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Amsterdam 06

I really like Amsterdam, but it's been several years since I visited. So, a few days after a stoned conversation with a friend one evening, the long weekend was booked, and we resolved this time to squeeze in a bit of culture too.

I remember it dawning on me at some point during the trip, the reason why I don't ever get any decent photos in Amsterdam -- well they always seem focussed at the time ...

I will have to make up for lack of decent photos by random ramblings, please bear with me - the details of the weekend are somewhat hazy ...

I remember rain - lots of it, but this did not dampen our spirits.

The tight squeezy hotel room meant we'd rather spend the day walking about in the rain than spending any time hanging around the hotel.

I laughed almost hysterically when after getting payment up front, the hotel receptionist informed us that a credit card imprint would be required in case we "trashed the room"... Well!- there was nothing in there to trash that I could see - apart from maybe the mirror on one wall, designed (but seriously failing in the attempt) to make the room appear much larger than it was.

I've stayed at said hotel several times before and really don't remember the rooms being so tiny - maybe it's me that's grown bigger, or perhaps we just struck unlucky with the room ... I think I can safely say however, that after several stays over the years, I've now outgrown the cheap, cheerful and conveniently central located Hotel Quentin.

In no particular order, here is what else we got up to:

Visited the Begijnhof, only open in the mornings so it took a couple of attempts to drag ourselves out of bed early enough to get there in time.

Sampled a range of Amsterdam's delectable coffeeshops.

Visited the fascinating Theatre Museum.

Wandered through the flower market then hopped on the Canal Bus.

Spent many hours walking along the city's wonderful character filled streets.

Looked at the queues round the block to get into Anne Frank's house and thought "bugger that let's go find a coffeeshop and check back later".

Visited the secret church - Amsterdam's oldest church, in an attic in a house in the middle of the red light district. The church dates back to the times when Catholicism was only put up with if places of worship weren’t identifiable from the street.

In the past I've been pretty disappointed by the food available in Amsterdam. Clearly I wasn't looking in the right places. On this trip we had lots of really good eating experiences including:

  • A really fantastic meal at Axum, an Ethiopian restaurant at Utrechtsedwarsstraat 85-87 (- gut busting portions, absolutely delicious!)
  • A couple of really good Indonesian restaurants (can't remember the names or locations since unfortunately lost my guide book ... fortunately it was on the last night so we didn't suffer too much without it).
  • Some excellent breakfasts, including great bagels somewhere on a corner by the flower market (Gary's(?) Muffins??)

Each trip I've made to Amsterdam over the years has been a very different experience. But always pretty fabulous rain or shine. It will remain a firm favourite for a city break.



Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Begijnhof, Amsterdam


Coffeeshop, Amsterdam


Theatre Museum, Amsterdam
Theatre Museum


Flower market, Amsterdam
Flower Market


Nemo Museum, Amsterdam
Canal Bus


Amsterdam street
Amsterdam Street


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Building De Keuken Van 1870 - Amsterdam Magna Plaza - Amsterdam