Sunday, April 18, 2010

Amsterdam in 72 Hours

After the encaustic art class ended on Saturday, we jumped on a train to Amsterdam, traveling with our lovely new friend, Kerstin (above), from Hamburg. She had planned to fly home, but no flights were happening here, so we spent a most delicious evening together. Kerstin invited us to a fantastic restaurant called "Looks" in the A'dam Chinatown area. We all ordered the "chef's surprise" menu which gave us an extraordinary 5 course meal of whatever the chef decided we should eat!

So we had "lamb pastrami", thinly sliced and deeply flavored meat; a light and succulent shaved salmon with a dill sauce and salmon roe sprinkled on top. Next a mixed seafood dish with clams, mussel, scallops, and Dutch shrimp - the favorite of all of us. The seared entrecote of beef was served with tiny cubes of golden potatoes and juicy greens. Finally, a plate of assorted dessert tastes - chocolate, rhubarb, banana bread, and more. YUM!

Kerstin is somebody who we both loved from the moment we met her in Tilburg. She's an amazing artist, has lived all over the world, speaks a large handful of languages, is a mom, is smart, funny, perceptive, and kind. Most of all, she is a soulful and beautiful spirit, someone we just know will be a cherished friend forever. we were sad to say goodbye at about midnight and then rush to catch the last tram back to our hotel.

Thus began another memorable adventure! We missed our tram stop, overshot it by several stops, and by the time we realized it, it was 12:30 am, tram service was over for the night, and we were in a business district on the outskirts of town without a phone, and no signs of life anywhere - just closed up office buildings. The tram driver had advised us "take the night bus" , but we saw no buses or bus stops. It was chilly. We thought about trying to walk back into town along the tram line, but those lines split and merge and we weren't sure we'd follow the right one. As we stood in the dark contemplating our options, a couple emerged from a building. We asked for help. They phoned a taxi for us, and wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, we made it back to our hotel around 1 am, exhausted, but so happy to be in our tiny ship's cabin of a room.Will post more about Amsterdam as we are traveling by train today, heading for Berlin. By the way, the iPad has not yet been introduced in Europe. It does not preview here until June. So everywhere I open mine, it causes quite a stir of interest. We have heard of people who flew to New York to get one in early April!

-- Posted From My iPad

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