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E=MC² (España = Mucho Calor²)

One thing I do too little of is go out of an evening. I've never been much of a pub crawler, and as I'm on my own, I don't often go out to dinner either; so when I do, it's a rare and special treat.

Last night, I met up with a friend in Utrecht, and had tapas on the canal (this one):

at a Spanish restaurant that also offered live flamenco music, and needless to say it was lovely. She ordered Manchego cheese, a green salad with Serrano ham, and calamares while I opted for spicy chorizo, artichoke hearts, and chargrilled big prawns. I'll let you in on my worst-kept secret: you want to get on my good side? Feed me prawns. The bigger, the better, though to be honest, any shrimp will do. If I had my way, I'd gorge on them morning, noon, and night. Washed down with several bottles of lovely wine, we sat by the water and watched the world go by in barges, and finished our meal with rich dark chocolate cake and Cuaranta Y Tres.

We stopped by a Belgian pub on the way to the station, and sampled some of their beers before moving on. By that time though, I'd missed the last regular train and so I stayed the night, sitting up and talking until the early hours while more wine was consumed. Then I remembered I had a driving lesson at 1pm.

I made it home with about quarter of an hour to spare; and I must say, I should get tired and tipsy more often, as it all went swimmingly for once.

ETA: What's with this annoying scrollbar that appears to the side of some of my recent entries? Is this some new LJ-feature? If so, I don't like it.



( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
That does sound like a lovely evening. I adore tapas, and we're apparently getting them tomorrow night, so I'm excited.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
Mmm, tapas. Enjoy!
Jun. 4th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh that's a lovely canal pic. I was going to say I wasn't aware of the canals outside Amsterdam, but that's completely untrue as my stepfather's house in Zandaam was right on a canal (though it wasn't picturesque at all as there was a timber yard in the middle of the canal). It's funny how one's imagination doesn't extend things beyond what a person has actually seen.

Sounds like a lovely evening, though. You should come to Australia. The prawns here are monstrous. Of course, like most ocean stock, the big ones are becoming harder to find and thus more expensive. We have other interesting seafoods though like Moreton Bay bugs and freshwater marron and yabbies.

I don't see a scroll bar on your post, if that's any help.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:50 am (UTC)
I'd love to get to Australia one day, and not just for the promise of seafood ;-) The problem is freeing up enough time -- Australia is so vast, and so far away, it seems a pity to only be able to stay there for a couple of days before the holidays are up and you're due back in at work again...

As to canals, they're a common feature throughout our water-logged country; though not all towns have preserved them as carefully as our drainage systems evolved and improved. Utrecht's canals are unique in that they're cellar-lined, and most of these cellars have now been converted to restaurants and nightspots, from their original purpose as storage spaces. You won't find canals like that in Amsterdam.

The Hague, where I live, has been built in amongst the dunes; but even so, it boasts a few canals in its lower (fenland) reaches. Their main purpose lay in providing transportation links, though, and so are mostly lined with businesses and industrial buildings.

ETA: I swear there was a scrollbar there right after I posted...it's still there on another post, but not this one. What is it, though - can I switch it off? Do you know?

Edited at 2011-06-05 11:56 am (UTC)
Jun. 6th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
Yes, if you came here, it would have to be several weeks to make it worthwhile. It takes a long time to get here, and a day to recover from the journey for most people. Obviously, if you ever do make it, there's a bed here for you and I can make suggestions as to where's best, depending on the time you have and what you want to see.

Holland is an amazing feat of engineering. I imagine the current focus is not to reclaim land but to protect it from sea rises due to climate change?

Your scroll bar is just not there for me. I don't get it. A "feature" of LJ? Haha.

Jun. 7th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Obviously, if you ever do make it, there's a bed here for you

Obviously, if I ever do make it, I WILL take you up on that!

I don't know whether it's to do with any climate change, but they have been busy strengthening the river defenses in the last couple of years. Might just be normal maintenance, though.

Plans for the Markerwaard, a huge new polder to be created in the former Zuyderzee (now IJsselmeer, of course), dreamt up before the war and shelved in the 70s have finally been abandoned a couple of years ago...so you're right, there's no massive effort to reclaim any more land. Though from time to time, some bright young spark always comes up with the idea to build a bigger and better airport off the North Sea coast somewhere.

( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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