Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Playing tour guide

I have a friend from Brasil visiting this week, so since I had the day off yesterday I gave her the whirlwind city tour ala Claire. Items on the itinerary included: a walk through the red light district, watching a free opera rehearsal (performed every Tuesday from 12:30-1pm), an hour long canal boat cruise, a walk down Leidsplein, a Belgian waffle drenched in chocolate with ice cream and whipped cream to boot, the insiders look of a canal boathouse, pictures in front of the I amsterdam sign at Museumplein, a leisurely stroll through Vondel park, and Chinese food to end the night on a good (tasting) note.

Yesterday was my first trip down the HISTORIC red light district. Although last week as I was minding my own business while walking down the road, in an area a distance away from the notorious red light district, and found myself smack dab in the center of red lights. I felt deceived. There may be some people who are pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the half naked women in the windows, but I'm not one of them. Call me old fashioned, but I personally like to be forewarned. It is interesting (and I'll add down right sad) to see these semi-clothed women standing in front of glass doors which have a corral-esq like feel to it. There is one glass door after another with dividers in between. How these women can degrade themselves is beyond me. Not only do they defile their bodies, but then they have the added embarrassment of looking like an animal in a stall.

I highly recommend the canal boat cruise to anyone who visits Amsterdam. It's only 7-8 Euros for an hour long ride. Try to find one where the very back is open to the elements. Otherwise, even though you're encased in a glass boat, you end up with pictures that really aren't that great. That is unless you like to see your reflection in the picture as well. Also, another word of advice, don't sit in the very front seat. That way the lady driving won’t keep telling you to stop talking while the audio (informing you where you are) plays, even though every other person in the boat is talking louder than you are.

The pursuit for the best Belgian waffle sundae continues. I took Cassia to Australian homemade... which again, is my favorite chocolate store. And I am now able do some comparisons between theirs and Ben and Jerry's Belgian waffle sundaes. Ice cream is great at either store. Whipped Cream is better at Australian. Chocolate is divine at Australian (since it's from Belgium). But, the waffle is nice and warm at Ben and Jerry's. It was room temperature at Australian Homemade. That was the only kicker. Next time I'll see if they can't warm up the waffle a bit before they add the toppings. Either way though, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I just wish it was calorie free and I'd have one every day.

And I quickly realized once I entered the canal boathouse, that I was too hasty in finding a place to live. I obviously didn't check all my options. Not that I'm complaining about where I live, because I absolutely love it. But talk about cool. The boat has very modern utilities... plus there is a lot more space than you'd think. Ah... maybe my next house will be on the water... literally.

1 comment:

cmsmorais said...

You were a great tour guide...thank you very much :)
Cassia