Friday, 26 February 2016

Amsterdam revisited

Do you ever reminisce with your partner about the things you did and places you visited before you met one another?

Recently, Jon and I were talking about the various places we’ve been to prior to us meeting. From places within the UK to much further afield we’ve clocked up quite a few miles between us, although it’s surprising how many of those places we have in common.

One place we have both visited, and it’s one of our joint favourites, is Amsterdam! Now we all know it has suffered with a poor reputation and for the wrong reasons but both Jon and I have nothing but fond memories of a beautiful city, with wonderful and quirky things to see and do with friendly locals and good cuisine. So after much discussion it’s one place we’ve decided we’re going to try and visit again as part of a mini Mummy and Daddy break.

Here's some fun and enlightening statistics about my favourite European city:

*It has 165 canals
*1515 pubs and bars (at most recent count),
*1281 bridges
*20,000,000 tourists and day trippers visiting every year-That's 20 times the number of locals!
*Katie Melua sang 'There are 9 Million Bicycles in Beijing', well Amsterdam has an estimated 881,000 but that's still impressive isn't it?

Places to visit:

One of my favourite places to visit whilst there, was the Anne Frank House Museum.When I last visited I hadn't yet read the Anne Frank Diaries and so, although I found the experience very moving and interesting, I couldn't fully appreciate it without having read her words - now that I have read the diaries I would be so interested to go back and stand in those rooms again, this time being able to recount various parts of the books and the life that Anne and her family had within those walls and more fully immerse myself in the experience.

Jon says he would really like to go back to the Van Gogh museum. He really enjoyed visiting it last time, and says he would love to take me. I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it as I have recently developed more of an interest in the life and times of Van Gogh.

Then there's the Heineken Brewery day tours. Now neither of us is a big drinker, but it really could be too good an opportunity to pass up!

Amsterdam itself is crammed with street art and performers, it's such a lively and atmospheric city where there’s always something going on and if you don’t know where to look you could miss out big time. 

Recently, via the RPM website, I read about how a bicycle rental company called Yellow Bike came up with an idea using the traditional Dutch method of a passenger travelling on a bike rack so visitors to the city could get to see the real Amsterdam.

Yellow Bike went about getting locals to swap their luggage racks for yellow luggage racks. By displaying a yellow rack it showed the rider was prepared to give up their time to act as an unofficial tourist guide taxiing tourists around the city. This meant tourists got to see Amsterdam from a local perspective as well as some of their guides favourite sights and events- Another fun quirky event that went down well and proved to be very popular. I would love to try something like this when we visit!

There is so much to do and see in Amsterdam and I know a mini break couldn’t possibly be long enough to cram it all in, but we are already working on an itinerary. Besides, if we miss anything, it’s always another excuse to go back to this wonderful city.

Have you visited Amsterdam? What tourist attractions would you recommend?

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