Making a friend in Amsterdam
Perched upon the seat beside me Erin viewed the scenic lovely city of Amsterdam from the advantage point of a tour boat. Cruising down the canals and waterways of this iconic European city is to step back in time, historic homes, churches, and bridges beckoned for our attention but it was the graceful beautiful swans that peaked her interest. The long-necked white creatures had an angelic look that impressed the hordes of tourists but Erin wasn't impressed, she stared them down in hopes of gaining their attention but they ignored her pleas for a game of “dog chase the swan." Her broad smile, excited demeanor, and tail wag told our fellow travel mates that she wanted a closer look and while they found it cute to see a dog interested in swans, I ensured them there would be no dog swimming after swans today :)
Earlier in the day I loaded up the car while Erin leaped into the backseat for another extended weekend excursion. Driving from our house in Germany we excitedly headed towards the city known for tulips, wooden shoes, art, canals, and Anne Frank, it would be my first time in Northern Holland and I was looking forward to sharing the experience with my best friend. Lodging was secured while a dapper-attired valet stashed the car for safe keeping then the city was ours to explore at leisure and with a dog's curiosity as a guide we ventured out to see the sights and make friends. Unbeknownst to me the world famous floating flower market was next to the hotel, fragrant blooms of every color imaginable were on display while racks of brightly painted wooden shoes captured the tourist’s eye. With Erin leading the way we boarded the barges for a closer look or in her case...a better sniff of the merchandise. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers were at her disposal as well as attention from dog lovers who crossed her path in the confined space and while this was fun for her it was time to move on.
Amsterdam is a magical place that's best explored on foot thus Erin was very happy as we crisscrossed the city in search of beauty, adventure, fun and food. We strolled alongside the canals, admired the moored houseboats, marveled at the gabled structures, saw museums of every type, and ventured into an occasional tourist shop as I knowingly knew she would receive some doting by admirers. Numerous city parks and open areas receptive to dogs were located including Vondelpark which was perfect for relaxing, people watching, and allowing Erin to socialize with fur friends and humans alike. The Van Gogh museum has an impressive fountain that is popular with the locals and it was there that Erin had an impromptu meeting with a friend frolicking in the water; it was so endearing to watch them greet each other. The city as Europe in general was pet-friendly and there were no incidents of hostility or rudeness towards us, folks seemed to gravitate toward Erin to say hello thus this made her very happy.
It's a guarantee that Erin and I will consume delicious meals wherever we travel to and I try to sample the local cuisine whenever possible, there's nothing more insulting than tourists eating McDonald's in a foreign country. Turns out one of the local staples of Dutch cuisine is pancakes, not the bland creations of America but pancakes created with any type of meat or any variety of fruit and topped with powdered sugar and many other items of decadence. A stack of pancakes suitable for either human or dog consumption was ordered and we destroyed them like there was no tomorrow; walking nonstop from sunrise until sundown sure works up an appetite. Many other fine meals were eaten in the comfort of the hotel room or consumed at outdoor cafes that welcomed dogs; needless to say I generally refused to eat anywhere that refused service to Erin.
To be continued.......