Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A Day Trip To Amsterdam

I spent most of last week in the Netherlands with Thomas, where we were house- and cat-sitting (which - just as an aside - proved that my cat allergy is cope-able and so we'll definitely be cat owners before the end of the year: hooray!) for friends while they were on honeymoon.

Our friends live in Erlecom, a tiny village just outside the town of Nijmegen (where Thomas lived when I first met him, and where I therefore spent many, many weekends during our long distance relationship). In between the cat-cuddles at home and the many awesome friend hang-outs in Nijmegen, we made time to take a day trip to Amsterdam.

I love Amsterdam and it's always a joy to wander the streets of this beautiful and characterful city. On this trip, our priority was a visit to Katten Kabinet, a marvellously eccentric gallery/museum on Herengracht. Set up by the wealthy and cat-loving owner of the building, it's essentially a gallery of cat art: sculpture, graphic design, sketches and paintings (including a Picasso and a Rembrandt). Oh, and there are also the owner's cats wandering around (or, on the afternoon we visited, curled up asleep). What really makes it worth a visit, though, is the unique opportunity to see a perfectly restored canal house interior - complete with wood panelling, ceiling frescoes and elaborate carvings - in an area that has tended to see original features removed for the sake of modernity. 

For dinner we struck lucky with a place I'd read about on Tigerlilly Quinn. Latei is a funky little neighbourhood cafe just next to Nieuwmarkt. Full of vintage and retro goodies (with everything on display also for sale), it's a diner by day but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening it's taken over by the Kook Kollektief, who serve delicious (and cheap) food inspired by Indonesian and other Asian cuisine. We ate a huge portion of Gado Gado with a tasty beef curry for me and a vegan one for Thomas, plus a side of fried plantains. Stuffed with food, we rolled back to the station for our train home to Nijmegen.

This mirror was not at a Janet-friendly height - I'm standing on my tippermost toes here. I've also realised that you'd be forgiven for thinking Thomas only owns one shirt: I think he wears this checked one in 90% of the pictures that land on here. I promise, he does have other clothes. His wardrobe isn't currently sacrificed on the altar of my dress addiction. Yet.