Amsterdam Rugby 7s

When in Amsterdam...once a year International Rugby 7s is played. Since 1972 Amsterdam has had a 7s tournament. Amature, proffessional, men, women and children converge on Amsterdam to play the shortened version of rugby over two days.

This year, thanks to IAmsterdam we sent one of our guides and former rugby player to the 7s tournament. They were asked to check out and report back on the famous Amsterdam Rugby 7s tournament from a perspective of someone that knows nothing about Rugby. Here is what they had to say.

Amsterdam is a city of bicycles and canals so a friend and I meet at Central Station and rode our bikes west in search of Rugby fields that we never knew exisited. Amsterdam had put on great weather. The sun was shinning and the temperature hot for Amsterdam. The trip should have taken around 20 minutes but this is Amsterdam. There is always something going on. We briefly stopped twice. Once at a food festival of vehicles that were converted into kitchens and second at an outdoor music party with tunes that were hard to ignore from the bike path. After asking a few locals for directions we finally arrived at what one Amsterdammer described as 'a big happening over there'.

Wales v England Amsterdam 7s 2012

Rugby 7s is a shortened version of the traditional form of Rugby. Instead of 15 players per side there are 7. Instead of two halves of 40 minutes there are two halves of 7 minutes. Two teams of 7 play for two halves of 7 minutes. This is why the game is called 7s rugby. The tournament format and shortness of the game creates a carnival atmosphere.

For people who don't know anything about rugby 7s is perfect. Games are short and exciting. There are many teams so supporting one team is hard. The game is quick and fast passed as there is only 14 players on the field so there is normally more points scored in the 7s format.

We arrived to see the England play Wales on the main field. The standard was high and technically specific. It should not be surprising to see women play rugby to a high standard. Women rugby has come a long over the last decade and it was great to watch. The only problem was Wales lost.

It was then off to the back fields. As a former player the back fields of a 7s tournament are a great place to see people who love rugby. The other good thing about the back fields is you get to see two fields, therefore two games a once. Twice the excitement.

Back field action at Amsterdam rugby 7s

All of a sudden one of the players suffered an injury on the back field. Rugby is a physical sport and injuries happen every now and then. The player from Argentina had sprained his ankle. In no time the tournament organisers were on the spot with the electric car to transport the player to the first aid tent.

Amsterdam 7s organizers quick to respond to injured player on back field.

Amsterdam 7s organisers must be applauded for their quick response. Player welfare is the most important aspect of rugby. Even though the player pictured was playing in the furthermost back field the organizers responded promptly. Each field had a Marshall. Once the injury occurred the Field Marshall radioed to first aid and within minutes help was at hand.

Player welfare central at Amsterdam rugby 7s

After a lot of rugby and even more sun it was time to move back to the main stadium. The atmosphere was electric with people drunk with sunshine and rugby. The elite women were playing. On came the national Dutch team. The crowd went wild. They put on a great performance and won the game we watched.

Dutch Women Rugby 7s team
 Rugby is an international game and although the rugby is center stage there was plenty to do including mixing with people from all over the world. We talked with people from Argentina, England, South Africa, Australia, and Fiji.

Amsterdam rugby 7s an international affair

Fijians are famous for their rugby. In this small south Pacific Island country rugby is a national passion. Fiji has a population of some 850 000 people but they gravitate towards rugby even on the other side of the world. There was a whole gang from Tailevu in Fiji. Bula!

Bula vinaka! A gang of Fijians at the Amsterdam rugby 7s
For people who don't know anything about rugby, 7s is a great introduction. You don't have to know the rules of the game as you will be swept up in the game. It is exciting, quick, has carnival atmosphere and friendly people from all over the world. For some the excitement was too much.

End of a long day at Amsterdam rugby 7s

The organizers run a professional world class 7s tournament. As we rode home on our bicycles we knew we had experienced an exceptional day. Thank you IAmsterdam for the tickets and thank you Amsterdam for the wonderful weather. Next year be sure to check out the Amsterdam Rugby 7s.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

For our regular readers and transparency we were provided free tickets to the Amsterdam Rugby 7s. This did not impact the opinions written.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Raging Bitch: Beer of the Week at Cafe Batavia 1920

When in Amsterdam.... drink a Raging Bitch. Beer of the week at Cafe Batavia 1920 is a Belgian style Indian Pale Ale. On pouring there was a lovely white head. The first sip was immediately full of hops but then changed to flavors of citrus, apples and grapefruit.

Raging Bitch at Cafe Batavia 1920
 For those that like gin and tonics this is a beer for you. The Raging Bitch was easy to drink. After having two Bitchs the evening was kicked off in a great fashion.

