The Food of Amsterdam

From the moment we arrived in Amsterdam during our trip there, it became obvious that we were going to be eating a lot of seafood. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the reason for this, sitting on the coast with canals running throughout the city, Amsterdam is a seafood paradise, especially when it comes to shellfish. That doesn’t mean that seafood is the only thing that you can find, cheese is also very prominent and a source of pride for the country. Don’t worry, though, you can find plenty of beer and fried food as well.

Seafood Tower
Local Beer
Sushi Appetizer

One of the first things that we saw as we walked from our hotel into the heart of Amsterdam was a fish monger selling a wide variety of fresh fish. We love the idea of being able to walk to your local fish market and being able to purchase fish that was caught that morning and then serving it for dinner that evening. There were so many choices to choose from, including a national favorite, herrings. Unfortunately, since we didn’t have a kitchen, we weren’t able to buy any fish for ourselves, but that didn’t mean that we didn’t get our fill of fresh fish.

People Buying Fresh Fish
Decadent Desert
Utensils for Eating Seafood

We decided to go out for a nice dinner during our long weekend in Amsterdam and decided to get the “seafood tower”. It was a massive collection of a wide variety of shellfish including oysters, lobster, langoustines, crab, and other items that we’ve never seen before. The restaurant also featured a large, saltwater aquarium with a variety of colorful fish. Although the fish were beautiful, it did feel a little weird to eat a large meal of seafood while fish swam next to our table. On another day, we ate some clams and linguini in a white wine sauce that recently inspired us to create our own white wine sauce and fish dinner.

Part of the Seafood Tower
Oysters on the Half-Shell
Aquarium Fish

Another interesting meal that we had during our visit was a platter of meats, cheese, and fried croquets. Perhaps not the healthiest of choices, but it was tasty and very filling. The type of meal that sticks to your ribs. We also ate some sushi and a meal of lamb medallions with cheesy potatoes one evening as well as indulging in a rich desert. Of course we had some beer (bier) including Jopen, which is brewed in Haarlem, Netherlands. For an appetizer, we ate a crab dip that was flakey and delicious.

Meat, Cheese, and Fried Food
Another Local Beer
Clams and Linguini

We only had a few days in Amsterdam, but we really enjoyed the meals that we did have while we were there. Seafood, cheese, beer, fried foods, and meat, nothing to complain about there. Hopefully on our next trip to the Netherlands, we’ll have time to get out of the city and try some food in some of the smaller towns and villages.

We Wish We Could Have Bought Something
Medallions of Lamb with Cheesy Potatoes
Flakey Crab


Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Although we only had a couple of days in Amsterdam, one of the places that we wanted to visit was the Rijksmuseum.  It is the Dutch National Museum and is dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. It is also the largest art museum in the country and it displays more than 8,000 pieces. The building itself is actually quite beautiful and first opened its doors in 1885.

Clock Tower at the Museum
Oil Painting
Front of the Museum

There were a couple of things that we found quite interesting and made visiting this museum a little different than most other museums that we have visited. First was that there is a working library within the museum where people can read some of the literature that they have collected. Obviously, it isn’t a lending library and we aren’t sure what credentials are required to get access to the library, but it was interesting to see. The other thing was that they have an active display of art restoration in progress. Like everything else in life, art restoration has become extremely high-tech.

Library Inside of the Museum
Restoration Display
People Working in the Library

Of all of the artwork in the museum, The Night Watch by Rembrandt is probably the most famous. There are other famous Rembrandt paintings there as well, but this painting is definitely given a place of honor. We didn’t spend as much time in the museum as we would have hoped to, but we really enjoyed everything that we saw. The Rijksmuseum is definitely worth visiting if you have the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam.

The Night Watch by Rembrandt
Part of the Building Façade
Beautiful Exterior


Would You Live on a Houseboat?

When we were in Amsterdam, one of the common sights on the various canals were the different houseboats that were tied up all along the canal walls. We understand that the cost of buildings is extremely high in Amsterdam and living in a houseboat is an option to live there without having to purchase one of the townhomes that line either side of the canal. We see all of the new television shows about tiny living and having a tiny house on the water would probably suit a lot of people’s desires. We are definitely downsizing since all of our children are grown and live in various parts of the United States, but downsizing doesn’t mean having your bed in your kitchen, at least not to us. There are definitely some larger houseboats, but we’re not sure that we want to deal with all of the headaches that come along with boat ownership. Living on a houseboat might seem like a romantic way to live, but we’d rather live on firm ground. What are your thoughts?

Houseboats on a Canal
A Boxy Houseboat
Boats Tied to a Houseboat

For this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Motors for House or Garage, we selected a few photos of the houseboats of Amsterdam. They may or may not have working engines, but it isn’t likely that they ever go anyplace.

Big Windows and a Deck
Pretty Big Houseboat
Houseboat Neighbors
Houseboats are Part of the River Tours