A Rainy Final Day in HollandOctober 7, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌧 12 °C
This morning we slept in a bit more and had a more leisurely breakfast which included fresh pancakes with mascarpone and berry compote. Then we got ready for the day.
Our initial plans that we made the night before were to do some shopping in the morning and then in the afternoon we would split up. Brooke would head to the Rijksmuseum and I would rent a bicycle and pedal around the city. We had looked at the weather forecast the night before and it had said 40% chance of shower during the day. (Aside - back on the cruise ship we had overheard some Americans and one guy was insisting that the 40% rain means that 40% of the city is going to get rain. Gotta love Americans right? But maybe he was right because it rained the entire day). I was quite happy we took two umbrellas this time.
First order of business was shopping for delft, the blue and white pottery dishes from Holland. We walked over in the rain to a store I had looked up. We first looked at the really expensive hand painted royal delft, but there was no way we could justify a $200 small plate. Went downstairs and Brooke picked out a delft spoon rest (since we need one in our kitchen) and a six-egg holder for pysanka. Then it was back out into the rain and over to the hotel to drop off our purchases.
Next order of business was finding some stroopwafels! I had looked up earlier where to get the best ones in the city (really learned my lesson from back in Rothenburg with the schneeballes) and there was a little shop in an outdoor market not to far from our hotel. Found our way over there and it was definitely the spot to go, the two guys are making fresh stroopwafels right in front of you. We proceeded to buy 82 stroopwafels! Two large ones to enjoy and a bunch to take home! The one we ate was so hot and fresh with warm oozy caramel. Then it was back to the hotel still in the rain to drop off our goodies.
Since it was right around noon, I took the opportunity to check in to our flight for tomorrow. Afterwards we made a plan for the afternoon. Because it was still raining i ended up not renting a bike since it would be no fun at all. We ended up deciding to go over to the Rijksmuseum together instead.
Over at the museum area it was incredibly busy since clearly everyone else had the same thought as us. Over at the ticket booth we found out that the Van Gogh museum was actually sold out for the day. Got our tickets and then we needed to find some food so I wouldn't go grumpy pants in an art gallery.
Walked a bit and found an outdoor burger / hot dog stand with some really gormet hot dogs. Mine had cheese, bacon, salami, sauerkraut, and a pickle relish. It really hit the spot as we ate under a picnic table umbrella, standing because the seats were wet.
We went into the museum and got in line. Turns out we couldn't take our wet umbrellas and had to leave them in a corner. The Rijksmuseum is a very large art gallery all focused on Dutch painters. My favourite piece was the Night Watch. Brooke for sure outlasted Tyler because I needed multiple spots to rest and avoid the crowds. Overall I still don't understand art galleries but I'll turn it over to Brooke for some more astute commentary.
I don't know if I understand art galleries any more that Tyler does, but I do enjoy seeing a good one once in a while. And I think the Rijksmuseum is a good one. We started up on the second floor, where most of the important stuff can be found. We started with some 16th century Delft which was neat to see. At the start, we did actually spend a bit of time in each of the rooms. We read about the Battle of Medway ... seems to be an important part of history here and there was a lot of art depicting the event. As always, we did take the chance to see some of the more renowned pieces - Rembrandt's Night Watch and The Jewish Bride, Vermeer's The Milkmaid, and Van Gogh's self portrait. We capped it off with some more Delft and a room full of armor and weapons. It may not seem like much, and there certainly is lots more to see there, but it took the majority of the afternoon. I'm glad we went though!
Once we finished at the museum we were both quite fatigued. Brooke found a place to go get some fancy french fries and beer. On our way over we managed to stop for 2 more fresh stroopwafels at the same spot bringing the total count to 85 stroopwafels! Yum!
The bar we were looking for was called Boca's Bar and it seemed to be a popular young local spot. We had the appetizer of three different types of fries, regular, sweet potato, and curly along with three different dips. We also sampled three different small glasses of beer (Jubiler, Hertog and Oedipus. While we were there we searched for a place for dinner on the free wifi. Neither of us were in a decisive mood but we landed on an Italian place called Ciao Bella.
We went back to the hotel with not that much rain but still really overcast. We asked the concierge to make a reservation for us. He suggested another place and we gladly accepted. He offered to make a reservation and would call us when complete.
After a little bit we still hadn't heard from him so I went up to check. He wasn't able to get a reservation so we went back to our original idea and he called and found out that they are only open til 9 and we could grab a seat if we were there by 7:30. It was 7:10 right now.
I ran downstairs, grabbed Brooke, and we hurried out the door. Walked for 10 minutes to find the place and we were not really sure if we're in the right area. We eventually figure it out and it turns out to be a light Italian lunch place with essentially one long wooden table to sit at. They have pastas but it looks like they would scoop up the premade stuff and reheat it. We think oh well at least they have red wine. Turns out they don't have a liquor license to serve alcohol, it is only for take away. Very odd? We chose to abandon this place and find something different.
Back out into the rain we go up the road, stop at one place but they are fully booked. Eventually we find our way to Rembrandt square again and stop in the first pub we see since it was really starting to rain. Ended up being an English Pub called The Old Bell. We sat down and enjoyed dinner. Brooke had a chicken satay and I had a seasonal sausage with mash. It really hit the spot!
To finish off our last evening in Europe we just went back to our hotel to pack up and get organized for tomorrow. Had one last drink at the hotel bar as we figured out transit to the airport tomorrow.
It has been an awesome time in Europe and we are sad to go back home (especially back to work). But at the same time we are ready to be done with living out of a suitcase. It's been a great time travelling with my best friend!
Tyler and BrookeRead more