Thursday, June 11, 2020

Day 1-To Amsterdam in Style

Since I'm not going on my vacations this year (and the cruise I had already decided I wasn't going to go on anyway was officially cancelled), I figured I'd continue vicariously traveling by sharing a different vacation each month this summer.  For June, we are traveling to Amsterdam (and Holland) and Belgium.  So laten we gaan!  But we're going in style this time.

Our trip begins with a first trip in Saga Premium class with Icelandair.  The airline offered an auction to upgrade to business class from our original economy seats and we won!  This is another trip I took with my college friend, Katherine, and we both enjoyed or premium experience.    We were able to use British Airways Lounge at the airport with its free food

and  free bar (and quiet comfy seats!).

The business class seats were very nice (especially compared to economy)

 and there were so many freebies!


(some lotions, a sleep mask, and other goodies)

(including a whole gin menu--I picked up some for my sister)

We flew on Good Friday, so I was limited in what I could eat for the included meal.  I ordered the smoked fish platter, with salmon, gravlax, artic char and trout roe.

(look at those real plates!)

We arrived in Amsterdam at about 1, and took the train from the airport station to Amsterdam Centraal.  I hadn't quite figured out the public transportation yet (and we were jetlagged) so we ended up lugging our suitcases to the hotel on foot.

(at least we passed a couple pretty sights, including our first Amsterdam canal)

About 20 minutes later, we were at the hotel and checked in.  After a short rest (due to all that lugging), we were back out and heading towards our first planned sightseeing spot first passing  through Nieuwmarkt (which was filled with a carnival!)

(Yum, French fries break--we even tried it with mayo and ketchup!)

Over  bridges,

on our way to the Amstelkring Museum.  The "Our Lord in the Attic" Museum was once a hidden church--three houses turned into an underground Catholic Church during the Dutch Reformation.  The church looked like a normal house from the outside since Catholics were not allowed to worship in public.  This church remained in use until the 1800s.

(left side, second building in with the orange roof)

Three floors in the home were cut into to make room for the 17th century church,

The priest of the church would live on premise, in this room

with a kitchen on the ground floor.

Amstelkring was conveniently located on the edge of the Red light district, so we walked through a bit of it,

on our way to one of Rick's recommendations for dinner--a lovely outdoor table right in front of a canal at Cafe van Zuylen.

I had a goat cheese salad with pears, walnuts and honey with a cider.

A beautiful walk back towards the hotel, as the sun set,

passing through Dam Square

and over canals.

An early night tonight to rest our jetlagged selves before we start to really explore Amsterdam!

This was my first trip with my new (and first) DSLR camera and I enjoyed using the different settings of the camera.  I think the picture quality improved as I went along (and hopefully you will agree!).

1 comment:

  1. AHHHHHHH!!!!! I refreshed your page without really expecting to find anything new but THERE'S A NEW POSTTTTT!!! I think I actually screeched. Babbly, excited comments to follow.
    • Ahh, the business class experience that we "won" (translation: paid a lottttt extra for, LOL). BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT. To this day, I become absolutely giddy when I think back on the British Airways lounge at Dulles. It was so quiet! The seats were so comfortable! Everyone was so zen! There was so much food! It was delicious! AND FREE! The bathrooms were clean! I don't wanna go back to normal shlubby travel! :(.
    • Our seats on the plane were super-nice and roomy, but I remain a smidgen disappointed that we didn't get full lie-back seats. *thumbs down* I want to fly in a lie-back seat before I die but I don't want to pay to make that happen. It's a dilemma.
    • The food was very fancy with an Icelandic twist. My beef dish was a little less "exotic" than yours, though, for which I was grateful.
    • I note that you did NOT take photos of the economy seats that we had to squish into for the second leg of our journey for comparison purposes. I thought I was going to die for the entire flight from Rekjavik to Amsterdam, so I never would have survived the transatlantic flight in those claustrophic microscopic seats.
    • That long trudge from Amsterdam Centraal to our hotel was pretty miserable. It was so far. And the bags were so heavy. And it was SO HOT and I was not dressed appropriately (as always).
    • Sidenote: "I hadn't quite figured out the public transportation yet" made me laugh. Because you really do it all by yourself while I wait and make no positive contributions whatsoever. I'm the worst.
    • Those fries are making hungry. I wasn't a huge fan of the ketchup + mayonnaise mixture, but I didn't hate it, and didn't mind the mayo on its own (in reasonable quantities). I think my favorite was the flavored mayo that we found on one of our daytrips-- maybe Delft? I can't remember. Wherever we had burgers and fries at the picnic tables on the square and we kept taking turns to go up to order/get condiments. I assume photos will be forthcoming. :-P.
    • Canals.
    • That church was super-interesting. I'm glad we were able to squeeze it in, even if it was on Horrible Jetlag Day.
    • I can't believe you posted the Condomerie photo, haha.
    • I'm pretty sure that I also ordered that goat cheese salad in my never-ending quest to top/match the salad from that random restaurant in Hunawihr, the most perfect goat cheese salad of all time. If I'm remembering correctly, it was actually really good and not a giant disappointment. Like, ALMOST as good...BUT NOT QUITE.
    • I feel like we walked through Dam Square at least five times every day, haha. It gives me some serious nostalgia, though.



Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)