Ode to Amsterdam

A while back now I had the opportunity to spend a week visiting a friend from college who was spending his summer volunteering at a Christian youth hostel in the red light district of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was an amazing experience in many ways. For one, a boat ride on the river brings one back hundreds of years to this thriving port town. The narrow rows of houses and architecture are really beautiful. Next, I don’t know if you’ve ever ridden a bike throughout the city, but it was probably one of the most adventurist things I’ve ever done. There are buses, and trolley/trains, and cars and other cyclists, etc. all moving quickly. Yes, there are bike paths -but everything criss-crosses, intersects and overlaps, and you are armed with only a ringing bell on your handlebars. In fact, nothing I say can capture the essence of how CRAZY it is. Insane. Another highlight was the morning we spent ministering to the homeless and strung-out people on the streets. Mind you, this is the red light district, and by morning, I mean around 2-5 AM, and by ministering I mean inviting people to a soup kitchen that would open in a few hours to serve them peanut butter sandwiches and hot soup. If you’ve never done that sort of thing, I highly recommend it- but not alone. Lastly, I would like to share with you the strides the Dutch have made in street food. Sure you have had ketchup with your fries; Perhaps at a fair you’ve doused them with vinegar & salt; If you’ve been to France or maybe a so-themed restaurant you have dipped your frites in a little Dijon style mustard? But in Holland, my friend, they dip those salty spud sticks (are you ready for this?) in mayonnaise! Soooo good! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, because the Dutch know delicious. And for further proof I give you the stroopwafel. Um, wow! Have you tried a stroopwafel? It’s like a thin round waffle sandwich cookie, with a caramel syrup filling. Oh, and when they are warm and fresh they are incredible! But not to worry because if you want to eat them all day long (which you wouldn’t because you are full of restraint, but some people- not to point fingers, at that girl in the mirror…) You can just place the cup-sized version right on the rim of your fresh hot coffee or tea and let them warm through and come to caramel-ly life.

That concludes my “ode” to Amsterdam. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my good friends Tara and Molly for buying me a Belgian Cookie Iron so that I can finally have thin enough plates to achieve my stroopwafel making goals! Thank you!

24 comments

  1. It’s funny that you would have this blog on here this morning since I am flying into Amsterdam tomorrow night and have a 2-1/2 layover in their airport – I will definitely be looking for a stroopwafel to cheer me up during my little stretch of looking for something to do for 2-1/2 hours hanging around the airport! xoxo

  2. What a lovely description! I was soaking in every detail. 🙂 Mayo and fries actually sounds like it would be delicious and this stroopwaffel has me intrigued!

    1. Thank you Jasmine 😊. The fries and mayo are dangerously delicious, especially when the fries are hot and crispy… 😋 But nothing can replace a good stroopwafel. Promise me you will taste a stroopwafel! 😳 lol

  3. My hubby went to Amsterdam for business last year, said it was amazing, rode those bikes, did the boat ride thing, and enjoyed the street food. I remember clearly he raved about the stroopwafel 🙂

  4. Great post; I love reading about your travels!! I’ve recently started riding my bike, but I don’t think I’m ready for the big city streets yet lol you are brave! You’ll have to make me one of your delicious-looking stroopwaffles sometime;) As for the fries in mayonnaise: I’m sure it’s delicious, but whenever I dip anything in mayo it just feels wrong…Lol!

  5. The Dutch and the Belgians know that mayonnaise enhances every bluddy thing! As for bikes – if you are hit by one as a pedestrian in Amsters it is your fault, if you hit one with your car, it is your fault. I found the bikes (pedestrian as i was) scary. Extremely scary!!

  6. It sounds like an amazing experience Sadie! Have you ever seen Pulp Fiction? John Travolta talks about them eating their fries with mayonnaise. It’s a pretty funny part of the movie. I will have to take your word for it….that it tastes good. Not sure I can go there 😉

    1. Lol, I saw that movie a long time ago! I don’t remember that. Is that during the part when he talks about the hamburger? It does sound different, but it’s tasty! Thanks Antonia:)

      1. A little before that, when they are in the car. John Travolta is talking about the little difference between here and Europe, like Burger King’s Royal with Cheese…lol

  7. What an incredible experience! And fries with mayonnaise! *sigh* Yum! And (italics needed) stroopwafel sounds amazing! Going to have to google one of those Belgian cookie irons! 😀

  8. I’m not sure if my first comment disappeared? Lol. But I was saying … what an incredible experience and fries with mayonnaise! Yum! And (italics needed) stroopwafel sounds amazing! 😀

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