Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Europe - Pit Stop 5 - Amsterdam - Day 2

I woke up excited!! Pancake bakery, Van Gogh museum, Red Light district...today was going to be a fabulous day!

After downing a cup of green tea, we quickly got ready and walked out straight to the Pancake bakery. The rumor has it that they have one of the best pancakes in town :)  We were promptly greeted with a long queue. Almost a 40 minute wait. Well like obedient kids we stood in line patiently waiting for our name to be called. Once seated, we ordered the yummiest pancakes!!
Pancake bakery 
The wait was absolutely worth it. In a few minutes, 2 huge pancakes were staring at our face screaming out loud -- EAT ME!! And eat we did, like no one's business...they were delicious!!! BuRRRPPPP !!! 

Chicken and cheese pancake

More bicycles

Lovely outdoor cafe 

Street signs
Typical homes in Amsterdam
After we stuffed our faces with delicious pancakes, we headed out for the very famous Van Gogh museum.  The wonderful tram transported us to the museum for less than 2 euros each. The next 2 hours were delightful!!

I absolutely loved the Van Gogh museum. We already had tickets to the museum (thanks to our concierge) so we skipped the lines and went in. Bought the audio guide and went straight to his collection. The experience was amazing, the paintings were arranged in chronological order and each one had a beautiful story to tell. Stories about his struggle as an artist, the world around him, the various influences and stages of his life and the world around him,  I stood and stared in amazement at each of the 200 odd pieces of creativity. Listening to stories so meaningful and so touching. Here is a glimpse of what might have been his last painting before he shot himself.

Wheat fields with crows was Van Gogh's most powerful and fiercely debated paintings. Some see this painting as his suicide note put to canvas, while others have a more positive approach to it. The painting is turbulent, and certainly conveys a sense of loneliness in the fields - a powerful image of Van Gogh as a defeated and solitary artist in his final years
Wheat fields with crows  - Van Gogh
I Love Amsterdam!
I came out of the museum wanting to paint like him :) What a foolish thought!! The museum shop is stacked with everything Van Goghyyyy. Don't worry if you can't paint like him, you certainly can own clothes, mugs, magnets, calendars, etc etc with his paintings on it. They left no object out!!  We decided to walk back to our hotel. Maybe a 2-3 mile walk. And glad we walked because we passed some amazing boutiques on the way that left a deep hole in my pocket!!  I specially love this sign on the way and thought it was neat. 

We walked through Jordaan, a characteristic neighborhood filled with cafes, boutiques, bookstores and art galeries. Things unique and common to Amsterdam, but no other city in the world. Here is a picture of the typical houses in Amsterdam. They crowd together shoulder to shoulder. Most of them have big tall windows to bring in as much light as possible. Along the rooftops are Amsterdam's famous gables that come in all shapes and sizes. They are false fronts to enhance the roofs. 
Van Zuylen cafe - famous for its variety of beers

I was extremely excited for the evening. We were going to check out the Red light district and instead of going alone we decided to take Randy Roy's Red light district tour. This is a 90 minute walking tour and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a first timer at the red light district. Our tour guide Kimberly was  extremely knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. She knew the area well and did a great job and our group was small and very manageable. We felt very comfortable and safe and I enjoyed the tour.
Red Light District 
Unesco Heritage homes 
One of the canals in the Red Light district 
One of the oldest bars in Amsterdam 

After a wonderful tour of the red light district, we walked back to our hotel. There was a sudden urge to eat some delicious dessert and so we decided to go check out the apple pie at Winkel. This apple pie is hands down the best I have ever eaten. It was delicious!!! And the best part is, it costs only 3 euros :)
They have the best Apple tart and it's only 3 Euros :) 
The walk back to our hotel was beautiful. The canals were all lit up and sparkling. The city looked gorgeous and romantic. Such a beautiful and fun city. I loved every bit of day 2.


Tiffany said...

you should have bought the I LOVE AMSTERDAM sign... ;) And was that a PIZZA pancake?!!!

Shruti Kapoor said...

I should have i know :) That was a caprese pancake..so delicious!

Melissa Blake said...

Great photos -- I'd love to hop on one of those boats! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

Shruti Kapoor said...

Thanks Melissa!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats ~ Found your blog on Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks good, keep them coming !