Thursday, April 30, 2009


OK, so I ran out of credit and that whole idea didn't go according to plan...

I will be posting live pictures straight from my phone to this blog from National/Queens Day celebrations in Amsterdam today.

Stay tuned for the party!

Monday, April 20, 2009

We've found our new home!

Last Friday we answered an add in the Marktplaats listings for a gorgeous flat right next to Vondelpark. On Saturday we went and had a look and completely fell in love. The apartment was so spacious, with heigh ceilings, large windows and two balconies! This evening the landlord called with the good news and we move in on May 1st!

Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flowers, flowers, everywhere flowers

In our Netherlands Lonely Planet Guide it says not to leave home without an appreciation for flowers.

This is great, because I can't get enough of flowers. I love the textures, the patterns and the colors. Flowers inspire me to be artistic, to paint and create new things. It is so easy to see why so many great artists were inspired by the spring colors in Europe, they are truly magnificent here.

It is somewhat ironic that I say this because when I was a little girl I dreaded my mother dragging me into every florist/nursery when we went shopping. She spent what felt like hours looking at plants and flowers, she would put the leaves or flowers in her hands and smile and say "look at this beautiful thing, god has made such beautiful things" I would role my eyes, cross my arms and whine to get going.

Now, I just can't wait for her to be here next spring to see these!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Guilt in a paper wrapper

While in The Netherlands these past 9 days we have made an effort to try as much Dutch food as possible. Ham and cheese on bread for breakfast has been a big hit. Fries with mayonnaise however, has probably cured me of my addiction to fried potatoes.

So far we have tried:

Hachee: Beef stew with gravy served with red cabbage and potatoes.

Hutsput(?): Mashed potatoes with carrot and meatballs.

bitterballen: Beer battered deep fried meatballs.

Krokets: Deep fried rolls with meat? inside.

Patat: Fried potatoes with mayonnaise and even worse;

Patatje Oorlog: Fried potatoes with onion, mayonnaise and satay sauce (to my defense, it was actually Mats who ate this!).

Patat & patatje oorlog.

"It started out really tasty, like many other disgusting things" - Mats.

Poffertjes: Mini pancakes with lots of icing/powdered sugar and butter.


Traditional Dutch food recipes can be found here.
This article was inspired by Mats' article on Dutch Food.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where are all the fun police that I'm so used to?

It didn't take long for Amsterdam to feel like home (of course, only after the initial shock of coffeshop after coffeshop wore off). The most obvious thing to me is the laid back carefree and friendly attitude. Coming from Sydney, where everything you do is governed by about 25,000 rules that are plastered everywhere, all over the streets, on public transport and in almost every commercial building, Amsterdam is a free mans mecca.

In Amsterdam on a sunny day people take their tables and chairs and sit outside on the footpath to soak up the yummy sunny weather. As we walk past they smile and say hello. I automatically think of Manly - Sydney, If this was to happen there, there would surely be an outcry of cranky people sending letters of complaint to the local council and the local newspaper, within a week there would be a sign telling you not to loiter on the footpath.

In Amsterdam adults use common sense. In Manly you're told by a big sign that you're not allowed to spike peoples drinks with GHB.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Amsterdam in a Day and a Half

Packed our lives into 3 boxes, 2 large backpacks, 2 carry on backpacks, 2 suit bags, 1 small suitcase and 1 canvas bag.

Relaxed with a book in Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport for 2 hours.

Checked into our temporary new home.

Strolled around town.

Decided we wanted an apartment overlooking a canal.

And a couple bikes.

And maybe a pet? ;)