More ambling around Amsterdam 

We were both very pleasantly surprised by Amsterdam yesterday, just walking around the streets was wonderful. The place is all so compact and full of things to do. I have to admit though we were still getting to grips with walking around especially with all the bike lanes and canals. Every square inch of space seemed to be utilised.

Our travel cards allowed us to take trains busses and trams and with the map we got as part of our travel card it was really so easy to get around town and after catching a tram in we started by wandering around the other half of town. Everywhere we went we were passing “Scenes” of Amsterdam. Canals lined with rails on which were chained a thousand bicycles and then their unique apartments behind. Often the apartments weren’t exactly straight in that they seemed to be sinking and slightly lopsided.

The Rijksmuseum was a must see and it’s a fairly impressive red bricked building and even though we were warned of massive queues we got straight in and were soon admiring Van Gogh’s, Rembrandt’s and many other quality pieces of artwork. The building itself created a great environment for looking at art, as the ceilings were so high and there seemed to be so much space. The other main thing we noticed was that you can tell why some artists are more famous as the artwork in this museum was certainly far better than some of the other museums we have been to.

For something a bit more modern we wandered straight from there over the park to a Banksy exhibition. It was nice to see some of the work he had done but really I think he is an artist where you have to see it in situ. They did have a van he had painted/graffitied (on) which was cool to see.

The sun had set by this point and we had seen that it was possible to take a riverboat cruise to see the town and a light show!! Well why not. We were pretty rugged up and sat out the back off the barge to be able to see everything. It was very cold but we were both easily distracted by the beauty of the canals we were cruising down and then every so often there would be a huge piece of artwork all lit up. It was brilliant anyway cruising around but the artwork really added to the experience.

Well after all of that we felt we had definitely earned our beers and this being Amsterdam there was no shortage of places. The best surprise was that the place we went to served Jupiler which was the beer I used to enjoy back in Belgium and even though it has to be one of the best beers it’s never really made the export market!

Our time in Amsterdam has been far too short. There is so much to do here and the attitude and way of life really is very pleasant. There are all sorts of modern ideas and everyone is very environmentally friendly. The number of bikes and electric cars is huge. I knew before we came that it was common for people to ride bikes here but the sheer volume of bicycles is immense.

Definitely feel we should have gone for a cruise around the bike lanes for a day but maybe that would be better done in the summer. Also we missed the tulips and windmills but that is for the summer so we will be back! Amsterdam has definitely been a surprise hit in amongst everywhere else we have been. T

The weather wasn’t quite as perfect today but we were thoroughly spoilt by the sights on offer.

Not sure whether all the buildings were quite straight!

Would love to come to this flower market in spring or summer!

Some of the artwork on show during our cruise.

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