Wednesday 18th September.
Today was our last full day in Amsterdam and we’re sorry to be leaving so soon as we feel we have only scratched the surface of this beautiful city. Mark has been a bit grumpy seeing all the peeps cycling without joining in so I sent him off on a 4-hour bike tour to see the countryside. Before he set off though, we started the day with our usual morning walk and, then, another walk to check out some shops with that visit resulting in the purchase of a new leather jacket.
The newly purchased jacket needed some adjusting and so I killed the intervening few hours with some more walking around the lanes and Canals and a ride on the Hop On Hop Off bus. Mark, meanwhile had set off for his bike tour with a worried look on his face leaving me in such a shopping heaven with a credit card. The best part of my bus tour ended up being that it took me right back to my front door as it made a stop at the Glassan Diamond factory, opposite to our apartment. I took the 30 minute Diamond Factory tour, along with everyone else who alighted the bus, and thought to myself, quite proudly, how Mark had got off rather lightly today; the new leather jacket was much cheaper than the 84,000 Euro diamond that I liked 🙂
I popped home for a little bit before walking back over to collect the jacket and the only disappointment I had with this exchange was learning that the Turkish shop owner was a passionate supporter of Erdogan. He told me I just need to read more about him. Yeah….right! I’m thinking that’s advice I should have given him! With my jacket in hand though I waved the Erdogan fan club goodbye and then strolled the local shopping district as it was such a great area with loads of great shops, the likes of which I’d never seen anywhere else. I only wished I had a shopping buddy to share in the enjoyment of window shopping such interesting fashion and clothes. Check out this site, Mascolori, and the great shoes they make. Some photos below as well. Even the staff at the restaurant we went to for dinner were keen on them and the waitress told us her girlfriend actually buys and wears the mens shoes!
I eventually pulled myself away from further temptation and headed home with Mark arriving not long after, at around 4.30 pm. We had found a great little restaurant just one block down from our apartment on our walk this morning and so were heading there for our last dinner in Amsterdam; Gebr Hartering.
Mark’s Bike Ride:
Today I went on Mikes Bike Country tours out of Amsterdam for a four hour cycle cruise from the center of Amsterdam out to the surrounding countryside. Along the way we stopped to check out some windmills and cheese (Gouda) and clog manufacturers. It was amazing how quickly we went from the high density of Amsterdam to the countryside and just riding along the Amstel River. The round trip was only 20 km but in that time we saw dairy farms, dykes, polders and deer farms. It was good to be able to escape the city so quickly and I would highly recommend this tour to other folk visiting Amsterdam.
Dinner: Gebr Hartering
Our dinner booking at Gebr Hartering wasn’t until 7 pm and so mark decided we should try out this pub he had discovered on his bike tour. We’d had a vision of spending our last night having a glass of wine at one of the lovely little wine bars along the canals whilst looking out over the boats cruise by. Mark’s Oldest Pub in Amsterdam fell well short of that and the guy didn’t even pour Marks one and only beer correctly! So we decided to head off to dinner early. We were the first ones to be seated for dinner but the place soon filled with up and, as per the norm for Amsterdam, we were the oldest peeps in the place. Such a stark contrast to the UK of some months ago when we were the youngest everywhere we went. Our meal was amazing and this made us lament further that we wished we had more days to spend in this delightful city. Anyway, that was not to be the case and so we left the restaurant and headed over to the Red Light district and New Market for an ice cream and cleansing ale before heading home for the night.