Showing posts with label Amsterdam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amsterdam. Show all posts


21 Mar 2014

Sunday was our last day in Amsterdam. Nooooo!  We checked out of our hotel at 11:00 AM and left our bags at the front desk since our flight wasn't until 7:30. One of the top attractions left on our to-do list was the Anne Frank Huis, so we headed over to the Jordaan district where it's located.
When we arrived, the line for the Anne Frank Huis was very long (as expected.) We got in line, but soon decided to cut our losses because the weather was windy and chilly, and we received info that it would probably be a 1-2 hour wait, so we settled for some pictures in front of the house.
The Jordaan District is a lovely area in Amsterdam. We enjoyed walking around for about an hour before we headed back to towards the Museum Quarter.
At this point we had only a couple of hours to kill, so we wandered around the Museum Quarter until we found a sweet restaurant to grab a bite to eat.
As we walked back towards our hotel after lunch, we took one last glance at the beautiful green in the center of the Museum Quarter. We knew what still needed to be done...
A trip to Amsterdam wouldn't be complete without a picture in front of the I AMSTERDAM letters!
Amsterdam is an amazing city. The culture was refreshing, and the people were kind-- I am so sad to be closing the book on this adventure! I feel really good about what we accomplished in Amsterdam; I feel like we saw a good portion of the city. My hope is to eventually return in a spring or summer month, when everything is in full bloom, to check out more museums, the Anne Frank Huis (obviously) and other districts outside of the city center. 

Tot dan, Amsterdam, tot ziens! <3

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12 Mar 2014

We decided not to set our alarms super early since we knew that we needed rest after our early morning  wake-up and exploring the day before. We woke up around 9:30, quickly showered and headed out the door. We didn't have any plans or previous engagements to consider, so we just decided to start at the Bloemenmarkt (the Floating Flower Market) and work our way around from there.

First things, first-- Breakfast. 

No matter what research you do for your first trip to Amsterdam, you are going to find that every single piece of information you read is going to urge you to try the Dutch pancakes. Conformity is key here. Give into the majority. They know what they are talking about. 
James and I found a small cafe located in the heart of the Bloemenmarkt called Amarylles. I would recommend this cafe; great location, friendly staff and delicious food. While there are many different styles of Dutch Pancakes, I was most interested in trying the Poffertjes, which are small fluffy pancakes served with butter, syrup and powdered sugar. My only mistake was getting the order of 12 instead of the order of 24. They made me very, very happy. James got a delicious ham and cheese croissant and then we finished off breakfast with a slice of traditional Dutch Apple Pie.
After breakfast, we walked around the flower market. The people of Amsterdam are so lucky to have such beautiful flowers at their fingertips! It was disappointing not to be able to take some home with us.
I was still high from the amazing cheese sampler plate we got the night before, so we stopped into a few of the Dutch cheese shops along the way for free samples. Like that pun? Hehe!  I have never tasted such amazing cheese. These people really know what they are doing. 
I wish I had taken better pictures of the cheese, but I was too busy stuffing my face...
After enjoying our second breakfast, we moved towards the heart of Amsterdam to find our way to the canal tour that our iAmsterdam card included. I can't say that I was smitten with this experience. The captain (or pirate, I would say) was rude to me, and the boat was already full, so we didn't get good seats to look out or take any pictures. Plus there were raindrops all over the glass, so every picture I took, had water droplets all over it. It's called a squeegee. Ever hear of it?! It's the little things!
compilation of crappy architectural pictures from the canal tour
The canal tour was a nice way of learning a little bit about the city, and it was nice to get off our feet for 45 minutes, so I guess it was worth it. After making the rounds of the city by water, we went to check out the view from the Science Center Nemo. It was a little bit off the beaten path, but since we didn't have any plans we could just wander for hours.
The Science Museum is a children's museum that you have to pay for, but the viewing platform on top is owned by the city and is free. The time of day wasn't that good for taking pictures, but it was still nice for us to enjoy the peacefulness of being up and away.
At that point, we started to get hungry and wanted to relax and have a drink, so we headed back into the city to find a place to post up for a few.
On our search for food, we passed through a very unsuspecting Red Light District during daylight. You wouldn't even hardly notice it was the "sleazy" part of town...
We found a pub to get a snack and have a couple drinks. We enjoyed more cheese, wine and beer for a couple of hours and then decided to try to find a place to watch the Manchester United match on TV. With our bartenders referral, we set out to find Players, a pub back in the heart of Amsterdam that shows the games and has "expensive beers, but not too bad." James had an idea of where it was and thought he saw it earlier, so we headed that way.

Soooooo, "Players Pub" turned out to be "Teasers Club." There must have been something lost in translation because their 'Babes and Beer' slogan wasn't exactly what we I had in mind. It was basically the equivalent of a Hooters, but they also would randomly dance on tables (with their clothes on, don't worry!It was actually kind of comical, and they were in fact showing the game, so we sat down and decided to deal with it for the time being. In our minds we thought that we would order some cheap draft beers, see the game and go away from it no harm no foul. Turns out, our pint and a half of Heinekens cost us over 14.00! WTF! AND, it's brewed in this city?!  Obviously we were irritated at this, but when this restaurant tried to make James pay to use the toilet, that was the last straw. James ripped me out of the place so fast... Luckily the game was over!
We were worn out from our second day of adventure, so the rest of the night was spent searching for the perfect french fry stand. So yum! Amsterdam has the best french fries! 

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