Amsterdam, The Netherlands

· Go for the canals, Stay for the Indian Food ·

August 14, 2016 0 Comments

After a lovely drive through the very beautiful countryside of the Netherlands, we arrived into Amsterdam on a goregous summer day.  Buzzing with activity in every direction, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this special city.  The canals, bicycling culture, food, and night life meant that we had a lot to pack into our short weekend trip.

We started off by checking into our very cool “boutique” hostel, called Coco Mama.  We booked a private, first floor room with an ensuite, and a forest theme. It had impressive high ceilings and nearly floor to ceiling windows that let in ample summer sunshine.  Everyone was very friendly and they even offered their own tours and excursions.  As most of the excursions centered around some of the more adventurous red light district activities, we opted for the complimentary Coco Mama Amsterdam map of landmarks and restaurants and went out on our own self guided tour.

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Note the width of the building as well as the hooks within the gables. The buildings used to be taxed based on the width, so in Amsterdam you see many of the older buildings are quite narrow. Also, even today, furniture is hoisted in through the windows when people move. The hooks within the gable are used to pull the furniture and other larger items up.

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Our main interests centered around the canals and we were so eager to go on a canal tour that we ended up doing two different ones.  We were hoping to get a spot on the “Those Dam Boat Guys” tour, but unfortunately it was fully booked.  Instead, we did one generic tour during the day, and another more relaxed tour with Friendship Amsterdam.

 

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The relaxing tour involved champagne, gin and tonics, and cozy pillows.  We lucked out with amazing weather and a beautiful extended sunset. The captain was informative and entertaining and I can’t speak more highly of the crew, who at one point gave me her cardigan sweater because she knew the open water would get chilly.  How nice is that? … she got a tip! haha

 

 

Gassan Diamonds

Gassan Diamonds: Our guide told us of a pretty easy heist carried out by a security guard who walked out with $8 Millon worth of diamonds in a microwave. I guess as the saying goes, “keep it simple.”

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The rest of our time was spent strolling through the streets and just taking in all the excitement.  There was so much to see, and even though I’m not really one to enjoy people watching, it was a good city, and time of year, to just sit back and observe.  Oh… and the funniest part for us was aimlessly wandering and suddenly finding ourselves in the red light district.  You know when you arrive, but during the day it’s not always so obvious, until you start reading signs and noticing some of the shop windows and smells.  The area caught us off guard at one point and I can’t imagine what the night life would have been like.  We didn’t end up going to any of the shows or partaking in any of the legal cafes, but the thing that did knock our socks off was the AMAZING Indian restaurant we found! Seriously, if you like Indian food {it’s our favorite}, and you’re in Amsterdam… go to Made With Love Indian Kitchen.  The restaurant was incredibly cozy, the food was the kind last meals are made of, and the chai was delicious. I was so sad that this restaurant wasn’t in Copenhagen, because I would have gladly ate here every night for my entire stay.  I’d go back to Amsterdam just to eat here.

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