An October 2006 trip
to Amsterdam by Vicho
Quote: This journal takes you from past to present from boat to land of Amsterdam.
In order to decide which houseboat is the most suitable I had to see if it is situated somewhere, where car can be park safely close by and within a walking distance to the town center.
Passengers ship Avanti had it all. We could arrive by car straight next to it, unload our stuff and then park in the north side of the town, just one bus stop away, completely for free. I was moving all my stuff to start life in a new country so getting it stolen would be a non-refundable loss. The car was left where the owner of the houseboat recommended and it stayed there for two days and two nights untouched.
Accommodation itself was a bit surprising. The romantic cabin was very tiny. When two people stand up inside, neither could move, not even to open the door and get out. The principle of moving inside such a little space is simple. One sits in the lower or higher bed and the other moves and then they exchange position. The cabin had a wooden wardrobe where you can leave your bag (if it is small!) and a sink. Cabin was tiny but very clean and provided blankets were warm.
Shared toilets with toilet paper and bathroom were at the end of the hall. Showers have a curtain over the door with hook for your clothes not to get wet while showering. Hot water available at any time.
Since you cannot spend much time in your cabin other place on the boat is important-top floor with bar and tables. Here you can sit nearly whole night as the stuff on the boat seems to never go sleep. They are always there to serve you the drinks at very good prices. And if you ask nicely you might even get a guitar played for you.
If you want to try really typical Dutch food for 8 euros, order in advance at the bar. I must warn you, Dutch fry!
Top floor is also a place where breakfast is served (included in the price). It consists from few kinds of bread, butter, cheeses, salamis and spreadable chocolate or cereals, coffee and tea, milk and orange juice. Plenty to eat for everyone!
I was very happy to have chosen this place for our stay in Amsterdam. The personal here was very friendly speaking fluent English and they gave us many good tips on what to do in and around Amsterdam. I would recommend this place to anyone who plans to discover this city of contrasts.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 4, 2007
Restaurant | "Café-Restaurant David & Goliath"
This café restaurant has a very strategic position, you can find it just outside the historical museum. Being it so close to a tourist attraction you would expect it to be packed with tourist or empty due to high tourist prices. Neither of it is true.
This café restaurant has a very friendly local atmosphere and it is packed with local people. Do you ask why? Well the prices here are very friendly.
Tables here are for six people, so you will probably end up sitting with someone else. No problem here for anyone. The miracle is: how come waiters manage to keep an eye on all the guests and serve you very quickly. It is amazing to watch.
This place is café-restaurant-so they make superb coffee. You will see one passing on someone else’s table and you will end up ordering it. So good it looks-and tastes as well.On the restaurant side, you should try the David and Goliath special, it is only about 8 euros and it consist of selection of typical Dutch fried stuff. Weather you like it or not is up to you, but you should try it.There is more than food and drinks in the restaurant. Nice wooden statue of David and Goliath is part of the decoration but don’t forget to look up. From the ceiling high above you are hanging hundreds of chandeliers. This place is well worth the visit for its service and atmosphere.
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1012 PH
Attraction | "Amsterdam Historical Museum"
When visiting Amsterdam Historical Museum look at the building itself from outside first. This complex dates back to 15th century when it served as an orphanage. It was extended in 17th century when the city was blooming the most and gained its riches in trade. 17th century became know as golden age and some of the most interesting exhibits come from this period. However, the museum shows all from real beginning and drying the area to building this city below the sea level.
There are countless fascinating details about this old city and its people. The collection consists of paintings, prints, marquettes, objects, and archaeological finds, and shows how Amsterdam grew from a small medieval town to a world famous centre. The permanent exhibition, which is continually being added to with temporary exhibitions, also has a important selection of porcelain and silver.
Walking through the museum could be a bit of maze as you keep going up and down the stairs around complex's inner courtyards. Fortunately different periods are clearly signposted so you can choose which period you want to visit and you can find it easily. You can also take a Grand Tour through Amsterdam's entire history, with a multimedia map.
The two museum entrances can be accessed from Kalverstraat 92, Sint Luciënsteeg 27 and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357. The museum is a twelve-minute walk from Amsterdam's Central Station, via Damrak, Dam Square and Kalverstraat.For more details, opening hours and entrance fee visit www.ahm.nl.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 4, 2007
Kalverstraat 92 and Sint Luciënsteeg 27
You may just aimlessly wonder around or join me on this true story walk that will not miss anything important on Amsterdam night life.
