Saturday, 23 November 2013

Amsterdam

Eventually we get to visit Amsterdam after missing it six months ago


Having parked the van on the Camping Zeeburg site some way out of the city for a couple of nights, we purchase rover tickets and begin the ritual of getting lost in a big capital
The Dutch are an odd bunch with no set demeanour, our friends in the service industry either greet you with enthusiasm and are very helpful to us English, or you are treated with glum faces and forced responsive grunts
This was just on the Tram network!


Leaving the big camera safely locked in the van I took our compact one and was soon regretting the decision photographically


We'd been told by the Dutch to be vigilant but to be honest with some common sense we never felt unsafe even late in the evening


An early opportunity for Nina to peruse the diamonds that give the city some notoriety...




After a good lunch in one of hundreds of cafés we head for the Rijksmuseum 
The museum is huge and its collections of art and historical artefacts are stunning, my favourite being the huge collection of dutch pistols and rifles
Several works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet and many others enhanced our 'cultural afternoon'




After several hours and with aching backs we emerge in to the bustling evening city life and head for a superb Pizzeria with friendly hosts and Belgian beer



More Tram use and we head for the Red Light District after a tour of the Christmas markets



Having been a little apprehensive initially of touring the shadier side of town we find ourselves in the heart of the famous red light district (yes it wasn't by accident)


Having settled in a waterside bar we teamed up for the evening with a French couple who were great fun and spent the late hours analysing the morals and antics of what was going on right in front of us
Great entertainment watching the hoards of folks crawling past the 'windows' opposite us in the bar



The night bus home was less entertaining at 2.30 am especially when we yet again got off  2km before our intended stop…..
Hamburg all over again…

3 or 4 days in Amsterdam is really needed as there's so much to see and do so yet another city to add to our 'must return' list