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We’ve Arrived in Amsterdam

We are finally here in Amsterdam! We arrived by train and decided to walk to the apartment. The owner gave us detailed directions and we also had a printout of a Google map with the route indicated. I was so prepared! And it was worth it, not a single wrong turn or moment of confusion. The walk took about 25 minutes and was along some of the prettiest streets and canals I have ever seen.

We went into the apartment building and up two flights of stairs —fairly steep and narrow, though I’ve heard there are worse. When we opened the door to the apartment I was so impressed by the bank of windows with sunlight pouring through. It was such a welcoming sight. And take a look at the view:

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The apartment is everything the website says it is—perhaps more. There is fully stocked kitchen and I don’t just mean the usual cooking implements, pots and pans. The owners go a step beyond and actually stock the kitchen with food: breads, milk, juice, yogurt, cheeses, sliced meats, preserves, beer, Pepsi, lots of cookies, chocolate, a huge bowl of fruit, plus all the basics like coffee, tea, butter, condiments, and a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine already chilled in the refrigerator. We are set.

There is also high speed Internet access for our laptop, and I wasted no time in sitting down and checking my email.

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The decor and furnishings are very nice—some modern Ikea touches along with some interesting collectables and warm colors. The bathroom is very, very small and quaintly old-fashioned. The kitchen is small, too, but has everything you could possibly need (including a dishwasher built into the bottom of the stove).

After settling in and getting a quick orientation, we needed to get out for dinner. We picked a traditional Dutch restaurant within walking distance that was in the apartment recommendation book. As we were leaving the owner mentioned that they had recently changed to an Italian restaurant. We could not escape our fate.

When we got there, the name of the restaurant was still named Koevoet (Lindenstraat 17, telephone: 020 624 08 46), but the menu was all Italian food. The decor remained traditionally Dutch—absolutely charming and cozy. Clearly it was popular because they were full, so we left our name and went for a walk. It was already dark, so we couldn’t see everything, but we definitely started to get a feel for the Jordaan neighborhood. When we went back the restaurant, there was short wait, but they poured us a glass of Prosecco and we chatted with them at the bar. I knew at that point that we were in for a really great meal.

They seated us at a cozy corner table by the back window and we ordered a half liter of wine. They automatically brought a pitcher of iced tap water. The water here is delicious, so perhaps we can save a little money by not having to buy bottled water. We split our usual favorite Caprese Salad, which was an excellent example of its kind, every ingredient was perfect. Then I had the mixed ravioli of about 4 different types—each one better than the last.

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Steve had the Pasta Bolognese which was also perfection.

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So here we had our favorite Italian food, in a traditional Dutch setting. What more could we want? Unfortunately we had no room for their tasty looking desserts, so we each ordered an espresso to help us on the short walk back to the apartment. Our meal came to 50 euros (about $70)—an extremely good value for the quality.

We slept well and then this morning woke up around 7:30 to the pleasant purr of construction on the street below us. Yes, we just so happened to time our visit with the repaving and new gas and sewer line work on this street. But we have a kitchen full of tasty things for breakfast and a washer/dryer so we can have some clean clothes, as we venture out at some point today to explore the city.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 3, 2007 3:46 AM.

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