A real scrapping blog, living, loving life and scrapping it along the way with ratty adventures thrown in too. Come into the Zone with me and see what the Twins and I are up to today!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Stroopwafles (travelogue part two)

Welcome back to part two of my day trip to Amsterdam.

There were only two places that I really wanted to visit whilst there, one was Anne Frank's house and the other the Van Gogh exhibition - I am a fan of his work so to see it in real life in his home country was quite something to me.............I had no real plans for the rest of my trip - I just wanted to explore and see what there was to see. Not far into my wandering I came across this chap and we had a little chat about what to see and do........
he explained where Anne Frank's house was and I took a slow meander there, marvelling at the sights on the way. I took lots of photos but you would be here all day if I uploaded everything........for example this HUGE three storey bike rack...................
......so I just walked and snapped away......... and soon I found it.
Well, this was it - Anne Franks house! It has a museum attached which documents her life, diary and persecution...............unfortunately the queue to get in was enormous and as I only had one day I decided not to join it but went for a coffee and continental breakfast next door instead!
This is only half the queue, it stretches back further than you can see..........!!!
Once refreshed I set off again, snapping things that caught my eye, lots and lots of bicycles...
and then this cutie lying in the pavement begging to be tickled.

Interesting graffitti on odd corners and walls.....
and beautiful canal side streets, lined with houseboats and trees....
more bicycles........everywhere you looked bicycles...........
and then on to the famous flower market.
I was looking forward to seeing some famous tulips in Amsterdam, but alas it was not to be...
lots of stunning flowers  and lillies in a variety of colours

but the only tulips I saw were these....................!!!
As I walked further around the city the architecture and adornments were everywhere and the buildings, mostly converted warehouse were stunning and beautifully furnished.
If there weren't bikes in racks or locked to posts they were being ridden, by families, couples, with dogs in baskets and by tourists. I did think about hiring one , but bikes and cameras and busy roads are not a good mix and anyway, I cycle all the time at home!!
Beautiful canal side homes..............
and finally after a few hours, my second on the list. 
Obviously there were no photos allowed inside but to sit and absorb the Sunflowers in real life and see the use of brush and colour  by the master himself - magical!!

After a good hour in the museum I headed to a nearby park for a change of scene....
and met more friends along the way............
Another hour passed interrupted only by a few short heavy rainfalls, which happened on and off all day and then back into the city where I stumbled across a garden filled with stone lizards and this outsized outdoor chess game in full swing.

As the heavens opened again I headed into a pancake house for some stroopwafles and a coffee. I needed the sugar rush as I was beginning to flag and still had a few more hours to fill.....
Of course as much as I wanted to avoid it, (busmans holiday and all that)  you cannot visit Amsterdam without going to the famous red light district.
I have to say that it was a lot more tame than I expected and the groups of men/boys giggling amongst themselves began to get on my nerves. Have they never seen an ugly-ish woman in her undies in a shop window before???
The Moulin Rouge wasn't even a windmill for heaven's sake - at least they got that right in Paris!!
looking at it from the bridge here you would never guess what was going on behind those closed, sometimes open doors.....................

With an hour and half to go before making my way back to the coach I mooched round the shops, but have to say I didnt stop to buy very much! By now I had a real headache from all the cannabis that was being smoked throughout the city and was also pretty tired.
I stopped for a quick beer and just wished I was at home already!

Aside from the awful journey to get there and back, I am glad I went to Amsterdam. As a city it is an awesome mix of architecture and styles, and an artists delight, but the hype that goes along with it is far over rated and really not my cup of tea!! I think that for this adventure it is a case of been there, done that, don't really need to go back!!!
It didn't cost much to go thankfully and I would have spent far more if I'd gone to Ally Pally instead, just wouldn't have such great photos!!
Right, off to surf the web to see where to go next................??


Lean said...

I think you have seen it al in amsterdam and tulips you have to be back at spring...see you!!!
byebye,lean uhh no rain on your pictures

lisa said...

Great photos, Sarah. I feel like I've visited now too.
You could have brought me some of those tulip bulbs, they're cheaper than in the garden centres round here and I love the fact that you can mix your own bags.
I love the way you go off on your mini adventures.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Hugs Lisax

Lynda said...

I really enjoyed this Sarah - you'd make a great tour guide!
Love Lynda xxx