European Riverboat – Day 3

DAY #3, August 7 – Amsterdam & Haarlem

WEATHER: Blue skies with clouds, low 70’s

Well today we are awakened by a phone call, it is 9:30, and our Viking representative lets us know they are leaving on the Walking Tour of Amsterdam that we had scheduled. Oops, guess we will miss it! Oh well, guess we needed the sleep. We get up and shower and walk to a little local cafe to have breakfast. I have the “Dutch” Breakfast – boiled egg, ham and cheese slices, 2 rolls & 2 slices of toast with jam and peanut butter, hot tea and orange juice! We finish and meet our rep who takes us to our guide Steven for our tour of Historic Haarlem. It has just one other couple, who are from North Carolina. We ride in a van to Haarlem. I am fascinated by how everything: buildings, churches, streets, and homes are so old! I mean like from the 14th century!

Our first stop is to a restaurant to have lunch. It is called Jopenkerk, which used to be a church with pretty stain glass windows and now is a brewery! We have a huge meal and finish off with a tasting of four different beers:

  • 1. Jopen Adriaan Wit, Witbier/5%

2. Jopen Mooie Nel IPA, American IPA/6.5%

3. Jopen Ongelovige Thomas, Quadrupel/10%

4. Special Ancient Recipe from 1407!

I liked the darker one from the ancient recipe the best.

We then walk through the city on the old cobblestone streets, watching out for the bikes.

We visit and see different gardens/inner courtyards and local homes. The usual is no curtains on windows, and windows open because no air conditioning. Always cats in the courtyards (to catch the mice/rats). The homes have “cat doors” instead of doggie doors!

We next go to the world’s largest collection of Frans Hals paintings.

Military painting by Frans Hals
Frans Hals’ detailed portrait painting, noting fine detail of beard on top of white collar.

While we are touring the Frans Hals Museum Rick gets sick again, his gut just isn’t tolerating eating yet. We continue on to the Warmoesstraut shopping square in the center of town, including the large church – Grote Kerk.

We then head back to Amsterdam with a stop on the way out of Haarlem to see the only remaining old entry gate. It was built around 1400.

We arrive back in Amsterdam and walk around and do some shopping. We do dinner at a place called Savini, with homemade pastas. The old building is leaning like the tower of Pisa. We get back to the hotel and to bed by 11.

Savini where we ate dinner in Amsterdam – building leaning but has very close neighbor buildings so hard to see how much it is leaning.