I have just come back from a fabulous four days in Amsterdam. What a city! Beautiful place, friendly people and (mostly) good weather. It’s on an equal footing with Stockholm for my favourite city so far. (And Dutch men are as pretty as the Swedes.) I’d love to live abroad one day – my parents did it (Sewf Eefikah) – we all possess itchy feet syndrome in this house – and I could easily see myself living in such a cosmopolitan city.
So, without further ado, here is my photo journal!
(Please be warned that there are NSFW pictures from the Sex Museum!)
We stayed at the Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera because it was a reasonable price in a decent enough location. (I booked through Travel Republic which I highly recommend, the hotels are much cheaper through there!) Although! Beware the city tax you will be charged upon checking in. (I think some places include it in the price, ours probably wasn’t because we booked it so cheap and not direct.) I had no idea this existed, and at the time of writing it was 5% of … something, which for us worked out at €21.99 per room.
This was the view outside our window:
We flew with KLM which was awesome because FREE BEER! And snacks. The whole flight time was only something like 45 minutes (but made longer by the huge distance between the gate and the runway at Schiphol).
After we’d checked in and had a quick change, we went to the Anne Frank House. We had already pre-booked tickets which you MUST DO because the queue is epically long.
Anyway, it was harrowing. I hadn’t been bothered about going but I’m glad I did. You get shivers the second you walk in. Horrific. Really makes you think. I don’t know what else to say because I will never be able to do it justice. Just… ugh. And to think it wasn’t even that long ago! The human race is certainly capable of some atrocities.
To cheer ourselves up afterwards we went for a beer. As you can see, the weather on Thursday was amazing!
That evening we went to some bars around Leidseplein. I appear to look a little worse for wear here!
The following day was rainy so we went to the Heineken Experience. I swear, after this trip I am all beer-ed out! (Also book online, €2 cheaper.)
We also went to the Sex Museum, which is HIGH-LAIR-IOUS!
That night we went to the Red Light District. What a bizarre experience that is! Girls done up like painted dolls standing in windows half naked, knocking on the glass to attract the attention of men. The windows doubled as doors and when they had someone with them, the curtain over their door/window was closed. Taking photos of the girls is not recommended if you value your camera so I got this shot of one of the streets (note that even the lights on the bridge are red.)
Then we went to a bar called Mata Hari which was full of beautiful men. They have also adopted the fashion of swept back hair. Why has this not taken off over here, dammit?!
Saturday, and two of our group took too long to get ready so myself and the other speedy getting-ready-er took ourselves off to the Rijksmuseum. Alas, the queue was too long due to just being re-opened after ten years and so I thought I’d save it for when I inevitably return one day (it’s such an amazing place that I will!) So instead we went to Madame Tussauds.
That’s Dam Square. As you can see, they’re getting all set up for Queen’s Day (King’s Day?!) which is tomorrow (April 30th). I wish we were there for it! 😦
Later, we met up with the stragglers and went on a canal cruise.
I learnt that the buildings in Amsterdam are so narrow because there was a tax on width! (I was the only one of my friends to actually listen to the tour.)
That night we went out out.
It cost us €12 each to get into a club (The Sugar Factory). Bloody Amsterdam. I made some Dutch fwends.
The one one the right said I wouldn’t be able to pronounce his name so I was like PAH! Try me! And apparently I pronounced it perfectly. They were very impressed. I was smug. Nothing stands in the way of me copying correct pronunciation, not even all the hacking present in Dutch.
What amused me about this trip is everyone knew we were English before we even opened our mouths. In Stockholm this has never happened (though Amsterdam is much more touristy which probably plays a role.) My theory is that Dutch girls don’t really dress up to go clubbing – the only other dolled up girls I saw were also English. I think it may have given us away slightly.
We all went to the Science Museum the following day. It wasn’t amazing, but it was a good way to kill a few hours because our flight wasn’t until 10pm.
My friend and I French kissing:
And then we came home 😦
Despite almost being run over by a tram and many near death experiences involving bikes, I loved it. The people are so friendly and the place is stunning. I loved how there were hardly any chain cafés and bars; they were all independent and they were all good. In my (limited) experience, in England, independent usually means rubbish but that was not the case in Amsterdam!
I MUCH prefer city breaks to summer holidays, where you get to actually meet the locals and have to rely on yourself to get places instead of it all being done for you. It makes the whole trip so much more rewarding!
It really is a fabulous city and I recommend it to everyone! Here are a few scenic shots to end my entry (I did take lots more, but uploading is hard on a 6mbps connection (sort it out BT!) and I’m lazy.)
Next on the list is Prague with the mother!