When in Amsterdam.....drink an Indian Pale Ale.

For more Batavia Beers of the Week:
- Affligem Dubbel
Maredsous Blonde
Delirium Nocturnum 
- Golden Dragon

Here is a list of beer things to do like brewery and beer tours in Amsterdam.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Rolling Kitchens Festival at Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek

When in Amsterdam....once a year Kitchens roll into town. Food, music, drinks, food and more food is laid out at Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek. For four days starting Ascension Day  75 vans, caravans, trucks, buses, trailers create a large open air food court on wheels, a food lover's dream.

Rolling Kitchens entrance in Amsterdam
There was so much to choose from we didn't know where to start. The weather was great, the sun came out so we started with a plastic bag of lemon infused water from the lemon fairy.

Lemon Fairy at Rolling Kitchens, Amsterdam
The crowd was large and the lines for food long. We definitively saw what was popular by the length of the line. There was so much food from which to choose: Mexican tacos and ceviche, Thai curry, Moroccan, Vegan, sushi, wood fired pizza, burgers, pig on a spit, Surinam roti, Indian curry, Italian see the problem we faced. What a good problem!
Rolling Kitchens at Amsterdam's Westerpark
We started with a Bara stuffed with Bacalao. This is a dish from Suriname. Bacalao is salted fish and it was warmed on the BBQ. The fish was topped with pickled cabbage and curry ketchup. Wow, the Bara was so fresh and crispy. The salted fish wonderful, the pickles spicy.
Bara with Bacaloa at Rolling Kitchens, Amsterdam
 Now we had food in our stomachs time for one of the long lines. There were some serious BBQs around so we went for the line with a big smoking BBQ.
Smoking BBQ at Rolling Kitchen's Amsterdam
Smokey Goodness BBQ stall in Amsterdam
Smoked BBQ pork roll with coleslaw was chosen. Also a home made ice tea was ordered. The smoked pork was lovely, soft and sweet with BBQ sauce. The ice tea was a hit especially to wash away the lingering spice of the Bara. However, the star of the show was the sunshine that warmed the crowd.
BBQ pork roll with Ice Tea
We walked around amazed by the different vehicles made into food dispensers.

Hungry again from looking at all the wheels, ravioli with ricotta and lemon was selected. No not a large size just a small size,please.

The sauce was a little salty but tasty. The lemon balanced the ricotta. The people serving were rocking, people eating and dancing at the same time.

Wonderful weather, great tasty food, pumping music, happy. We called it a day even though the outdoor movie was about to start. Thank you Mister Kitchen and Pacific Parc for organizing the event. Rolling home on two wheels with a full stomach was satisfying.

Rolling Kitchens runs from 1300 to 2300hrs, Thursday 17 May to Sunday 20 May at Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek.

On Sunday the last day of Rolling Kitchens coincides with the monthly Neighborfood Market. What a fantastic food weekend.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Cafe Batavia 1920 Beer of the Week: Affligem Dubbel

When in Amsterdam....visit Cafe Batavia 1920. The location of Beer of the Week has a list of 42 beers and good honest tasty pub food. We notice sitting at the bar that the last two Beers of the Week have sold out and are to be re-stocked over the weekend. It is heartening that customers of Cafe Batavia 1920 are savvy, exploring beyond the standard Pils/lager.

Beer of the Week is Affligem Dubbel, a Begian brown ale.  On pouring there is a large light tan coloured head but the foam quickly disappears forming a simple ring on top of the beer. On smell, the Affligem Dubbel is malty with a hint of fruit. 
Affligem Dubbel at Cafe Batavia 1920

The first taste is lighter than expected. There is not as much body as what was expected. The beer is refreshingly light for a double ale. At first, while the beer is still cold from the fridge, you don't notice but as the beer warms the beer is sweet. There is an interesting taste that cannot simply be described by sweet. Little sip follows little sip trying to place the taste. At times there is citrus overtones, other sips seem to have more plum flavours. Getting towards the end of the beer the secret is in the carbonation or the small little bubbles that spread the taste.

By the end of the second the Affligem Dubbel the mouth is fresh with a clean sweetness and not beer. A thoroughly enjoyable beer.

When in Amsterdam...have a great weekend!

Other Beer of the Week entries:

Maredsous Blonde
Delirium Nocturnum
- Golden Dragon
When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam City Archive remembers murdered Jewish Children in Exhibition

When in Amsterdam.....remember Mokum. Amsterdam City Archives remember the Children of the Netherlands who were deported and murdered in the Second World War because they were Jewish, Roma and Sinti. The exhibition titled Memoriam is on display in the foyer and exhibition room of  the Bazel building, Amsterdam City Archive.

