Spring 2012 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

From mid May to early June of this year Dave and I embarked on a quick trip through Belgium, the Netherlands and France.  I never did a proper recap, so I’m going to do some mini recaps of the places we visited in the coming days.  You can read about Brussels here.

Amsterdam, in pictures:

Amsterdam 2012 - 2

Amsterdam 2012 - 3

Amsterdam 2012 - 5

Amsterdam 2012 - 6

Amsterdam, in words:

Where we stayed:

Amsterdam Hotelboat: small yet clean, we thought it would be fun to try something different and stay on a boat.  It was relatively inexpensive and a fun change.  The breakfast served each morning was tasty.  It was a bit of a trek from the dock into town, which with the heat felt a lot longer than it was, but overall well situated near the train station and town.  We rented bike (see below) and they proved to be very useful.

What we did:

We rented  bikes from Star bike rentals on the recommendation of the owners of the hotelboat, and we were really glad we did so!  While Amsterdam is easy to get around on foot, it’s a whole lot faster on a bike!  We had to adapt though, as the bikes are a little different than the ones we use at home, they were single speed backpedal brake bikes, so combined with the fact that I had a really hard time with reading street signs, it made for an interesting time.  Though very very worthwhile, especially since it made it easy to bike down to the dock the hotelboat was stationned at.

There is no lack of museums in Amsterdam.  We chose a couple that interested us, namely the Anne Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum.  I had already visited the Anne Frank Museum, but Dave had not, and visiting in the evening (instead of the morning) proved to be a good choice, as there were fewer visitors.  We attempted to visit Electric ladyland, the museum of fluorescent art, but as luck would have it a group of school aged children were visiting that afternoon, and we would have had to return much later.  We did however get a glimpse of all the fluorescent goodness on the groundfloor.

Our accomodations didn’t include wifi access, so we headed over to the nearby central library to check our email.  It isn’t free, but the automated vending machine to pay for internet was easy to use to get a code, and then when you’re done, you can cash out the remaining time and get some cash back.  The library is also very pretty, so worth a quick visit if you’re into modern design.

What we ate/drank:

We ate lots and lots of sandwiches.  Our guidebook mentionned that sandwiches were big, and they were right!  Sometimes they were open faced, sometimes not.  They were always delicious.  On our first evening in Amsterdam we ate at the floating Chinese restaurant Sea Palace.  While pricey, the portions were huge and delicious (mind you, I’m not one to judge authenticity, but for a good meal not far from our accomodations, it was perfect).

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