Friday, 7 December 2012

Amsterdam on a November Weekend

Sunday afternoon on the Single Canal

The last time I was in Amsterdam was in the summer in the 60's.  My friend and I stayed in a B & B on the Single Canal and danced all night in the discos near the Dam, walking back to the B & B as the flower markets were setting up for the next day.  Glorious.

The little liqueur bar, referred to as W F.

This time we did our annual pre-
Christmas trip with friends and it was a wonderful, but altogether different experience. We did not dance all night for a start.  We went at a much more stately pace and enjoyed the city and its beautiful architecture, ate good food and stayed at a posh hotel.

The old bottles are still there and below them, a rank of delicious liqueurs.

Queuing for a 'slurp'. My favourite is half and half,
an orange, cinnamon flavoured drink.

The most amazing thing was

The stairs in the old houses are narrow and steep. You can just see hooks
on the top dormers, used to attach pulleys to take furniture to the upper floors.

finding this little bar which sells liqueurs made in a distillery down the road.  The bar, called Wynand Fockink, hereafter referred to as WF, has been there since the 17th century.   My friend and I had been here in the 60's and I remembered that it was down a little lane by the side of the hotel. Much has changed in the area and the passageway is now covered in glass and filled with modern restaurants, cholate shops and bakeries, but WF remains the same. It's a magical place where you can sample the liquors in tiny glasses, filled so full you are advised to 'slurp' the top before attempting to carry them across the room.  It is always packed with customers and dusty bottles on the walls remind you of its age.

Behind our hotel, on the Single Canal

The Hotel Krasnapolsky where we stayed. Quite a change from our old B & B

A Bridge on the Single Canal

Waiting for the Thalys to take us to Brussels and
then the Eurostar to take us home. Brrr...