Day two started off on a bad note – a lovely bit of street harassment before 10am. Some guy walking towards us said something in a language I didn’t know and grabbed me round the waist with both hands.
I’ve always wondered what I would do in that situation. Apparently the answer is nothing as I just brushed him away and kept walking. But I’ll admit it freaked me out more than I’ve said while telling the story and no person should have to go through that. Seriously, just don’t touch people without their consent. It’s 2017 – you should not have to be told that.
Street harassment behind us, we headed to a pancake place which had amazing reviews – The Happy Pig. Even the name is inviting. But also be prepared to wait. This tiny shop only has four tables. So unless you plan to walk and eat, get there early.
I opted for the wheat pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and my mother got the apple mix with caramel sauce. While they only took five minutes to make, I would’ve happily waited half an hour. Just honestly an amazing way to start the day.
Next, we went on the hunt for a windmill. You can’t really take a trip to Amsterdam without visiting one.
Once the staple of the city, there are now just eight remaining windmills. We opted for the closest – the De Gooyer windmill. The tallest wooden mill in the city dates back to 1608. For the best pictures, it’s worth risking cars and bikes on the opposite side of the road.
On the way back, we passed the botanical gardens, so decided to stop in. There isn’t much to see outside in winter, but there were tropical areas with exotic plants indoors which was fascinating to see. Plus the butterfly house provided a cool up close look at the insects.
It was also a rainy day, so we soon headed for shelter and hot drinks (plus a massive slice of cheesecake because it was a holiday so why not).
Most cafes in Amsterdam serve coffee in tiny little cups, which was quite rapidly becoming a frustration. I like having all the coffee. A large seemed to be about the size of a UK medium.
Dinner that night was at a place called Pont 13. It is around a 30 minute walk from central Amsterdam, down at the docks. The actual restaurant itself is a converted 1920s ferry which sits out on the water.
This was probably the best meal of the trip. Not only was my steak perfectly cooked, but the staff were incredibly friendly and attentive, even able to give a few good local beer recommendations. I honestly couldn’t do it justice.
We opted to get a taxi there – 12 euros – and take a slow walk back to the hotel, spotting a random cannon along the way, placed without explanation. Amsterdam.