This evening we wandered along Damrak to Dam square and then up a couple of quieter streets beyond the Magna Plaza to find somewhere for dinner. We weren't overly fussed about what we were looking for, just something different to what we've had before and preferably outside - the sun has been shining since first thing this morning and the city is positively hot! I even regretted taking my cardigan (although I was glad of it a few hours later).
We eventually came upon a fondue restaurant in a back alley and once we'd convinced the waiter that while we appreciated his advise, we'd really like some time to think about what we'd order, we settled on a couple of different fondues, served simply with bread (instead of the 50 euro all-the-bells-and-whistles option he was urging us to 'trust' him on. He was charming. Well, until we rejected his advise, then he was positively peevish, but even that had a certain charm.) I chose the Normande fondue and Simon the traditional one with a name containing more esses, cees and aitches in weird combinations than I am prepared to try and repeat. As it turned out, his traditional one was significantly better than my supposedly spicy one. I think spicy ought to have been translated as ripe. It was a basic, but different meal that we don't regret but wouldn't hurry back for.
Next we wandered back towards home via Van Zuylen - a bar with many tables spreading out on the very wide bridge across the Singel. Simon had a couple of odd beers (well, I thought they were odd, he seemed to enjoy them) and I enjoyed first an apple juice and later a hot chocolate - which I chose mainly because by this stage I had put my cardigan on and was still feeling rather cold. We saw many meals being consumed here and by the looks of everything served we will definitely return for a meal.
Amsterdam is clearly Hen and Stag central on the weekend and the evening was filled with free entertainment, both on the road by way of ambulatory and pedal-powered revellers and of course on the canals - I expect there were several 'man overboard' instances through the evening, although we didn't witness any.
We still haven't adjusted to the unfamiliar hours of daylight. Simon asked the time of me at one point and I was rather shocked when I looked at my watch to discover it was in fact twenty to ten. And yet it wasn't even quite dusk yet! Amazing! It is finally dark outside as I write this at 11pm (although the bars next door, and next door to that are both still going strong - not so strong that I won't sleep through it mind you - it's a very civilised clientele - no pre-wedding parties here!)