European Vacation (Part 2)

Monday, March 18, 2013

You can read Part 1 here. And now for European Vacation highlights Part 2

Day 3

Our day started off at Pancakes! Amsterdam.  I didn't know they were so into pancakes in Amsterdam, but they are all over the place.  They are a cross between a French crepe and an American pancake.   After brunch we headed over to the Anne Frank Huis (House).  This is a really great museum.  You walk from room to room in the famous house and annex and really get a new perspective on how Anne and her family lived during the Holocaust.  One thing that's weird, is that even though I've now been to this museum twice, when I envision the attic, I still picture it as the way my imagination first envisioned it when I heard the story as a kid.
Apple pancake
 We walked around a little more and briefly visited the nearby cheese and tulip museums.

Cheese museum
Next up, we walked across the city to the Heineken Brewery, for the Heineken Experience. This was definitely a highlight of the trip.  The "experience" started out a little boring with the history and a bunch of displays about Heineken.  But then it got much better and interactive (you could eat raw barley yuck), with the ability to learn about the beer making process and a simulator ride where we were stuck inside the beer.  There were also tons of fun photos to take (like the ones below) an area where you could watch 50 years of Heineken commercials and the best part, 2 beers at the end.
Next Beer Label?

"Tasting Beers" Not included in the 2 free

 Day 4

After checking out of our hotel and having breakfast we headed to the train station to catch the Thalys to Brussels.  Just 2 hours later we arrived.  Our first stop was my "host sister's" apartment. (FYI - my host sister is one of the daughters, who still lived at home, of the host family that I lived with when I lived in Brussels).  Once in Brussels we had to get some frites, durum and beer right away.  We went to a local snack shop (a place where they sell frites and other kebab and pita foods) and I ordered 2 of my favorite lunchtime sandwiches (one for AG) - a durum poulet avec andaouse, salade et frites (a chicken wrap with andalouse sauce, salad and frites).  They put the frites right in the wrap, I don't know why this hasn't caught on over here. 

Next up was a visit to the Grand Place, Manneken Pis and a beer.  I took advantage of drinking kriek (cherry) bier right from the tap (nothing like the select brands they sell imported to the US).  My host-sister (MDB) took us on a long walk around all the sites and we ended up at another cafe for some more Belgian beer before ending the evening with dinner at a local restaurant and catching up back at MDB's apartment.
The Grande Place

Manneken Pis

If you have any questions about the trip or want some advice for your own Netherlands/Belgium trip - leave me a comment or send me an email.  Shariously, would love to help!


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