Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amsterdam, part one.

We both worked a half day, then made our way to the airport. All went well with the flight, and we arrived in Schiphol airport at about 7.30. After getting utterly confused with the airport - it's also a railway station and a shopping centre - we found our way to the train to take us into Amsterdam.

We got in to our hotel at about quarter to nine. We dropped off our stuff, then headed out to find something to eat. We went one street over and found this square - Rembrandtplein - which was utterly ringed with cafes and restaurants. Matt and I were somewhat overwhelmed.

We eventually found a cheap pizza place to have dinner, then dropped into our local 'coffee' shop. It was actually very cool - it had elaborate murals on the walls, and was very quiet and peaceful. I tried, afterwards, to get a picture of all the lighting over the canal across from our hotel. Hmm.

In the morning, we set out, full of vim and vigour (which was a tad dampened when we discovered it would cost nine Euros to get two pastries from a bakery for breakfast). We were ooh and ahhing over the canals, and the stupidly picturesque scenery.

We'd (after much debate, as I'm sure people will recall) invested in I Amsterdam cards, which got us free entry into a lot of the museums around the city. So we rocked up early to the Rijksmuseum. It's undergoing extensive renovations, but some of it was still open, including a room with Rembrandt's "The Night Watch".

Afterwards, we went for a stroll, then headed back into town to meet Marco. I was very excited, and also very nervous. Matt was helpfully pointing out to me how ridiculous that was, seeing as I've known Marco for five years, but logic does not play a part in these things...
We found him (partially thanks to his Indiana Jones hat), and we headed off for lunch. It was great to finally meet him IRL!

After lunch, we consulted our map, and tried to figure out what to do next. Marco, who doesn't actually live in Amsterdam, kept apologising for his lack of local knowledge, but it was a heck of a lot more knowledge than we had, so anything he could give us was gratefully received!

We wandered around the city for a bit, and then parted ways. Matt and I went to De Nieuwe Kerk, which had a very impressive organ *sniggers*, and then headed out to see what else we could find.

We did find the Red Light District, but it's not so interesting in the daytime.

The Giro D'Italia was running time trials that day, so we were effectively cut off from our apartment. We just wandered until about six-ish. We were pleased, though to stumble across the Museum Our Lord in the Attic, though, as that had been on my wish-list to see.
Anyway, we eventually got back to the apartment, knackered after something like nine hours of walking, to discover that we apparently had a housekeeping service. We had kind of assumed we didn't, so it was a surprise to come back and find out that someone had been in and made the bed, and carefully folded my dirty underwear...

Oh yes. What we were informed was an apartment, and were paying 100 Euros a night for, turned out to be a single room with two teeny offshoots (for the shower and the toilet) and a dollhouse-sized kitchen. We didn't really mind - we weren't spending a lot of time there - but we did feel we'd been somewhat misled about it.

Our dining room / kitchen / bathroom.

Our bedroom / dressing room / living room (please excuse the mess).

The smallest table in the world. Matt couldn't even sit at it, as he couldn't fit his legs underneath it.
The outside of our hotel.

Across the road was an area where some of the canal tour boats were moored. I thought they were brilliant - they looked like 1970's era spaceships. I was expecting to see Dan Dare leap into action, but alas, no.

Sorry it's taken so long to get this posted. Stay tuned for the follow-up!

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At 9:26 pm, Blogger Mouse said...

LOL@ someone folding your dirty undies!

Those boats are very cool.

At 2:11 am, Blogger Maegan said...

This is awesome!!! I am really hoping Eric gets stationed in Germany so I can travel the continent while he's deployed! Lol...Got to keep myself busy with no husband about! ;)

At 2:38 am, Blogger Acci said...

Those tour boats might very well have been built in the 1970's. I went on one about fifteen years ago or so; there wasn't really all that much memorable about the experience until the very end, when a very large intoxicated American tourist missed his footing while disembarking and fell into the water. One of the boat crew tried to help him back ashore, but the tourist ended up pulling him in, too. Fun for the whole family. You should have gone on one and seen what havoc you could wreak!

At 11:06 am, Blogger Nettie said...

Thanks so much for the post hun and the pics, I love reading your blog :)

And I also find it amusing that someone folded your dirty knickers! lol
I remember when we were in Seattle and Jo refused to hang up her towel because apparently that told housekeeping that you didn't require a fresh one. I said I didn't care if I got a fresh one or not but I refused to be a slob and leave my towel on the ground! I still got a fresh one in the end lol

At 11:41 am, Blogger Nettie said...

Oh I forgot to say that your hotel from the outside looks very much like the one Mum and I stayed at in London. I think we had a kettle and that was about it as far as a kitchenette went...

At 3:14 am, Blogger Acci said...

Maybe folks just like handling her knickers. . .perhaps they're of really fascinating design?

At 4:53 am, Blogger Shawna said...

Love the pics--looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. :)


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