Being still relatively new to Amsterdam, Roxy and I had been reluctant to journey very far on our bikes. If it was more than a kilometer or 2 away, we just took the bus/tram/metro to get there. This weekend we were determined to change that, so we made a couple of long (for us) trips. First, we set out from our apartment in Zeeburg to De Pijp. We parked our bikes at Saphartipark, and walked up to Albert Cuyp. There, we found a stand that sells turkey! We already made plans for Thanksgiving at Hard Rock, but I think turkey at Christmas would be great.
Saphartipark looks great, there were tons of dogs running around, playing, jumping into the water to chase after the ducks. Exactly the kind of place we want to live near for Churchill. After spending some time walking around De Pijp, we can see why it’s one of the more popular neighborhoods to live in. Nice little bars and cafes are everywhere, and lots of great places to go.
Later that day, we took Churchill down to Flevopark. Now, on our several previous trips to Flevopark, we haven’t been very impressed. It turns out that we hadn’t really explored it at all, just a narrow corner of it. With Churchill, we discovered a large field with a nice sized lake, and dogs running everywhere. We took him off his leash, and for 15 glorious minutes he ran and sniffed and explored. Every so often he would get a little too far away from us, and then he would notice and come galloping toward us, like “here I am!”
Monday, we started Dutch lessons, so on Sunday we took a practice bike ride down to Magere Brug, which is right next to our lessons. From there we explored the area around the Amstel river, and as we rode down a street, we stumbled onto “Winterland Amsterdam”, which was in Rembrantplein. There were tons of food booths, and a small ice skating rink set up. We wandered around there for a bit before going into a coffee shop (NOT a “coffeeshop”) to warm up and eat a muffin. It’s experiences like this that make me really happy we moved to Amsterdam. Gezellig (the dutch word that is best translated as “cozy life”) indeed.
Monday night we attempted our first nighttime distance ride, and we went down to Molly Malone’s in the Centrum for a pub quiz with some other expats. For anybody who has moved to a new city, I highly recommend getting on Meetup.com or Meetin.org and finding some events to attend. Through Meetup, we’ve gone bowling twice, seen the new Harry Potter movie, and gone to a few pubs. So far we’ve only gone out to dinner with some folks from Meetin.org, but all in all, we’ve met people from New York, North Carolina, New Zealand, Australia, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Canada, Spain, the UK, and others.
If the weather cooperates this weekend, we may try to get out of AMS and go see some other cities. Blokker has a deal right now where you get 2 full-day train passes for just 30 Euro, so we may pick that up and go check out Rotterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, Leiden, or other places.