We decided to do a weekend in Amsterdam booked some cheap flights and got some great deals on our hotel and of we went.
The first thing you see when you arrive in Amsterdam are millions of bicycles. Everyone has one from the old to the young, they are the most popular and cheapest form of transport in Amsterdam, I wouldn’t however say they are the safest, during my time in Amsterdam I nearly got hit by a few…
You also notice other things not seen in other European cities such as hundreds of so called coffee shops and the red light district with all its craziness. Amsterdam is driven by sex and drugs, and attracts millions of curious tourists such as me and my sister.
We set out the next morning to visit the Rembrandt house museum which was ok, and shows a nice collection of his work. The afternoon took us to the Van Gough museum which was really, really impressive. There were plenty of works from Van Gogh but also from other artists such as Cezzane, Monet, Gugain, Picasso and many others.
After a day of museums we decided to head out for the evening. Our hotel was right in the centre so after a quick shower and change of clothes we headed out…
The obvious place to go was to the heart of the red light district, I had pre- warned my sister what to expect and also told her to make sure she didn’t take any photos otherwise she and her camera maybe thrown into the canal. The streets located in the red light district are riddled with coffee shops (where they don’t sell coffee) and other strange shops (where they also don’t sell coffee). It’s hard to understand why they call it the red light district in the day but as soon as the sun goes down the red lights light up the windows where women / men dressed in very little sit for all to see. From other visits I have learnt that the red lights indicate women who are women and the blue lights indicate men who are dressed as women, all in all the area is crazy, its one of those places where the reality is sad but you cant help but have a giggle as you see the men sheepishly leaving the establishments..
After a wander around we headed to the ‘Grasshopper’ one of the most famous places in Amsterdam and where many tourists go, overpriced but a good place to chill out.. We took a look at the menu, chose what we thought would be fun and settled down for a few hours giggling like two school children.. We wanted to hit a techno club and as techno music is huge in Holland we didn’t think this would be too difficult, how wrong were we.. It’s not much fun wandering around the red light district in the state we were, it was funny but it was cold and we didn’t really want to be outside… We couldn’t find a techno club but did find another little café which was playing drum n bass and breaks which was perfect, so we settled in there for a few hours…
We got home around 4am which wasn’t too bad and I think we were both asleep before we hit our beds.. We woke up reasonable early around 10 which wasn’t too bad but we were starving and headed out for some food we found a great bakery selling custard filled croissants very tasty. After food we headed to the house of Anne Frank, I was excited about going here as I had read the book during my time in school and my sister who loves war history couldn’t wait.
The Anne Frank museum was very interesting and included a tour through the various rooms and the secret annex where Anne and her family lived through some of the war. The museum gave a harsh reality of what life must have been like during the Nazi period it was a real eye opener.
After the solemn morning we decided to go to the ‘’ Heineken Experience ‘’set in the original Heineken Brewery, built in the late 1800s, the tour is impressive. I have been known, to drink a Heineken or two…or three in my time, it is a tasty lager. So of course I had to go to the and admission included three half-pint glasses of Heineken – one early in the tour at the “Brewhouse Bar” and the last two at the end, in the “See You Again Bar” – and we also got a souvenir tin and glass at the very end of your tour which was a great touch.
The exhibits included in the ‘Experience‘ were an explanation of the brewing process and the history of Heineken. The highlights of the tour included two Disney like rides; the first in which visitors stand on a moving platform as they witness the bottling process through the eyes of a bottle which was really funny, the second involves a simulation of a Heineken horse drawn delivery wagon driving through the streets of Amsterdam which made me feel a bit dizzy..
For our last night we decided to go on a canal trip, the one we booked was only for 1 ½ hours but we had unlimited local beer and soft drinks and were served cheese and biscuits throughout the tour and it was a great way to chill out in the evening as we had an early start the next the next morning..
We had a great weekend in Amsterdam it was really tiring but it was good to see the things we did and spend a wild night out. My sister would like to go back for a few days later on the year which should be good fun..
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