So we finally made it! JFK to Frankfurt (where we saw that guy from the NBC show Las Vegas
, no not Jimmy Caan, the younger guy, whatever his name is) and then on to Amsterdam
. All the rumors are true, this city rocks! The number of bicycles outnumber the people and everyone, I mean everyone, is friendly. The whole language barrier thing has only been an issue with other tourists that we have met as our German is not so good just yet. The Dutch themselves all speak English very well. So much cool stuff to do here. Yesterday in a nutshell went like this: search around for an unmarked door that leads to a quiet square with the English Reformed Church in it (thanks Mike!) then go to a bar for some genever and Heniken Extra Cold.
The perfect advertisement
What is genever? It's a kind of gin that is made up here in The Netherlands. Really, really smooth stuff. Very tastey. Next on to Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace and cool touristy/chill out kinda place then go to a bar. Then another bar. Then we successfully scouted out the smallest house in all of Europe (it's about 2 meters wide). Our whole day was planned around starting at one point, diverting whenever we felt like it, and ending up at this mini-house thing. Like the saying goes, it's the journey not the destination. Very fitting in this case. The best parts of the day were walking down random alleys (not at all like alleys in US cities, these are safe secure and generally nice) and finding a pub where we didn't expect it or a cool shop.
Once we got to the mini-house we were like, "Oh. I guess it's small... so what do we do now?" What now? Simple answer, we go to Wynand Fockink!
A small distillery nestled in a small alleyway just off of Dam Square, this place was just plain cool. No music, no tvs, nothing except a small bar with people conversing and drinking down various fortified wines. I mean, we walk in, I tell the barkeep that I absolutely must try some fortified wine or forever be ostracized by my cousin Justine, and he tells us about all the different flavors that they make, 12 in all, and puts out a sample of each of them for us. Fortified wine appears to be a brandywine. I also told him that I am a big fan of Wynand Fockink's oude genever so he poured me a glass of that as well.
The pictures will hopefully do WF justice better than my description in my current groggy state.
We went out last night to watch the Euro Cup match between Germany and Portugal and ended up watching it in some random bar with a bunch of Germans in town for a quick holiday. We taught them some English and they taught us some German. I still don't know what the hell I said but I assume they were pretty bad swears because people laughed their asses off every time I said it to them. From there the night gets hazy... good times were had... maybe someone else remembers it better than me... I think genever is my new booze of choice.- Jon