Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this post. There is so much to share and talk about! There we were all bundled up in our winter jackets and excited to hit the streets of Amsterdam, for you see we wanted to welcome 2015 with a new experience. So we did just that!
Everyone has seen photos and videos of the Red Light district, well so have I. However, seeing it live is a whole other ballgame. The Red Light district left me speechless, and for those of you who personally know me, you can vouch for the fact that ‘speechless’ is a rare if not unheard of characteristic of mine.
It was dark, cold and roughly 8pm when the lights of the houses were turned on and out came on display in the windows of the townhouses attractive ladies that left very little to the imagination. Next to them was a huge sign saying don’t buy street drugs because they had tourists buying drugs off the streets and they wound up dead! We walked a bit further and saw a sign, “Banana Bar” – well what could that be all about? I wonder… (so besides Banana Bar there were a ton of lady clubs [I am determined to keep this post G rated] with huge lineups outside). Photographing is in no way, shape or form allowed, but I did manage to squeeze a photo in of the ‘don’t buy drugs off the street sign” – see below.
When it comes to things we had to see well the “i amsterdam” sign was a must. Making our way through a flurry of tourists we came upon it – bright, bold and with a lot more tourists draped over the sign we found the Amsterdam sign.
And most certainly we were also going to check out the shopping scene in the city. So we did a lot of walking until we reached Leidsestraat. Seeing that it was the end of Christmas a lot of sales were waiting for us and there was no shortage of stores, so we were very glad to have stopped by. The end of the shopping street led us to many very nice canals and streets offering a lot of opportunities for photos. For example, the eastern street along the Amstel, which has a gallery behind heavy metal doors and in front are these two metallic lit sculptures guarding the premise.
My favourite pictures were taken of the different canals that run throughout the city.
When we looked for food options we found that Indonesian food is definitely the way to go. There is nothing better than authentic Indonesian food served on a cold wintery day. And if you still have room for exploring Christmas markets, Amsterdam has a great market in the centre with lots food and drink options. But what I found to be quite cool is their food vending machines found along the street, which offer tourists and locals a quick bite on the go. So if you have some change in your pocket and don’t have a lot of time to spare, head over to the food machines for a hot take-away meal serving traditional Dutch fast food (like kalfsvleeskroket, a croquette stuffed with veal, for €1.60).
If you are looking for an organic breakfast place we found just the one for you to visit, called Vinnie’s Cafe (http://vinnieshomepage.com)! This place is seriously worth checking out and it’s conveniently located in the middle of the city. These guys serve everything organic and local and it’s all delicious.
Heads up: when wanting to enjoy a coffee I wouldn’t suggest going into places called coffee shops, as you might be surprised of what you will find, that’s all I have to say on that subject!
Walking around Amsterdam is by far the best way to see many of its charm, however if you are not used to the fact that bicycles have the right away here, you can purchase a daily bus/metro pass for about €6 that should take you everywhere your heart desires!
To me Amsterdam is the Las Vegas of Europe, except far less Casinos. You can do pretty much anything here; it’s all about having a good time, enjoying life and heightening your personal senses. Amsterdam has something for everyone! And now I leave you with a huge oxymoron between my post on Amsterdam and the innocent lyrics from a very famous song about ‘Old Amsterdam’, enjoy!
I saw a mouse — where? There on the stair
Where on the stair? Right there
A little mouse with clogs on — well, I declare
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair – oh yeah
This mouse, he got lonesome, he took him a wife
A windmill with mice in, it’s hardly surprisin’
She sang every morning “How lucky I am
Living in a windmill in old Amsterdam”
First they had triplets and then they had quins
A windmill with quins in, triplets and twins in
They sang every morning “How lucky we are
Living in a windmill in Amsterdam — ya”
The daughters got married and so did the sons
The windmill had christenings when no one was listening
They all sang in chorus “How lucky we am
Living in a windmill in old Amsterdam”
A mouse lived in a windmill, so snug and so nice
There’s nobody there now but a whole load of mice