If you're visiting Amsterdam for a couple of days and want to do something original take a look at the House of Bols! House of Bols is best described as a "Cocktail and Jenever experience". Bols is the most respected jenever producer in the Netherlands, dating back to 1575. At the House of Bols you'll first get introduced to its history, then there will be a smell and taste session that challenges your senses, afterward there's a flaring (bartender tricks with bottles) session where you'll get the opportunity to tape yourself and get the recording sent to you. To top it off the experience ends with a cocktail of your choice prepared for you by a professional bartender. Enjoy! For more info and directions you can check out the website. Price is a little under 12 euro I recall.
Fondest memory: My favorite ting about Amsterdam is just floating on the canals when the sun shining.
...tobacco that is!!
So the Netherlands have now joined the European consensus that smoking tobacco isn't good for you, it isn't good for those around you, and that the practical thing to do is ban all tobacco smoking in ALL public places.
This is bad news for the "brown bars", those staples of pub-life where you could drop in for a beer and a fag, pass the time of day with the guys ("guys" being of either sex) and just generally chill-out.
So now, when I next visit in the winter, I'll have to go to one of the coffee shops if I want some company and then get totally wrecked on straight grass or a bong of hash.
There is more to life than getting stoned and there is more to life than getting drunk but maaaaan I'd rather just enjoy my couple of beers and my tobacco roll-up in a nice eclectic bar with similar folk than try to hold my *** together with a bunch of spaced-out numpty dopies.
Why they didn't adopt the Copenhagen idea whereby the small bars could opt to be smoking or not I don't know - that would have been the sensible solution to my mind.
Ach, well, Amsterdam now will get an odd couple of hours once every so often in the near future as I pick up my tobacco and on the positive note - I'm now going to be seeing a bit more of the Netherlands and perhaps have a few forays into Germany and Belgium on my next continental tobacco runs.
The Schreierstoren (Tower of Tears) - on the waterfront - was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. As such Henry Hudson set out from here in 1609 on his fateful journal in seach of the "Northwest Pasage" to the East.
"From this ancient 'Tower of Tears' - erected 1482 A.D. - Henry Hudson set sail (April 4th, 1609) on the vessel "Half Moon" on that voyage of discovery destined to the harbor of New York and the Hudson River. This memorial erected September 1927 by the Greenwich Village Historical Society of New York City, USA, Catherine Parker Olivette, founder."
Favorite thing: This prominent grocery store chain is the Netherlands' greatest contribution to the world. I suggest smoking a "J" and heading to the nearest one for a stroll down the spotless aisles stocked with the most tantalizing goodies you could hope for, even ones that are healthy for you! I recommend the carrot balls; brilliantly orange and highly mouth-poppable! Also try the wonderful juice blends. Strawberry-banana is my number one squeeze.
I never had heard about the Museum Our Lord In The Attic and was very surprised to hear about the history of this remarkable museum.
A priest who hold his services in a hidden church in the center of Amsterdam, and got the assistance of about twenty spiritual virgins... and the area around got world-famous for its Red Light District-area! Can you imagine that ?!?
It struck me and I just got in time to visit the special exhibition about the Solitaty Sisters, or the "Spiritual Virgins at Out Lord in the Attic". Twelve artists have commisioned to create art-works, specially on the theme of women and their religion ...
Fondest memory: I've worked in the Red Light District-area for fashion photography, I've visited the same area with a lot of friends to show them the beautiful "girls-in-the-windows" ...
For now I may join to them the place of the special museum Our Lord In The Attic where the "hidden women" or the "spiritual virgins" did their work, too ... of a religious, and very special quality. I am looking forward to do so ...
At this url u will find a lot of info about food & drinks, weather, art and cultural, recent agenda and so on.
Amsterdam and more
If you want to know something about Amsterdam you MUST need to check the pages made by Mariajoy.
I don't know any 'local' at VT that has made better tips and pics about our capital.
I take off my hat and bow very, very deep for you Maria.
Ouch, my back:-)
We're talking real dogs not hot dogs (although they are pretty fabulous here)
You will notice that the Dutch exercise their dogs whilst still riding their bikes using a long extendable lead. Mind you don't get caught between the lead & the bicycle for a nasty fall.
