Saturday, 21 August 2010

Amsterdam - Herrings,Herons and Canals

Marina was so hungry and just couldn't wait for the first course..

Enjoyed a very special Evening cruise and 5 course dinner around the canals. Lots of Champagne and wine flowing well. A perfect way to round off a wonderful day!.

As well as a Parakeet colony there are also lots of Grey Herons, which can frequently be seen in the canals. Usually found in the warmer parts of Europe, the Grey Heron has become a very common sight in Amsterdam in recent decades. The herons hunt as they usually would but also eat food discarded by humans.

Outside the Anne Frank Huis.

The Jordaan is also the location of the Anne Frank house,where the famous teenage diaries were written. The building itself is an old merchant's house built in 1635. There were already long slow moving queues forming so we decided not to go inside. Her father, Otto Frank took his family into hiding in tiny rooms above the business premises. Which is where they stayed for 25 months in virtual secrecy until some lowlife betrayed them to the authorities. Born in 1929 she was to die tragically young in March 1945 in the Nazi death camp at Belsen.

Looking across the canal at the Anne Frank house, already queues are round the block.

The Jordaan is home to many art galleries, particularly for modern art. The neighbourhood is also dotted with speciality shops and restaurants, and markets are held regularly. The most common theory on the origin of the name is as a derivation of the French word jardin, meaning garden. Most streets and canals in the Jordaan are named after trees and flowers.
It is a lovely relaxed area of the city and ideal for chilling out by the canal with a chilled beer - Just like we did.

Enjoying my Herring - couldn't persuade Marina to join me though!

Started the weekend in traditional Dutch style with raw Herring for breakfast. Traditionally, the fish (minus its head) is eaten by grabbing it by the tail, throwing one’s head back, and — while gently lowering the fish into the mouth. I opted to have mine in a bread roll along with diced onion and pickles. And the taste..? Lets just say it was love at first bite!
In fact Amsterdam owes it's very existence to the Herring. A permanent settlement came into place when they learned how to preserve the fish so that more could be brought ashore. The settlement in question was in the centre of Amsterdam,Dam Square.

The plan was to have a slow wander up to the Jordaan district of Amsterdam stopping off for the odd beer of course.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Pete,

    I noticed the love you have for Nightwish because you wear their T-Shirts even when you travel on vacation, that is awesome. Amsterdam looks really cool. Those must be nice tour spots where you guys were at.