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Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 2

Posted by Rich Link on 11/19/2003 07:45:42 PM

=May 17 – Amsterdam=

Met our friends Paul & Mary Laskin, and their soon to be 10 year old daughter Erin. The Laskins have been living in Kent for the past two years, so a weekend trip to Amsterdam was a breeze for them. My wedding gift to them in 1984 was a homebrewing kit.

After a nice breakfast at the Hotel Amadeus, we took the train into Amsterdam. Figured out the tram system and headed for the Van Gogh Museum. I’m usually good for an hour or two of museum touring before I Work Up a Powerful Thirst (WUPT). The museum was very nice, and we had fun. But now we were hungry and thirsty. After trekking through the maze of restaurants in the restaurant row, we finally settled on an Italian place that really appealed to Erin. Not much of a beer list, so we had draught Heineken. That’s all I can say about that.

Walked along the canal to Anne Frank’s house. After the tour we were extremely WUPT! Finally found The Belgique, and settled in for a very nice session. La Trappe Dubbel, La Chouffe, Floreffe Abbey Blond, DeKonninck and VLO by t’Ij all on draught. Loved the VLO, with it’s coriander aroma mixed with nice hops and alcohol flavors. Followed those up with Orval, Rochefort 8 (they were out of the 10! Uggh!), Mort Subite Kriek, Tripel Karmeliet, Duvel and Mort Subite Geueze. Teresa, always the shy one – (NOT!), worked as the bartenders helper and was rewarded with shots of lemon jenever.

We had now Worked Up a Powerful Hunger (WUPH). At the Bruxelles in Haarlem we were told of a great Indonesian restaurant called Sama Sebo. We had passed it on the tram, so we knew how to get there. As we stepped off the tram, one of the greatest downpours I had ever seen began falling from the sky. We skipped over to Sama Sebo only to find out that they were full for the evening. In a torrential downpour we sought shelter in a small alcove around the corner, along with several other people and a dog. After it subsided, we made a dash to the tram and headed back toward restaurant row. We stopped into Hoopman Reijnders Hole in the Wall, an Irish pub. After ordering our pints of Guinness (body seemed light) and Kilkenny (nice hop aroma and flavor, with a deep amber malt base), it seemed that everyone within two blocks decided to light up a cigarette. We had to flee.

We eventually settled into a Paraguayan restaurant and had lots of red meat. Little Erin ordered the rib plate and got two full racks of baby back ribs! She did a pretty good job, but needed some help from her Uncle Rich. Again, a negligible beer list, so we settled for some wine.

It was now approaching 11 PM, and we decided to take a walk through the Red Light District. It was raining, and once we found it, Paul and I headed out by ourselves “just to see it.” It was pretty crowded, and a bit rowdy. But it was interesting. The hookers came in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages.

Back to the train at midnight and home to Haarlem.

=Next up in Part 3, The Keurkenhof and other nice sights.=

Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 2 - Rich Link, 11/19/03 07:45:42 PM

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