When we went to Amsterdam: Day 2

Guess who’s back? Once again, I’m sorry for the long absence but as you probably know from my last blog post I haven’t been well over the winter period. But now I’m back and feeling much better and ready to start blogging more frequently!

Following on from the last travel blog post, I thought I’d crack on with Day 2 of our Amsterdam trip. We did quite a lot on this day, so much so, that I had some back trouble by the time evening came!

Day 2 

We woke up at around 10:15 and after speaking to the hotel about the unwanted wake up call we had (which is featured in the last post), we got outside only to see this…

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Outside the Ibis Hotel, Amsterdam Centraal.

Yes, bikes! Thousands of them! I knew they were famous for bike riding in this city, but wow! I had no idea there were so many. I think its one of the few places in the world where you’ll see a multi-storey bike park!

After finding a takeaway bakery shop for breakfast, we headed down in the direction of the Rijksmuseum. On the way we passed the Royal Palace of Amsterdam which was really nice to see. It faces a rather large open plaza called the Dam Square. It’s a grand building, constructed in the 17th century and looks like it may be worth a visit at some time if we ever come again in the future. We didn’t go inside as we had a lot to see and it wasn’t on our list of things we wanted to do.

 

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Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square

You find that there are a lot of little side streets in Amsterdam that take you to some surprising little places. As I’m sure you’re all aware, the city is famous for it’s canals and on the way we saw this one below. I thought it looked perfect for a lovely Autumn picture.

Canal in Amsterdam
Seventeenth Century Canal Ring, Amsterdam

There are a lot of little shops and a very small market at this time of year. We found a tulip seed market stall (as Tulips were out of season at this time), and a few tourist shops on the way. I seem to have developed a tradition for collecting keyrings wherever I go in the world, so I got one and also took a photo of Luke in enormous clogs! Though I’m not sure he’d want me to show it!

Eventually, we got to the Rijksmuseum at the other end of the city. This place is a National Museum in Holland and is one of the largest I’ve ever been to. As we went through the walkway, I spotted the Iamsterdam letters. I thought this would be an awesome opportunity to take some photos. So we did!

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Luke next to the Iamsterdam piece, Rijksmuseum

After this, we went into the museum. It was rather cheap at 17.50 euros which is about the equivalent of £12.50 (as of Nov 2015). There was much to see, the only museums I’ve ever been to that are bigger than this one are The Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In there we saw a lot of art from the Napoleonic period and a few Van Gough paintings which included one of his famous self-portraits. We even saw a painting of the Royal Palace which we walked past earlier. There was everything from musical instruments made of china to giant model ships. And of course, we saw the famous Night Watch painting by Rembrandt. It was enormous and really striking! Also there was another of his paintings called Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild. I wish I could detail the visit in full but there was so much there, it would take me all day!

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The Night Watch by Rembrandt, Rijksmuseum

In the museum we had some tea and a slice of a traditional Netherlands apple pie which was delicious. I would definitely recommend coming to this museum as it’s cheap and you get to see some great things for your money.

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Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

After visiting the museum, we headed to Vondelpark as it was not far away from the museum itself. We didn’t really have long to spend there as daylight was fading fast. Of course, there were more cyclists there than there were pedestrians. We stumbled across a place called VondelCS, which looked like an event hall or a performance venue of some kind. It looked like the kind of place where it was by invitation only, so we moved on. The park looked quite pretty at night but I think it is the kind of place which would look better if you came in the daylight in summertime. Still, it was a nice place to take a stroll.

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Vondelpark, Amsterdam

We then headed back to into town and saw that we were not too far away from the Anne Frank House. Before the holiday, Luke had recommended that we should avoid going in to the house itself as there are always very long queues & waiting times.  However, now that it was after hours and the place was closed, we could take a look at the outside. It was strange being there, to think that she and her family were hiding away for years in that annex just meters away from where I was standing. What a fascinating young girl she was.

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Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam

We made our way back over the lit up canals and headed back towards the town centre. Suddenly, my back went! Typical isn’t it? I know I had been walking all day, but I didn’t do anything strenuous. Luckily Luke was on hand to help me, so I hobbled back to Dam Square where we found a little Italian restaurant which served some lovely thin pizzas. I managed to get up the stairs to the table, just. But after I sat down for a while, I felt better. I really enjoyed the meal, and afterwards we headed back to the hotel.

It was a very busy day, but I definitely enjoyed it! Except for when my back went of course. I tend to have trouble with it sometimes and today it seemed to decide to play up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I apologise for the lateness of it. I’ve not been well and have had to only do essential things during this time. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some speed with these posts in the future.

Ali

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