Lets start opposite the central station. Here you will find original medieval sluice that still function. Closed by used to stand Schreiers Tower; many women cried here as their husbands were departing for years long trips. Those whose husbands died on the voyages had to support themselves and that’s how prostitution started blooming in Amsterdam. Sailors stopping here after a long voyage could finally get here what they were dreaming about for long months on the sea. Women and Drink! Not necessarily in this order.Take the Zeedijk Street (sea dike) you will be walking along the system of dikes that protected the city from the sea. Don’t miss the "in den Aepjen" (in the monkey) café; it is one of the two only remaining wooden houses in Amsterdam. Here sailors used to drink to get more carriage for seeking other pleasures of life. Some of them were encouraging themselves that much that at the end of the night they had no money to pay the bill. One sailor was asked to bring the monkey from traveler in stead. Many others liked that way of paying and soon place become full of monkeys…and lice. Can you imagine that?
House stayed, but life monkeys are gone now, just a Dutch saying - you spent the night in the monkey (meaning: you are in trouble) is still alive. So don’t spend the night in the monkey, too much spirits doesn’t elevate your spirits. Head south along the Voorburgwal canal to the old Church. This church from 1250 is beautifully lit and hides such a treasures as organ and pulpit from 1640 or a grave of Rembrandt’s first wife Saskia.Letting your eyes enjoying the beauty of this old building make sure you don’t turn round, your eyes would fall on something else-old as well, but nowhere near to be beautiful.Old Church is at the edge of the red light district so all around you are really unhealthily looking creatures in the so called sexy underwear. Interesting view, but I would not touch any of them with a stick of the broom. So how come they have clients?
Ah, I see now, the coffee shops are the secret to the beautiful woman in the windows. One joint for 3 euros, can make a woman worth 80 euros look like one charging 400. Well let them to it if that’s what it takes and lets go together to see real culture of night Amsterdam.
Amsterdam has many theaters with programs adopted for foreigners. We decided to see the musical Rembrandt. At the theater we got the headphones that abbreviated what is going to happen in the breaks between songs so we could perfectly follow the story. Musical had a really high quality and we were pleased to close the evening this way.
Zaandijk is a town that lies about 11km northwest of Amsterdam. It is a part of the municipality of Zaanstad but it was a separate municipality until 1974.
Today the population of Zaandijk is around 9,000. The first citizens of Zaandijk were members of the family of Hendrik Pietersz who moved into 'de Lage dijk' (The Lower Dike) in the year 1494. De Lagedijk still exists in Zaandijk. In 1571 the town consisted of 19 houses. These dwellings were burned by the Spaniards in 1572, during the Eighty years war. The town began to prosper and grow following the return of the population. This was brief history of seemingly uninteresting little town. So why should you come here?This place is a walking history of Holland. It is here where you can find typical old Dutch houses, mills, and showcase of main Dutch products.The easiest way how to get here is by car following signs to Zaanstad till seeing the mills on your left.This is a very poetic place. You can find here the last working color mill in the world. Color mill "De Kat" was build in 1646 to grind wood, plants and roots into coloring materials for textile industry. It burned down in 1782 and was rebuild using parts of other color mill in 1960. Today you will find it reflecting its beauty on nearby lake together with many other mills.You will find here Mustered mill, Saw mill, Paint mill, Oils mill, Water mill, and others. However, wondering around here like wondering around past is not all you should do while here. Take some time and visit some of the museums and workshops.In the wooded shoe shop you can see the production of typical Dutch wooden shoes and the personal will explain to you all the advantages of these shoes. They are light, you can walk through water and they don’t get wet and when they loose shine you just repaint them.The exhibits show such rarities as wooden wedding shoes, beautifully carved pieces and even shoes on wheels - the grandfather of rollerblades.Visit also the cheese farm and after seeing how the cheese is made, taste few and buy many as they all are lovely.There is much more to do here like visiting the antique shop, the grocery shop, the museum, and more. So take your time and enjoy your visit to this poetic place where past leads into present conserving its original colors and fragrances.
Leicester, United Kingdom