Monday, October 15, 2007

Eid Al Fitr in Amsterdam

Eid Al Fitr in Amsterdam, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

This is the sort of weather we have been having in Amsterdam recently, carrying on from the weather we had last weekend in Paris. This weekend, there was a fairground set up in Dam Square to celebrate the Eid Al Fitr holiday which follows on from Ramadan. This high roundabout was one of the highlights.

We had a very good weekend, starting off with a wedding reception in Ede, following the wedding of one of Fred's nephews. The service, which I missed, was very very religious, Fred tells me and it highlighted the fact that it was a woman's duty to serve her husband. we had to get there with public transport, not such a problems as there is a reasonably direct connection from here to Ede-Wageningen. The only problem was getting a taxi to and from the party centre. There is such thing as a Train Taxi which you can use to get from a station to soemwhere else and it is sponsored by teh government in an effort to encourage peopole to use public transport. All good and well when they do their job properly. Only trouble is is that they failed both to pick Fred up from the station and, more worryingly, to give us a lift back. After waiting for half an hour for a lift back, one of Fred's other nephews offered to give us a lift to the station, which was very kind. However, Ede is no longer a village and there are virtually no road signs directing one to the station. Eventually we got there with a minute to spare, giving us a journey time home of an hour rather the the two-an-a-half hours it would have taken had we missed that last train!

The sun shone all day Saturday and I spent a good part of the day in the centre taking photos, mostly in and around this fun fair on the Dam. In the evening, we were invited out to dinner by some dear friends who cooked us a most wonderful dinner.... Thanks! They also let me slink off to follow the Rugby where England were playing in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals against the hosts France, and it was really quite wonderful to see England win again, kicked home by the brilliant Johnnie Wilkinson. I had to be a little careful as our hostess was half-French and it was obvious that her cooking was more than half-French (even though she admitted to using Jamie Oliver as inspiration for the starter - a fresh fig, mozarella, prosciutto and basil salad - as seen here)! A main course of tender beef with rosemary and thynme sauce, haricots-verts and potatoes was followed by, of all things..... raspberry (and strawberry) pavlova - really one of my most favourite desserts (along with lemon meringue pie). Mmmmm... we were very spoilt!

However, not only were we treated to an excellent dinner but it was a great evening - thanks again, R and G!


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