Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sightseeing in Amsterdam

We started our second day in Amsterdam early that Easter Sunday morning. Just next to our hotel is the Tropenmuseum.

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Since we are not very interested in museums, we did not visit any of the museums in Amsterdam. Instead, we chose to explore the streets in the Amsterdam city centre. The complex grid system for the trams is indeed very interesting. There are cables everywhere all over the city.

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Guess what is this?

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It is a public toilet. I guess it is only for guys, unless girls want to pee standing up, then they can use it too. There is also water fountain for drinking, especially in parks, so you do not even need to bring your own water to the park.

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As it was Easter Sunday, the roads are pretty much empty early in the morning.

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We walked all the way into the city centre, passing by a number of canals, another thing that Amsterdam has a lot of. Here are some photos of the canals.

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On the way to the city centre, we passed by this bridge called the Skinny Bridge or Magere Brug.

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There are also some souvenir shops along the way and one of it has this huge pair of clogs. Look at chubby kid’s small foot on it.

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Clogs are closely associated with Holland as a traditional wooden footwear and thus, has become a symbol of tourist attraction. There are lots of clogs for sale as souvenirs in all the souvenir shops.

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Another interesting place that we walked by was the Rembrandtplein or Rembrandt Square. There are lots of hotels, restaurants and pubs in this area. Later that evening when we were on our way back, Rembrandtplein was bustling with people eating, drinking and enjoying themselves.

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Nearby, a row of stalls were selling flowers, bulbs and seeds.

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Nice eh?

Next, we headed to Kalverstraat, a whole street of shops that would make shopaholics very happy. Unfortunately, it was Easter Sunday. Therefore, most shops were not opened.

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My husband spotted this and asked if I wanted a tattoo ;-)

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We then headed to Magna Plaza, a shopping complex, just to have a look inside. There was nothing interesting inside, so we just took a photo and left.

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Just opposite of Magna Plaza on Dam Square is the Amsterdam Royal Palace, which unfortunately, was under major renovation. So, it was closed to the public.

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There was even a fun fair going on just outside the palace. Here was where I bought a piece of stroopwafel, which was really delicious, nicer than any other waffles I had ever tried.

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Opposite the palace is the Madame Tussaud Amsterdam.

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This is Damstraat, a street full of shops, restaurants and pubs. Certainly a very happening place.

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At the junction of Damstraat, just right opposite both the Amsterdam Royal Palace and Madame Tussauds is the National Monument on Dam Square.

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There were lots of people loitering around that afternoon.

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Having enough of the crowd, we moved on to the Red Light District. Yes, the famous Red Light District of Amsterdam. There are a lot of sex-related shops, restaurants and pubs here. Prostitution is actually legal in Amsterdam, thus, the Red Light District is one of the major tourist attractions where females in skimpy lingerie parade in their windows. Those who fancy a quickie may strike a deal with the females and will be led to a small room behind those big glass windows. Taking photographs of the females in their windows are not allowed, therefore, I only have two photographs of the shops there; one from afar and one close-up.

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My experience of walking through the streets at the Red Light District was an interesting one. For one, I noticed that the females were of various shapes and sizes. There were also young ones as well as old ones. It was really interesting to see how they strike a deal with men who were interested. One particular female I saw, successfully enticed a customer and practically dragged him into her door by pulling on his shirt. What a view!

Well, enough of the Red Light District. We then decided to go for a canal boat ride, which is similar to this boat ride here. We did not take any photos during the boat ride as we were rather exhausted by then. I think we had walked for about 7 hours non-stop by then. I had a hard time keeping my eyes opened during the ride.

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After the canal boat ride, we disembarked and headed back to the Amsterdam Centraal Station to catch a tram back to the hotel. On our way there, we saw hundreds of bicycles parked on the streets.

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Then, we saw a very interesting sight. Tell me, have you ever seen a multi-storey bicycle parking lot? My gosh! How can you even find your bicycle there?

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I was quite tired already when we reached our hotel but after 30 minutes of rest, we decided to visit a nearby windmill.

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There is even a pub there and it was pretty packed with people eating, drinking and chatting away happily. Then, we headed back to the direction of our hotel and suddenly, I spotted something very futuristic; something that you would see only on TV but it was literally on the street of Amsterdam. See this guy partially hidden behind the car?

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Look at what he is riding. Really cool piece of transport. All he does is lean forward and move.

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Having enough of sightseeing for the day, it was time for dinner. So, where do we go for dinner on an Easter Sunday evening when most shops and restaurants are closed? Adding to the challenge of finding a place to eat, we were travelling with our Malay neighbour and thus, we need to find a halal place. We were so happy when we found out that the ONLY restaurant opened nearby our hotel was serving halal food. Great!

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I think this is a Turkish restaurant. Earlier on, we planned on having Indonesian food but we did not find any Indonesian restaurants nearby our hotel.

Oh gosh, look at the chilli sauce. Yummy…

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My husband ordered grilled lamb with rice while I ordered grilled chicken with rice. Taste not too bad.

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After satisfying our hunger, we walked back to our hotel, feeling quite exhausted. It was a good day. I even bought this shirt with the tourism tagline.

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I amsterdam.

No, I amstephchua.

:-)

2 comments:

Nana said...

U still very thin. Plz eat more

chuasteph said...

nana, my jeans tight lor...think i put on 2 - 3kg