Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Amsterdam thus far.

It should be a sin to be sitting at a computer writing a blog with at least 4 hours of daylight remaining. But it is already dark in Egypt (thanks to those wishing to cheat on the upcoming Ramadan festivities) and here in Amsterdam there in little hope of the sun setting on the year's longest day...wishful thinking on my part.

Our escape from Egypt went pretty smooth with the exception of the heavy traffic jam on the way out of Alex. We booked three nights at the red room in a building owned by Hans. Hans was at one time a famous fashion photographer turned eccentric artist who likes to unite the different cultures of the world under his roof. The red room boasts that we are sleeping 250 feet from Rembrandt's painting Night Watch at the Rijks Museum across the street. If that wasn't enough of a selling point, The Van Gogh Museum is a few steps further. 

Rembrandt's Night Watch
The good news is that we aren't near the infamous Red Light District, "Coffee Shops", or party central...nope we're too lame for that...and let that thought be solidified by where we had dinner tonight. First, we were seated for dinner by 6 pm (lunch by Egyptian and Spaniard standards); next we held the title for being the youngest people in the restaurant. I told Ana that it felt like we were at the Chicken Pie Shop in San Diego...a favorite amongst the post depression era crowd. It can be said if we were Dutch we'd be dining with our grandparents. The eatery is called Hap-Hmm (lit. Delicious Bite) and it was exactly that. The tiny family owned restaurant opened in 1935 and it is all local and so were the prices. We could have spent double on a more touristic meal in a more saturated part of the city. But for 30 Euros we pigged out main courses, dessert, and beverages. The fare was a simple plate of meat, potatoes, and veggies-my dad would have loved it.

Bar 22. Hans made a bar in his home, and has a DJ and musicians show up at random times.

The garden leading out from the bar.

My meal at Hap Hmm
Ana's meal.

Ice cream

Raspberry, whip cream, and custard.

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