by, Jan Ross

Our second day in Amsterdam (actually our third day but the first day consisted of us falling into bed in our hotel room and can’t actually be considered a very exciting first day) was basically comprised of eating, which I’m sure will not surprise those of you who read this blog very often.

After a huge buffet breakfast at the hotel, we headed out again to use up the last of our 48 hours on the Hop On, Hop Off Canal Boat Tours. Seriously, this is the best way to see the city. We cruised on the Orange and Green lines one day and the Red and Blue lines the next day. There is some slight overlap, but enough difference that you can hop off to see most of the major attractions of the city.

One of the major attractions as far as we were concerned involved cheese tasting. Cheese tasting at the Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Rooms. Reypenaer is some of the finest Dutch cheese. They have a 100-year-old warehouse on the Oude Rijn in Woerden where the cheese matures as it has done for three generations of the family. But they also have a lovely little store in the middle of Amsterdam where they sell a variety of cheese and, in a quiet little basement furnished with tables and chairs like a schoolroom, they have cheese tastings. We left the canal boat with my directions carefully clutched in my hand and, although it was not easy with directions like “Get out at stop Uitstappen bij halt Dam/Raadhuisstraat” but we managed. In the pouring, icy rain I might add. But we made it.

We shook the rain out of our coats and settled down at our little table for two with several others who had braved the rain for the love of cheese. We watched a little video clip about cheese and then we began with the sampling.

Who knew cheese could taste so different, based on how long it aged? Personally, I like my cheese a little young; those older cheeses got a little too salty and strong-tasting for me. But they were all good.

And and it helped that we got to taste wine too! It really made the cheeses taste different.

If you are in Amsterdam and you like cheese (and who doesn’t, really?) you should do this cheese tasting. It was fun and delicious and we totally felt like some sort of gourmands while we were participating. It’s only $7.50 per person (Euros) and is really a bargain.

We were still a mite peckish after that, so we headed back to Dam Square to a pancake restaurant I had noticed earlier. Sara’s Pancakes doesn’t seem to have a web site, so you can find their address online and you NEED to find their address online because our lunch was delicious. They have pancakes and waffles pretty much any way you want them and, since were in Holland I thought it only appropriate to get Dutch waffles. A delicious, crunchy homemade waffle with pecans, cherries, cherry cordial and whipped cream. SOOOOO good.

Yes, I did take a picture of them. They were that good.

Honestly, we did see a lot of Amsterdam. We saw the monument to the Jewish resistance fighters.

We saw this completely fabulous hotel. Honestly, wouldn’t you want to stay here?

We saw beautiful houses lining the canals, many with shutters. These shutters are holdovers from the days when merchants used their houses to store goods and needed extra protection.

We saw lots and lots of things and had a completely fabulous (and exhausting) day.

It’s just that the best part?

Was the food.

And then? While we were making our way back to the hotel? We saw this.

It’s our cruise ship! The AmaLegro! All ready for us to board tomorrow.

We may not be able to sleep for all the excitement.

Or maybe it’s just too much cheese and waffles. One or the other.

When you are ready to travel to Amsterdam The Travel Authority is ready to help you plan that trip. You can call 1-877-AXP-1515 for information and details about these cruises. Be sure to print out this post or mention the code BLAMA to get the best deal on your trip. I would love to hear your suggestions for future blog posts. You can comment below or contact me by email at Thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!

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