Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dutch Gastronomy

Amsterdam is a blur now or perhaps it always was ;) After our ticket fiasco we arrived into the loving arms of Steph, a dutch couchsurfer with the loveliest apartment in Haarlem. Attempting to find somewhere to couchsurf in Amsterdam and really in Europe in general has become ridiculously difficult which is why our stay with Steph was all the more special. In total we stayed there four nights and each evening after she finished massage school Steph would come out and enjoy Amsterdam or Haarlem with us.

As you would imagine most of our days were filled with visiting cafes, exclaiming in awe at the beautiful architecture, eating tons of amazing food and visiting the sex museum. I must say one of my favourite things this time round was the food, thick dark loaves of bread, handmade farmer’s cheese, stroop wafels, hearty soups. It was really my kind of cooking and my body really enjoyed it too!! We found one restaurant we especially loved called CafĂ© Latei. They made amazing sandwiches, great coffee, delicious desserts, tasty soup and on evenings they had a special Ethiopian menu and everything in the store was for sale and I mean everything probably even the dishes we ate off of. All in all I think we ended up going there three or four times.

We were lucky enough to be in Amsterdam during 11/11/11 and get told about a meditation for peace at the Dam (a huge monument in central Amsterdam). It was a very cool experience sharing meditation with a bunch of strangers who may not speak your language, but in our common desire to change the world we can come together and communicate with our souls. I give props to everyone who was there as it was cold! And we certainly did not make it through the full hour without having to scamper off to a warm restaurant to warm our toes and fingers. Once we were nice and warm we went out to Ruigoord, a small little neighbourhood that had been annexed for demolition but squatters had prevented it and they turned the area into an awesome little hippy village. So we danced away with our hoola hoops for world hoop day in an old church that had been saved by a bunch of hippies :D

I definitely loved Holland. It feels the closest to home of most of the places I have been. Everyone thought we were locals and were so friendly. The bicycles everywhere and no one wears helmets. As Steph’s mom said you would only get a helmet for a child who kept falling off a bike because they obviously had serious problems and needed a helmet :P The occupy movement was also very self evident there with camps set up everywhere and flyers and talks going on. It has been a powerful time to be travelling and witnessing all that is going on. 

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