The exhibition has three parts and is an extention of the book In Memoriam, de gedeporteerde en vermoorde Joodse, Roma en Sinti kinderen, 1942-1945. One part is a glass panel. The panel lists the names of the 15 000 children who were deported by the Nazi occupying forces of the Netherlands between 1942-45.

Memoriam Exhibition Amsterdam City Archive

The centre piece of the exhibition is a 70 meter board. The board is broken in four and is covered in photos and details of the 2 900 Dutch Jewish children who were transported to Nazi run death camps. Photo, name, address, place of birth and place of death are simply displayed.

The third part of the exhibition is the story of 15 of the children who were deported and murdered under Nazi occupation in Amsterdam.

To bring you to them When In Amsterdam went to the address to see where Dolfje and Leo use to live in Amsterdam.

Prinsengracht 862 Dolfje's old home

Nieuwe Hoogstraat 27-29 - Leo's old home

The Memoriam exhibition is similar to an awareness campaign by Amsterdam's daily newspaper Het Parool for May 4 Remembrance Day activities in 2011. The newspaper sent posters to the addresses of former Jewish residences in Amsterdam. The campaign showed in pre-war Amsterdam it was normal to have a Jewish neighbor.

The exhibition's impact is its simplicity and subjects. History is not normally told by children and the marginalized. War is masculine and winners write the events. Children's stories are not normally central. Memoriam, like the Het Parool campaign, presents humanity front and center through innocent youngsters. Their story though short is important shape constructions of remembrance of human tragedy. The Memoriam exhibition  runs 10 February to 20 May 2012. Click link for more information.

Mokum is a slang word for central Amsterdam. The Yiddish word translates as 'place' or 'safe haven' and is derived from the Hebrew word 'makum' meaning 'place'.

Related post Remembrance Day May 4

When in Amsterdam....respect.
When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Remembrance Day May 4

When in Amsterdam...May 4 is Remembrance Day. The day remembers those who experienced war and peace-missions. Men,women, children, and animals who suffered are not forgotten.

The Kinr of the Netherlands makes his yearly trip to Amsterdam's Dam Square. His Highness brings together family, students and political dignitaries of city, province and state.

Flowers are laid at the National Monument on the east end of Dam Square. A young student whom represents the country's young, reads a poem of their hand.

At 2000hrs the bells toll throughout the land and two minutes silence is observed by the country.

Lest we forgot.

When in Amsterdam....respect!

Related Post -Amsterdam City Archive remembers murdered Jewish Children in Exhibition 

Golden Dragon: Beer of the Week at Amsterdam's Cafe Batavia 1920

When in Amsterdam....drink a Golden Dragon. May begins and temperatures have dropped. Sitting at the corner bar of Cafe Batavia 1920 Beer of the Week is a warming dark triple ale, Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon).

The smell of alcohol immediate is comforted with coffee aroma. The froth of the beer cappuccino. Not a drop drunk and already a coffee.

One sip and taste was full, lingered and finished bitter, refreshed, warm. The glass finished sweating and the beer developed softer subtle sweet and sour flavours.

What a beer! Relaxed and amazed by the Golden Dragon experience an introduction is made to the stranger next, "Haallo, What do you do when in Amsterdam?
Gulden Draak at Cafe Batavia 1920

Previous Beers of the Week:

- Maredsous Blonde
- Barbar
- Delirium Nocturnum

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Ajax Amsterdam Dutch Football Champion 2011-2012

When in Ajax. Amsterdam's only premiere football/soccer team, Ajax, claimed its 31st national title. Two titles in two years has put smiles on the many Amsterdammers.

Ajax Amsterdam Supporters in full voice

Half way through the 2011-2012 football season it did not look promising for Ajax who languished in 7th place in the Dutch league. However, with 11 straight victories Amsterdam claim the title with one game still to play.

Ajax Amsterdam Shirt - Photo by Sonia Hermosin

Ajax Amsterdam is the most successful club in Dutch history winning 31 national titles. Eindhoven's PSV is second with 21 titles while Ajax's arch rival from Rotterdam, Feynoord has 14 titles.

Ajax is also world famous for its youth acadamy. Many famous players have come through the ranks of Ajax they include Johan Cruijff, Edwin van der Sar, Dennis Bergkamp, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Nigel de Jong. Exciting new young talent is always in the making keep an eye out in the future for Davy Klaassen and Derk Boerrichter as they are sure to impress football fans.

When in Amsterdam you can learn more about the Ajax at the Ajax Experience. Situated in the city center at Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square) the Ajax Experience is for the football enthusiast.  Another option is to venture out to the stadium and take a tour. The Amsterdam Museum also has a great exhibition about the history of the football club in the city.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged