I guess I have really embraced the Slow Travel Philosophy when I realize that we never strayed from our Jordaan neighborhood on our first full day in Amsterdam.
When we woke up it was raining, so we decided to have a leisurely breakfast and do some laundry. With washing machine cycles what they are in Europe (long!) that meant we had lots of time to also download photos and catch up on email. And, of course, we had plenty of food for breakfast. I do miss my espresso machine, but we were able to make a decent cup of coffee with the apartment's Senseo one cup machine.
We chatted with one of the friendly owners before heading out and so by the time we were out, it wasn't raining at all. We walked over to the Anne Frank House. We had been warned that the lines can be pretty bad, but we lucked out and there was only the shortest little line. It was so interesting to finally see the house that we have read so much about—a very moving experience. I brought The Diary of Anne Frank with me to read on the trip, but I've only just started it. Now, I am more interested than ever to continue reading.
After that we walked about and popped into a coffeeshop for an espresso macchiato. And so that I could say that I had at least been in a coffeeshop!
All over this neighborhood the streets and canals are so charming that we kept stopping on every bridge to take photos. And this area does not appear to be overly crowded either. It is very enjoyable for strolling, though you do have to watch out for those bicyclists—they're everywhere!
For an early dinner we went to The Pancake Bakery. Steve had the traditional Dutch split pea soup and I had a tomato, onion and mushroom pancake. This was quite unlike any other pancake I've ever had before and it was delicious. The pancake is thin like a crepe and the toppings seem to baked onto the top of it. With some Belgium Palm beer, we had quite a nice meal for only about 22 euro.
Then we stopped at an ATM and went to a grocery store. I know, such mundane little things, but it was nice to walk out of the store and to know our way back to the apartment without consulting the map. So we do feel like we've gotten to know our neighborhood a bit. Tomorrow we will venture out of this concentric circle to the next.