Amsterdam - A City of many Tales

Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
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Where I stayed

Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Woke up this morning and the sun was still in bed! But we were on our way to the airport and to Amsterdam. We arrived at 8:25am so grab a train and headed into town. Everything was closed so we walked the 2 odd miles to our hotel and dumped our stuff there. On our way back into town we stopped off at a little bakery and grabbed some awesome goodies, walked through a flower market and along the canals. We finally made our way to Dam Square where our free walking tour started later that morning. Best tours ever they do quite a few cities in Europe and the walking tour is free (they ask for a tip) and they use it to promote their night time tours, go old New Europe Tours. So we went on our walking tour which was great. We went to the first operating theatre (which was really a theatre that people would pay to see operations, hence the name), the old church, the jewish quater, red-light district, the Dutch East Indies Company, first stock exchange and many more places. We had to cut the tour short as we had another booked. So we left that and bolted back towards the train station, we did get our second tour with some time to spare. So the tour took us up into Holand and first stop was a Clog making place and windmills! It was really cool seeing how they made the clogs the traditional way and also the new way (sooooo much faster), they really were the first work boot (didn't matter if ya dropped things on ya toes). After walking around and getting a photo with the windmills our next stop was in Gouda, thats right CHEESE!!!!!!! We say had they made Gouda and tried heaps of different types and the cheese was amazing! Was so much flavour not like the crappy gouda you get in the supermarket. Anyway after that we headed up near Edam and into a small fishing village. We had some time here before boarding a boat to take was across the lake and finally back to Amsterdam. Later that night we went on a really great tour of the Red-Light District and it was great! I would highly recommend going there, yes there are some worse bits (if you want to go into the shows.......which we didn't) but it is nothing like we expected. The bit that you walk through is actually really nice, just go. After the tour and leaving all about the darker side of Amsterdam we went and had dinner at a Brazilian restraunt, Phil and I had all you could eat ribs! We could only manage 2 full racks.

Next day we woke up had a nice breakfast and headed out touring, we went to Anne Frank's house which was amazing. It is such a powerful place and reading all about her and her family and how they lived and hid through WWII. You should watch the movie to get an idea of what they went through and then to see the actual house was amazing. After that sobering experience we decided to go to the House of Bols, so we jumped on a tram and headed off, as we got off the tram Meaghann pointed out that my beanie was still on the seat, luckily I managed to jump back on the tram and grab my beloved Oilers beanie. We then paid out €7 and went on the self-guided tour. We saw how they use to smugle the Geneva (the Grand-pappy of Gin) in and out of Amsterdam, we then went to the smelling room and they had heaps of wee sniff bottle and you had to try and guess all the flavours and yes for each smell that have an alchol for it, I guess Bols is very similar to Schnapps. After all the we were getting a bit thirsty so we went to the bar, picked our cocktail and they should us how to make it and then it was on to drinking them. They were some of the best cocktails I've ever had! After that was got to have shots, as there were 4 of us we got to try 12 shots between us, needless to say we walked out very happy. We then made our way back to the hotel to pick up our stuff and headed back to the airport to grab some Bols, Gouda and Stropenwaffle. It was a great great trip and one of our fav cities now.
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