Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm back from Amsterdam.

I am just back from Amsterdam. I enjoyed the trip, and the Van Gogh museum, but I found many of the other visitors to the museum were quite rude, standing in front of you while you are looking at works or pushing ahead when there are queues. People can be very inconsiderate at times, but more so when they are abroad. It seems to be all nationalities too. I will go back again though. I did not go to the Reichsmuseum to see the works there as I had promised Christine a shopping trip to spend some of my recent earnings, which she managed to do of course :).
and she saved me over a hundred euro on a pair of boots, they were 30% off.....LOL. We travelled through every shoe shop in Amsterdam, some twice. At least it was only shoes she was buying, we did not have room for a lot of clothing in the bags as we only took carry on luggage, just enough for the 3 days, and she didn't see the Diamond she wanted, just as well.:).

We did a lot of walking and took a couple of boat trips around the canals.

The amount of houses leaning one way or another is amazing. Because the houses suffer from subsidence (built on wooden pilings in the sand in the 1600's) they are often held up by the neighbouring houses leaning into each other. Many roads are made up of higgledy-piggeldy house fronts, leaning forwards, backwards, to one side or the other or even all directions at once!.
It is definitely not a city for a perfectionist......or a structural survey engineer....

We had to take a walk through the red-light district while we were there, but it was a bit of a misnomer as a 'sex shop', you would see more flesh on the beach than was on view through the windows.

The seediness doesn't really show during the daytime, which is when we wandered through, more or less just to 'see it'. Our Hotel was well away from the area, although only 5-10 minutes away by tram, as we booked a hotel on hoofstratt, around the corner from the museums (2 minute walk). Even so we walked into the city center in a couple of hours....there are a lot of shoe shops on the way.... hence the difference between the tram time..... we also walked around looking at the sites and along the canals, the weather was quite pleasant.

Amsterdam does look very grey though, it may be brighter in summer, but I could see why Vincent Van gogh's colours were so dark and brown in his early works before he moved south. I would definitely reccommend the trip as a long weekend, mid-week break, but I would not suggest you try to get all the sights/museums in at once. Prices are comparable with Dublin eating out and drinking in Pubs in the main, but the flowers are a lot cheaper.

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