Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lunch and a Goodbye Dinner in Amsterdam

After the bike tour, Josie and I headed back to the Vondelpark so that we could have lunch at the Blue Teahouse inside. We enjoyed all the tulips the park had to offer as well as some interesting sculptures. There were a lot of people lounging about the park enjoying the sunshine and it would be a very nice place to have a picnic.

Our guide told us that the Blue Teahouse had once been a sort of post office for travellers to receive mail as they were travelling through.  The building was pretty interesting in its different tiers. We selected a place to sit and went and ordered sandwiches. The sandwiches were good but the wait for them was a bit annoying. At first we were told fifteen minutes. Okay, we waited fifteen minutes then went up and were told five more minutes. Waiting again, Josie got her sandwich and I was told to wait another five minutes. So it took almost half an hour to get a half decent sandwich. Eh, the weather was beautiful and the company good so nothing to really complain about.

After enjoying the Vondelpark we headed to join the rather large line for the Vincent van Gogh Museum.  Admission to the museum is €15 for adults, and the hours vary depending on when you visit the museum. Josie and I parted ways so to enjoy the museum in our own ways and I wandered about, enjoying paintings I had only seen online or in pictures. Vincent van Gogh is one of my favourite artists and I was very happy to go to his museum.

After leaving Museum Square, I walked slowly back towards the hostel to meet up with the others in order to go to our dinner. We were to be having Chinese in a big restaurant on the water. Enjoying the canals for a little longer and listening to all the bicycles as they moved by. I finally met up with the group and once we were all together we set out to head to the Sea Palace where we would enjoy dinner and then go on a canal cruise.

The dinner was actually pretty good, of course it was no Chongqing in Vancouver but it did the job. As we were a large group, and it was part of our food fund, all we had to do was pay for the drinks we wanted. They did not have a Lime Ricky so I cannot actually remember what I drank. I think something alcoholic. After enjoying our food, some of us went down to enjoy the sun setting across the city before we all boarded our boat which was named 'Rembrandt."

We enjoyed shots of Flugel which reminded me quite a bit of fireball. I enjoyed a glass of beer and some wine as well. Open bar so why not.  The canal cruise was very enjoyable, getting to see the large houses from the water and also all the house boats that are on the canals. Some of them are really nice.  We went past a replica of the ship the Amsterdam which was an 18th-century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company. It was rebuilt by 400 volunteers using tools of the period. We went past some of the wind mills and the part where all the canals line up which was very cool.

 I really enjoyed the cruise and it was the perfect ending to my time in Amsterdam. Really hoping I can get back there soon.  It was also a goodbye to some of the people on the tour who would not be joining us in heading to London the next day.  After such a long time together, my trip was coming to an end.

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