Travel Journal

Amsterdam - You don’t have to turn on the red light

(Tuesday 19 October 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 57 – 9/30/10 Amsterdam
Bruges had been a bit overcast so we were hoping Amsterdam would be a bit sunnier. It was a few hours’ drive before we arrived at the hotel where we did the paperwork but could not check in yet. We were about 5 kilometers from the town center but even out here there is no such thing as free parking. Every inch of the street is covered by metered parking so we instead paid to use the hotel’s parking lot. I can see why everyone cycles or uses public transportation in this town.
We got on the tram heading into town and got off at the central train station.
We tried a Rick Steves walking tour as well here but got lost about halfway through. It started to rain (so no the weather did not improve from Bruges) and it was a cold rain.
We ducked into shops a few times but I got quite wet. We stopped at the Ruikmuseum
which has been undergoing renovation for quite some time. As you would expect, there a good representation of the Dutch Masters here, and the crowning jewel has to be the Nightwatch painting. There was also an interesting exhibit on Rembrandt as well.
We stopped at the Van Gough museum which I was keen on visiting but the admission price was like 14 Euros so we gave it a pass. We did go in to Anne Frank’s house which was very informative and sad.
Julie wasn’t familiar with the story and was very moved by her plight. Afterward we got some food at a Chinese restaurant which served as a buffer between Anne Frank and the Red Light District.
We looked at a few coffee shops but didn’t go in. We looked into a few glass window but we didn’t go in. Not sure what else to tell you. Definitely a seedy feeling to the back alleys with the women displaying their wares. We headed back to the hotel.

The next morning we stopped at one of Rembrandt’s houses and took some pictures of the exterior as we would have to leave before it opened.
We also walked through a flea market where Julie bought a couple items but not all the stalls were opened. This was the beginning of Julie’s flea market frenzy which continued on through our travels. I stopped off at a used book market while Julie continued back to the hotel to pack. No finds at the sale but I did buy a travel book on Germany and Italy at an American bookstore before joining Julie.


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