A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands

Amsterdam & Volendam

Backpacking Europe Tour

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I was initially overwhelmed by the size of Amsterdam airport. Finding my way around has not been easy and I went to the tourist information and bought a good city map for €2.50. The Dutch are very helpful people and they always provide directions with an estimated distance in relativity to time. I took a train from platform 3 at the airport to Amsterdam Centraal (a UNESCO heritage station), it costs me €7.80 for a return ticket. Be careful to read the train information signage as the same platform caters to different train routes. I was told that in Amsterdam everyone speaks English and it is true. As I came out of the Centraal station, the whole feeling was amazing. It’s a great city yet it also has a wonderful homely feeling to it. Bicycles were seen everywhere as well as water canals.

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I walked towards the Damrak street and could see people of all ages. It also stood Amsterdam’s sex museum. I walked for 10 minutes and then reached Dam Square right at the junction stood Madame Tusaud & the palace which was under renovation. I checked into the hostel which was a few streets away from Dam Square towards Anne Frank’s house.

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I headed out for dinner after checking in and Damrak Street has a few good selection of restaurants. After dinner, I headed out to the Red Light district which is across the street from Damrak Street, you will not missed the vast tourist going towards that area filled with colourful neon lights and bars. In respect to the patrons and the workers there, I did not openly take any pictures of the sexily clad girls dancing at the shop windows. I don’t see many interested customers, mostly window shoppers. It’s fairly safe to walk around the area.

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Day time you may visit the Waterlooplein Jewish flea market. It’s not quite interesting for me as a Malaysian but worth a visit if you want to get some souvenirs at bargained prices. I decided to visit Madame Tusaud at 3pm onwards at a discount of €16. There’s also ice bar and the Heineken experience if you want to visit them. But I made my way towards the famous Anne Frank’s House, it’s definitely the most visited museum in Amsterdam, attracting 8 million visitors to date. It is the only place where visiting hours are extended till 9pm on Saturdays. The museum is actually the hiding place for Anne’s family of 8 during the World War II Hitler regime. You can walk into the secret Annex and experience the space and feel they had when they were in the hiding. I had to line up for 1.5 hours to get into the Museum, but it was worth it.

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I took an excursion day’s trip out to the Windmills, Cheese Farm and Volendam (the fishing village). I went to see demonstration of the cheese making process and tasted various cheese as well as seen a demonstration on how the famous Holland Clogs are made. By hand, it takes around 7 days or more to carve a pair of clogs but nowadays the clogs are made by machines which takes only 2 minutes to shape it and then left to dry for another 2 weeks. These nicely hand-painted clogs were custom gifts to brides to be from the bridegroom.

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From the clog making factory, it took about a 30 minutes ride to reach Volendam, a fishing village. I was quite a lovely village with small departmental stores leading towards the dainty colourful housing area and restaurants facing the sea. Herring is their main catch and food. It was refreshing to take a walk in this fishing village and admire every dainty house with it’s nice décor outside the window sills and the yard.

Posted by jokermiss 06:39 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam windmills light red district frank anne clogs volendam Comments (0)

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