I recently had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam for business. Amsterdam is a city I had never visited and was quite pleased to be able to go to. Now that I have been, I can say its a great place to visit; very “Old Europe”.
Here is what would be a view you would expect from Amsterdam and can see plenty of. Canals and bridges. Lots of this to be seen. I was glad I did not have nor need a car. I am usually quite good with navigation, but during the few taxi trips I took, I found the streets to be very confusing. Also, streets are very narrow.
My first sightseeing stop was the Anne Frank House. As someone who is very interested in history and WWII, this was No. 1 on my list of places to see. I very much enjoyed my visit. I found that the museum does a good job putting us in the context of what happened and how Anne Frank and her family were hiding. The actual house is the one which is center- left, with the black bottom level. The two to the right are part of the museum. Note the queue to enter the museum. I waited 45 minutes ; apparently that was a fairly short wait since lines can be very long some days.
This is the bookshelf that hid the entrance to the “Annex” where Anne Frank and her family were hiding. Photography was restricted in most parts, so no other pictures.
One evening, I was invited for a river cruise/dinner. Below is the boat we took. Note the very low profile of the boat. The bridges have very little clearance, so the boats need to be very low. On a few occasions, I wondered if we would not hit the bridge.
From the see-through roof of the boat – this is how close we were to buildings and the side. Very tight fit. The cruise also included a meal and lasted about 2h – very nice.
Another nice visit, was to the founding place of Heineken – the world famous beer. One nice thing about Amsterdam, is that many of the top things to see/visit are either walking distance or a short taxi ride away.
Here are some old & decommissioned, yet still spectacular brewing vats. The overall visit of Heineken takes about 1h and is very worth while, even if you are not a fan of beer. Each ticket includes 2-beers at the end. Since I was alone and it was early morning, I decided that drinking alone was kind of strange. To remediate, I started chatting with a lovely couple from Manchester, UK. Problem solved 🙂
The infamous “Coffee Shops” of Amsterdam. For those of you who don’t, know, the licensed Coffee shops are where one can legally get some cannabis. There are lots around and when walking by, the strong odor is a give-away of whats going on in there.
There is a definite culture around the cannabis, since you can find all kinds of products made of cannabis. Here is a great example. For those of you wondering … its no! I don’t smoke cigarette, so whats the point? 🙂
One thing I found interesting about Amsterdam is how many electric cars are present, especially the lovely (and very expensive) Tesla model S as below. Last time I checked these were over 100,000$US each. However, plenty of taxi’s and regular folks drive these. I was told that the Dutch government offers large tax incentives for the use of electric cars, which likely explains their popularity, not to mention no need to buy gas.
So there you have it, Amsterdam in a few pictures. I very much enjoyed my time there. I found it to be a very clean and safe city to visit, even when walking around after dark.
Some new Cayman posts coming soon 🙂