Amsterdam; one of my favourite cities in Europe

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

As promised a post on my latest travels, this time I was in Amsterdam for a long weekend. I usually try and go back once a year to visit family and friends but I hadn’t been back in two years, so I was well overdue a visit and thoroughly enjoyed myself. From visiting family and friends, traipsing around Amsterdam and Marken and eating all my favourite Dutch foods, it was once again, a busy weekend.

Uitsmijter with ham and cheese

Uitsmijter with ham and cheese

Friday morning saw me taking another early flight, from Gatwick this time, with Easyjet. I was picked up by my uncle and aunt in Schiphol and after dropping my bag off we wandered to the Albert Cuyp market for a spot of lunch. I had an Uitsmijter – which literally means bouncer, – which is a traditional Dutch breakfast/lunch consisting of two or three fried eggs, sunny side up served on bread with ham and cheese, it was divine. I may have mentioned my partiality to Dutch cheese before, so much so that I even brought a great big slab of Gouda back to London with me.

I amsterdam

I amsterdam (city marketing)

Dam Square

Dam Square

Friday afternoon was spent wandering around Amsterdam, retracing the steps of many a previous wander through the city from when I lived there. I was surprised at how much I remembered and I didn’t get lost once. From Centraal, through Dam Square, the Kalverstraat, the Bloemenmarkt

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

(flower market), Leidseplein, the Vondelpark, Museumplein and the Albert Cuyp, we did a lot of walking around the city over the weekend. My uncle and I also went through the entrance of the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum, which had been closed for renovations for the past 10 years, it looked pretty impressive and very different. Next time I visit, I’ll be sure to pop in to see what the whole museum looks like now.

Marken

Marken

Marken lighthouse

Marken lighthouse

My friend picked me up on Saturday morning and we went to her and her boyfriends new house in the beautiful traditional, almost museum like peninsula town of Marken just outside Amsterdam. Marken is very pretty and quaint and their house is beautiful, they are in the process of doing it up spectacularly with lots of wood. The village gets a lot of tourists on

Marken

Marken

a daily basis, sometimes it feels like you are in the middle of an outdoor museum with crowds of people traipsing past and taking pictures of the houses. On Sunday morning before leaving we walked through the beautiful Dutch countryside along the dykes to the Marken lighthouse. It was a beautiful but windy morning, a great way to build up an appetite.

Applegebak

Appelgebak

The Dutch, among other things, are known for their great apple cakes, or

Vlaamse Frites

Vlaamse Frites

Appelgebak as it’s called in Dutch. Filled with flavours and spices, they really know how to make apple cake and yes I did indulge in one with a cappuccino on Sunday afternoon in a lovely little cafe on the Van Baerlestraat. But before the apple cake, and earlier in the day, I had a massive craving for Vlaamse Frites with mayonnaise, another traditional Dutch snack. Indulgent and carb heavy they were exactly how I remembered them!

As you can see it was another food heavy weekend, my uncle cooked my favourite dishes from when I lived with them, my friend had  baked a cake and made tasty snacks for her birthday drinks and I was determined to eat as much cheese as I possibly could. Unsurprisingly it’s a healthy diet for me for the next few weeks and a couple of weeks of quite before my next trip, this time it’s somewhat bigger but more about that at a later stage.

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