was however a weird thing to start with and was incredibly filling to start a food tour with.
From there we walked to an Indonesian restaurant called, Swieti Sranang. There is a heavy Indonesian presence throughout the city and both items on this stop were good not great. We started with a broodje pom which is sandwich and a baka bana which I'm not entirely sure how to describe. Neither were knockouts, and sadly a lot of the other food at the stop looked better then what we got to try.
Our next stop was a butcher and cheese shop. We got to try to different types of meats both of which were fantastic. We had both ossenworst (raw beef sausage) and grillworst (pork sausage). It was some of the best cold meats I've had, just bursting with flavor.
From there we want to Vis Plaza a fish monger, and the stop I was most nervous about eating at. There we got to try one of the most famous Dutch dishes, herring. It was served with pickles and onions and it was not terrible but not something either Jenn and I would order. Our tour guide mentioned that it was similar to sushi, but the difference being there wasn't rice or soy sauce to accompany it. Luckily the second dish here was an exquisite fried cod with a homemade tarter sauce that was incredible.
From there we boarded the canal cruise portion of the tour where our group of eleven boarded a beautiful ship that was built in the early 1900's and even had Winston Churchill board her after the end of WWII. It was a nice way to take in the canals from the water instead of the streets. Onboard we started with a Dutch cider that tasted very similar to a sparkling wine. We then got to try my favorite dish of the day a bitterballen which was described as a fried beef stew. It was out of this world and was served with mustard. If there were twenty of these things I would have easily eaten them all.
The canal cruise was an hour or so and during the captain pointed out the landmarks and we were served a local beer and cheeses as well. It was such a gorgeous day that it was hard not to keep from looking from side to side from the boat while enjoying both the beer and cider.
Our last stop on the food tour was Cafe De Prins where we got to have their famous poffertjes which are mini, fluffy pancakes. Jenn went absolutely nuts here on these. Of anything on the tour she absolutely devoured these and even took one of mine. It was a nice way to end the trip with a Dutch sweet that both Jenn and I could absolutely get behind. We departed our tour a little after 2PM and walked around another gorgeous day in Amsterdam.
We came back to the hotel a little after 4PM and began re-packing and getting ready for our train trip to Berlin. When I sit back and reflect on our time here in Amsterdam I have to say that this city really impressed me. You hear it's a city all about prostitution and drugs, and sure there is that, but along side that are great people and an absolutely stunning city. We absolutely loved our time here in Amsterdam and will be sad to waive it goodbye from the train tomorrow morning.
But the trip must go on so goodbye to the beautiful city of Amsterdam and we will see you tomorrow Berlin, we're ready for you.