Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oooops, we (literally!) "missed the boat"!

This morning we set out for see the Muiderslot Castle which was built around 1285. We took the Connexxion Bus to Haarlem Station. From there we took the Sprinter train to Amsterdam Centraal Station. Then we hopped on the #26 Tram to Ijburg. We had read that we should take it to the "Pampuslaan" stop at the end of the line. While riding the tram we noticed everyone getting off at the
"Ijburg" stop. The driver announced that it was the end of the line, so we got off and decided we should look for the ferry boat going over to the Castle.

There were no signs anywhere, so we got off the tram, crossed the street and started walking towards the water!

We went up the staircase in between some buildings and continued to the marina area....

Ah ha! Boats!  Sooooo...the ferry must be around here somewhere (no signs whatsoever!)....

We decided to take a left and walk along the harbor area.....and....

Voila!  A sign for the Ferry to Muiderslot:
We had arrived around noon....sooooo...we missed the 1100 ferry and we were 1.5 hours early for the next one!  We had seen no information as to ferry boat times referenced in any of the information we got on-line. The only information we had was that the castle opens at noon on weekends. So, we decided to forgo it for another time, since we have dinner plans with our neighbor in Haarlem tonight. It's a four hour tour, including the ferry ride. Now we know........

Since we "missed the boat" we thought we may as well get we got back on the #26 Tram to Amsterdam and went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.

We had visited this and many other Hard Rock Cafe's around the world in the past (including Moscow, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Athens!).  We always know we'll get a good meal there....and they didn't let us down this time either!

Notice that the food tax is 6% and liquor tax is 21%!

After eating we thought a Walk in the Park was in, we walked through VondelPark, where the leaves are turning!

We walked through to the other side and stopped in the Nespresso store to get pods for our machine

It started raining pretty hard after we left Nespresso, so we decided to head back to Amsterdam Centraal....On the way we saw some buildings wrapped up in pink ribbon. My guess is that they decorated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.....Pretty cool!!!

****Later.....I looked up the words posted on the buildings and it says there are 3000 square meters of Christmas decorations!  I like my idea better!!! LOL!

These buildings are across from the bike garage next to the station:

It was fun watching the canal boats make their turn arounds in front of the station:

We got back to Haarlem, bought some flowers at the station, got on the bus and headed home!

Ahhhhh...nothing like fresh flowers to brighten up the house!


Dinner with our neighbor.....

We first went to the restaurant where we had reservations for 1930hrs. which was at Wilma and Albert's Steakhouse in Haarlem. There was a 20-30 minute wait there.....soooooo, we walked down to Metzo, where they had an open table. Soooo, Metzo it was for dinner.

We sat down at around 1945hrs. About 10 minutes after being seated we ordered our appetizers and entrees and decided to have them pair the wines to what we were eating rather than getting one bottle for all of us to share.

For appetizers, Andrew and I got the Metzo combination plate and our neighbor, Bruce, got the quail:

Tuna sushimi, spinach soup, quail, and scallops:


It was all delicious!

Later....much later, I'm afraid (service was a little slow this time....apparently it was the first night with a new menu)....we were served our entrees:


Scallops, shrimp and coquettes:

Veal with sauerkraut:
The wines paired with the dinners were perfect!

After dinner we had a nice cup of decaf and a latte:

We got home around 2215hrs. Time to relax and get ready for bed! Goodnight!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Snail Trails?!?!? Ewwwww!

I don't know how the darn slugs are getting in the house....but they do! I had laundry hanging on the line (the usual spot, in the kitchen!!!), and a snail got in and I guess he liked the jeans hanging there!
So, back in the washer they went!

I discovered another tasty treat here......

Fall is coming. The leaves are starting to turn and falling!

There is a petting zoo at the woods close to the house. The deer are walking all over there....

De Grote of St. Bavokerk te Haarlem

Today I visited St. Bavo's Church in Haarlem and took some better pictures. The last time I was inside, it was dark and crowded. The Christian Muller organ has 68 registers and 5068 pipes, the length of the longest pipe being 32 feet. Significant dates of the Bavo Church:  1 October 653: Death of St. Bavo, patron saint of the church; 1347 and 1351-town fires which damaged the church; 1370-1538-Construction of the present church; 1500-1508-Construction of the first tower; 1503-Roelant bell is installed; 1559-1578-The Bavo becomes a cathedral church; 1572-The Reformation; 1578-Definitive transition of the Bavo Church to the Protestantism; 1735-1748-Construction of the Christian Muller organ; 1959-1963-Restoration of the Christian Muller organ; 1964-1969-Restoration of the tower and extention of the carillon; 1981-1985-Second great restoration of the church; 2001-Second great renovation of the tower.

In 1756 Mozart, who was 10 years old at the time, played the Christian Muller organ. G.F. Handel also played this organ.

The floor of the Bavo Church consists entirely of gravestones. There are about 1500 gravestones altogether, the oldest of which date back as far as the fifteenth century. One of the people buried in the church is Frans Hals, a famous painter born in Antwerp in 1582.

The church from outside:

This is how the Grote Markt looked in 1959!  Quite a difference...It's much nicer now not having cars allowed in the area. On weekends it turns into a market area, which is quite wonderful!

Fall is definitely in the air!  The kiosks with yummy desserts have returned!

Andrew and I were walking around town this evening and saw an usual way of moving a washer and dryer!

The Flower shop in town...we don't know why people were dressed up. Seemed to be a scavenger hunt or something involving kids.