Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Amsterdam: Mystical Fishing Villages

On the Sunday Morning, I lazily got up and headed to visit the fishing villages outside of Amsterdam - Volendam and Marken. 

I got the Go Dutch local bus pass which allows you to take the bus routes above out of Amsterdam to other villages. So, I first trammed to Centraal Station and caught the EBS 316 bus to Volendam which ran every 15 minutes.

And it was definitely a nice breather from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.

The pretty Volendam harbour.

I headed to the Cheese Factory in Volendam which had lovely tasters and had a short demonstration of the manufacturing of cheese (for free too!)

But then I got peckish and headed to get some sweet treats.

I had to choose between waffles.

Or mini pancakes.

So in the end I got a fresh batch of mini pancakes (he actually had to make the batter from scratch) smothered in nutella with sliced bananas. Although I had to wait about 15-20 minutes for it, it was absolutely worth it! 

When I saw enough of Volendam, I took the ferry to Marken which ran every 90 minutes. 
Once again, it was cheaper to buy the tickets online. 

While staring out at the contrails in the sky.

I arrived at Marken which was significantly quieter than Volendam, 
I guess I totally forgot it was a Sunday so everything was rather closed.

The houses there looked like illustrations from a children's story book.

And the goats were fun to play with.

As the clog-making factory was closed, I had to settle for a tree carved into numerous clogs.

And pretty wall decorations.

The entire village had a mystical feel to it.

It was really fun just skipping around the place, as if I had entered a story book and there was nobody else but me. 

After the desire for mystical feels were satisfied, I hopped on the 315 bus back to Centraal Station and just wandered around the city once again.

Using another Groupon deal, I had another amazing Turkish dinner in Amsterdam at Bistro Bos. 

Starters included
Deep fried prawn or goat's cheese spring roll
Rumeli Cacigi (tsatsiki yoghurt, garlic, cucumber and olive oil)
Patlican Salata (roasted eggplant with peppers, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice)
Muammara (hot red pepper tapenade with walnuts and pomegranate syrup)
Patlican Ezme (roasted eggplant in yoghurt with garlic, olive oil)

lamb skewers, 2 chicken skewers, 6 köftes, two lamb chops with rice, salad and fries. 

What was really interesting and slightly embarrassing on my part was that, I finally learnt the art of using a knife and fork. Personally, in Malaysia I was very much used to just eating with fork and spoon, chopsticks, or with my hands.

The fork and knife combo had not really been taught to me nor was I good at it in any way.
It was very comical to say the least.

And at the end, I washed it down with the house red, Merlot.
It was only €9.95 for 50cl as well. 
Personally, the appetisers were way better than the main course. But I got great service from the restaurant as well as they even let me switch to a better table once I saw a nicer one open up.

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