According to my friend Han there are some irresponsible dog owners here who do not think it necessary to keep the dog on a leash so take care.
I found this sign "hond in de goot" fairly interesting does it mean dogs must be kept off the sidewalk and in the gutter or does it refer to they should poop in the gutter not in the sidewalk?? Not really sure what the policy is on clearing up after your pet anybody know?
Be advised that many shops, restaurants & museums close on Monday,
We found a lot of the shops in the Nine little alleys closed as well as some eating places
I suppose the dutch deserve a rest day as well!!
It can be a bit unfortunate when you plan a long weekend so best to check that the museums you wish to visit are open on Monday.
Favorite thing: For myself, I think that the best time to go to Amsterdam is around May (like we did). We got a Really really nice weather there (around 25 degres), so may be it was special but I will recommend this period to come there. You can see the Liberation day (May 5th) with the commemorations, sure to have flowers everywhere, and may be to be like as us to have a wonderfull weather.
Favorite thing: It is definitely well worth the walk to the Oosterdockkade area near Centraal Station and taking the lift up to the 11th floor of the old postal sorting office to get some stunning views over the city.
Amsterdam in Numbers
taken from http://www.show-info.nl/amsterdam/
Population of Amsterdam 735.328
Population of Groot-Amsterdam 1.268.908
Council member 45
Number of bulbs in parks and gardens 600.000
Flower market 1
Antique shops 165
Diamond cutting shops 24
Wooden drawbridges 8
Canal Boats 110
Pedal Boats 230
16th-, 17th- en 18th century houses and buildings 6.800
Historical memorial stones 654
Royal palace 1
Statues and sculptures 282
Paintings of Rembrandt 22
The Nachtwacht 1
Paintings of Van Gogh 206
Waxworks at Madame Tussaud 115
Animals in Artis Zoo 6100
Barrel organs 8
Historical church barrels 42
concerts and theatre performances 16.000
concerts and theatre performances a day 40
theatres en concert halls 55
Royal Concertgebouw orchestra 1
The Muziektheater 1
Cinema halls 40
Cafés and pubs 1402
overnight visits by foreign tourist 6.851.000
Number of visits by daytrippers 17. 568.000
What a wonderful idea, a 60m high Big Wheel in the heart of Amsterdam - you could see for miles over the flat landscape. Hey, I must tell everyone about this when I get home, I thought.
This is the famous Big Wheel that once stood in the centre of Paris. Then it moved to the English city of Birmingham where they forgot to change the recorded commentary. Famously, the citizens of Birmingham were told by the recording how they could see the Eiffel Tower from this new lofty viewpoint in the English West Midlands.
We went on the ride for a mere 5 euros, had great fun and good views over the Rijksmuseum and the city. I wondered why my guidebook said nothing about the wheel.
Unfortunately, unless you are visiting Amsterdam in the next week from now, you will miss it. I just found out that the 'Roue de Paris' had been constructed in Amsterdam for only 12 days. Then it will be taken down and carried to the next lucky European city.
So, look out for that wheel on your travels around Europe!!
This heron is my favorite memory of Amsterdam. I encountered him (her?) as it was getting dark and we were walking to dinner. Apparently herons and storks are rather common in Holland, but I never knew it, so this one by Prinsengracht really took me by surprise! At first I thought he was wooden, but he looked so real that I slowed down to have a better look, and then he finally moved, scaring the heck outta me!
A local lady walking by must have been amused by my reaction - she said three of them lived on that street, and exchanged a few words with us before moving on. These birds are huge, and the last place I expected to see them was in the downtown area of a big city like Amsterdam. Later I saw another one, standing up on the gable of a house, looking like a giant ornament.
Amstredam is a very lively small city, never a moment of quiet.... Millions of tourists every year.
Think about it, its not THAT big city and its center and touristy area aren't THAT big at all !and yet so many people are visiting there everyday !
Im quite respecting the fact that the locals are still nice and quite helpful while they never get their city for them selfs.
Amsterdam is like a city which always partying and inviting the whole world but never is invited to any other Party.
In the photo two Dutch friends of mine, Inge, a good friend and Younis her friend which became mine as well. Thanks Guys !!!!
Fondest memory: Sunny days in the lovely Cafe's when i wasn't freezing to death and walking around in the rains and wind !
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