Having found our feet in Amsterdam we were keen to really delve into history and attractions that the city had to offer. Yesterday we had looked enviously at the sun seekers lounging on their boats, with not a care in the world, so as the sun was still shining; we decided two could play at that game.
We floated down the many canals of Amsterdam on an open top tour cruise, listening as our guide explained to us so many of the buildings we had seen the day before.
In Amsterdam there are strict regulations of building work and modification of properties. Because the buildings are so old and of a certain design, and rework is frowned upon, and is extremely hard to get approval from. This also includes the inside too, so no crazy glass walls or trampoline floors, Cribs USA style!
Also because Amsterdam is so flat, the land is very susceptible to flooding, and so the land pressure is a carefully controlled science, so new housing is rarely built. This has meant there is a shortage of properties. However one thing they are not short on are canals, and so the residents have taken to the water.
These canal boats are permanent fixed residents, with water, electricity and gas. They have an address and post is delivered to them. So of them don’t even look like boats, but more like chalets on water.
After our taking the weight off our feet for a couple of hours we were back on the road, and feeling inspired to see the hot spots of Amsterdam, there was only one place on our minds. I AMsterdam.
Situated behind the Rijksmuseum, the large 3D I AMsterdam sculpture is an icon and of course a sought after photo opportunity. Always the ready photographer I was keen to capture the moment... along with about a hundred other people. Every which way people were on it, around it, in front of it, making getting a decent shot much harder than I imagined.
Plus a pesky fountain stands in the way of getting a full width shot. Better start saving for a wide angle lens then.
Now I’m known for sometimes still being a bit of child, so seeing little kids cast off their shoes and dive into the fountain, I decided to follow my inner child. Well, why do they get all of the fun?
Isn't this the coolest house art you have seen?
There was one thing about Amsterdam that both me and Nessa were disappointed in, and that was the food, or lack of it. As Amsterdam is such a tourist destination every single outlet is a burger joint, pizza place or steakhouse. There isn’t really a Dutch cuisine. Being such a foodie, this was really disappointing as I consider it my hobby eating out at unusual and unique places.
However while it wasn’t the authentic Dutch cuisine we so desperately sort, we stumbled upon the most gorgeous Middle Eastern cafe. Located in a converted church, Bazar served authentic Middle Eastern food, which was a feast for the eyes as well as the belly.
We both opted for the Lahmacun Turkish Pizza (Saved on food envy) which topped with finely chopped veal mixed with fresh tomato sauce, Middle Eastern spices, Kashkaval cheese and with a mint yogurt dip.
I’ve always loved Middle Eastern food, having gained a love for it from the many street food stalls dotted around London. If you have never tried any type of Middle Eastern I seriously recommend you get your butt over to the nearest stall, you haven’t lived until you’ve had Yumurtalı ekmek which is a sort of French toast.
Now having said previously that Amsterdam was a misunderstood city because everyone thinks that it is just Sex and drugs, well I still stand by that, however I cannot deny that Amsterdam does have that side to it. We all know about the Red Light District and its tolerance to prostitution. Now while me and Nessa are hardly going to go down that route, we were curious to see a little more ‘Adult’ Amsterdam. Well, when in
The Sex Museum is right on the busiest street of Amsterdam, , just in front of the Central Train Station, so hardly hiding down some seedy back street. And that is just it, nothing in Amsterdam is seedy. I will admit I thought I’d have genitals thrust in my face (pun totally intended) yet there is no of that, it is absolutely discrete, you could pass on by without ever really coming into contact with Sex and Drugs- OK, minus the sign for the Sex Museum that is.
Now I’m afraid there are no pictures as one, I didn’t take any and two I defiantly couldn’t have out any up. I would be shut down in a flash! Let’s just say you have to go in with an open mind, and not be prudish in the slightest. I said it was discrete... on the outside. Inside is another ball game.
However never one to leave you in the dark here is a cheeky snap. Don’t say I don’t treat you.
Feeling a little wide eyed and stunned, we defiantly needed a strong one! In the few days I had to prepare for Amsterdam I had heard of this little cocktail bar called Hiding in Plain Sight. It has a reputation of being one of the best cocktail bars in Europe. Well with that reputation I had to try it for myself.
It is a tiny little bar, hidden rather in a quiet, suburban part of town; an odd place for a bar, but then this was no commercial tourist dive. This was pure cocktail mastery. No fluffy fruit punch to be found here. Only the good stuff.
The menu was as cheeky as it was it was difficult to choose. However having chosen our tipples we were both extremely pleased. Strong, dark and classic. No messing. I can see why it has gained a reputation. Hiding in Plain Sight was good.
If not a little off beat... Serrano ham anyone?
Finally having a little Dutch courage (Man I am on FIRE with these puns today) we decided to pay a visit to the one and only Red Light District. Now again, no photos are it is strictly prohibited to take photos of the girls, however I will again leave you with a lingering shot of down the street.
Was it what you expected?
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