Monday 23 May 2011

Vondelpark and cycling in Amsterdam

We braved the bikes today and after working how to manage the various locks (one big chain lock and another that goes through the rear spokes) we set out through the narrow paved streets of Amsterdam to Vondelpark.

Jane was clever and had looked up some of the road signs before we left, so could inform me that the sign was saying no entry except for if you’re on a bike or scooter. This is a city that has lots and lots of cyclists, where cyclists have right of way of pedestrians, yet it can be a bit intimidating. Also, cyclists and people riding scooters that have a low cc rating don’t tend to wear helmets.

Vondelpark is a huge park located South West of the centre of Amsterdam and we were very glad we took the bikes otherwise we would not have seen as much of it.


Jane disappears into the distance along one of the huge cycle/run paths.


There were also some huge homes bordering on the park.


We had lunch at Vertigo, one of the many cafes in the park, after making sure we had locked up our bikes. I had a baguette with a generous serving of carpaccio, parmesan, truffle mayonnaise, pesto, pinenuts and rocket. It was magnificent and possibly the best baguette I’ve ever had. The carpaccio was also very raw which was good. Jane had a beef burger with a cone of fries (and mayo, of course), which was okay, but could have done with a tomato sauce or chutney.


After lunch we relaxed at the cafe for a while and then headed back to our apartment by a much better route that took us along Prinsengracht and past the ridiculously long queue at Anne Frank’s House (as noted in a previous post, book online and then you can just walk straight in). It was a quick trip back and we were very glad to have taken the bikes out; we may however have some sore muscles over the next couple of days.

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