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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Holland, Seeing Amsterdam Like A Dutch

 

We arrive at Schiphol Airport (AMS) on an early morning flight and after picking up our rental car we head on the A-10 for Central Amsterdam. Finding a paid (E$5 per hour) parking spot on a side street, we set off to explore the city on an already hot summer day.

 

 

SAM JTT1 009Vibrant Amsterdam

 

This is not my first time and hopefully not my last time in Amsterdam, so it is sort of a trip down memory lane as I share this wonderful city with family.

From years ago, one of the things I enjoyed about being in Amsterdam is eating at the “Falafel Stands”. Eating all those interesting vegetables and olives you can stuff in a pita was fun. I am disappointed to discover one of my favorite stands is gone.

 

SAM JTT1 012With hunger pains knocking on our stomach doors, we settle for a sub par lunch for E$32.

 

 

 

 

I knew when we stepped into the restaurant and a can of Coke was E$3, we were in for trouble. No doubt this is our last sit down restaurant meal for the next 10 days, at least at those prices.

In a city that moves quite a few people on two wheels, I know one way to see it like a Dutch is by being on a bike. With that in mind we head over to Green Budget Bike where for E$6.50 per bike we set off on a 3 hour self guided tour of Amsterdam.

 

SAM JTT1 057Our first destination is towards Anne Franks house then Vondel Park.

 

 

 

 

 

All along the way we enjoy beautiful scenery along with unique buildings and canals in this vibrant city. From Vondel Park it is back to Central Amsterdam then towards the famous “Red Light” district for a “Fockink Experience”.

 

 

SAM JTT1 027Vondel Park

 

At Wynand Fockink we do what many have done here from the late 1600's. We slurp our first taste of the good stuff from a tiny fluted glass and then savor the rest of the fruit flavored liquors that we have chosen.

 

SAM JTT1 037We have just had a “Fockink Experience” that should not be missed if you visit Amsterdam.

 

 

 

 

Next, it is time for probably one of the best deals in the city. Along the busy “Walking/Shopping” street we have a summer treat for E$0.50.

 

 

SAM JTT1 050Hema Ice Cream

 

 

A delicious, smooth and flavorful soft serve ice cream is enjoyed as we people watch before our 3 hour bike tour comes to an end.

Walking back towards the Central Station, I am reminded why I love visiting Amsterdam and I am glad that over the years I have had the opportunity to share being here with family and friends.

 

 

 

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