The drive from Berlin to Amsterdam was the longest of the trip so we were up nice and early to avoid peak hour traffic as we were leaving Berlin. Most of us slept during the drive waking up for the occasional toilet stop and our picnic lunch. We made it into Amsterdam by 4.30 and our first stop was on the outskirts of the city to visit a cheese and clog factory, where we learnt the processes used for both and had the opportunity to sample some cheese. Dropped off at our hostel in the city and we had little bit of time to get ready before our night out in the Red Light District. We were given a quick walking tour of some of the main sites of the city such as Dam Square and the National Monument. We arrived in the Red Light District and had time for a quick bite to eat, I grabbed a very non-tradtional Dutch food- the kebab, before settling in to watch a live sex show. The show itself was more awkward than erotic and spent a lot of time just laughing at the volunteers from our tour group that got to participate in the show.
The next day started with a bike tour in the morning. This was interesting mostly because I hadn’t ridden a bike in who knows how many years so spent a lot of the trip trying not to running into cars, people, trams etc. We did stop at a few sights such as the Skinny Bridge and the Anne Frank house, which was to good to get some bearings before we set out to explore on our own. After the tour, we walked back to the Anne Frank House and waited around an hour to get in. It was definitely another one of those bucket list moments, having read the book when I was growing up and then I was actually there in the house. Did a little bit of souvenir shopping on our way back to the hostel where I had a nap to prepare for the last evening of the tour. Dinner was at a huge floating Chinese restaurant and then we finished the night with a canal cruise around the city before visiting a few bars and clubs to celebrate the last night of the tour.
Sadly, Amsterdam is another of those cities where I didn’t get to try all that much traditional food. So once again Google was my friend as I attempted to find something Dutch to prepare. After searching, I settled on Erwtensoep or Snert, Dutch pea soup, which is a soup packed full of peas, vegetables and different pork products. Apparently, for the recipe to be made correctly it needs to be thick enough to hold up a spoon and mine did just that.
For dessert, I chose the traditional Poffertjes, mini pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour. While I did not have a proper pan with all the little holes to cook them in, it still worked well enough in my large frypan however only one side was rounded not both. They still tasted great covered in little butter and a sprinkling of icing sugar.