Archive for the ‘rembrandtplein’ Tag

Amsterdam Rivers and Parks (and Beers!)   16 comments

Lots of Amsterdam still to see and already some favourite spots to revisit. We took a stroll up to the old historic centre through Rembrandtplein. One of Amsterdam’s main squares and heart of party-land. It has rather strange urinals that remain hidden in the day and rise up out of the ground at night. We were disproportionately pleased to see one out in the open on another visit.

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The old centre is rather nice and contains some fine old buildings.

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This – I think – is the Oude Kerk. Rather fine, except that its right in the heart of Amsterdams notorious Red Light District.

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We took the briefest of wanders around the narrow streets but it’s unsurprisingly seedy and a bit distasteful. I was rather shocked at the cosy closeness of cafes, church and porn. I knew that the Red Light district is something of an “attraction”, if that’s the right word, and close to the city. I just hadn’t realised just how brazen it was right in the heart of other tourist areas. Safe to say we felt a bit uncomfortable and soon moved on.

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The Centraal station – a very fine building in it’s own right.

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The Ij river separates North Amsterdam from the rest of the city. There are ferries that cross the river and as they were free we took a quick trip over. Never turn down a freebie.

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It was a stunning day and whilst North Amsterdam is not terribly exciting and the Ferry ride only a couple of minutes we still enjoyed the trip and a walk along the waterfront.

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This is the A’Dam Tower, what passes for high rise in Amsterdam. We thought about a trip but it was pretty expensive and not exactly a true skyscraper so we declined and looked at it from below which was free.

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Amsterdam Centraal station across the Ij.

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Larking about on the signs.

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And back across the river.

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All this excitement had made us hungry so we took the modern and very sleek Amsterdam Metro back to the Albert Cuyp Market. We loved it there. We found a fishmongers that did a whole range of delicious fried fish of varying types include Kibbeling (cod bites in batter). They also did raw herrings with onions and gherkins. I thought it would be pickled like rollmops in the UK but they were just marinated and were amazingly tasty and sweet. Me and TJS loved them.

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The market had loads of food stores and it was a great place to eat. Plenty of fresh fruit stalls and sweet stuff. We loved the Stroopwaffles but our favourites were these tiny fluffy pancakes with icing sugar and butter called Poffertjes.

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We came down here pretty much every day for lunch and always enjoyed a feast and a look at the stalls, some quality, some very cheesy but great fun.

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A tram ride took us to the far end of Amsterdam’s largest park, the Vondelpark. We walked its length back to the centre of the city and its rather lovely. Lots of waterways, fountains and wooded glades.

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And Storks taking time out from delivering babies.

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Onwards to the Museumplein, home to several of Amsterdams best know Museums.

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The Rijksmuseum is the best known and it’s a hugely impressive building. Not really our sort of thing so we had a look at the sculptures in the gardens a short wander about and moved on to something more in keeping with our tastes.

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Another Brown Cafe and this one became our firm favourite (well mine anyway).

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Proeflokaal Arendsnest had a beer menu! Over 50 beers on tap and another 100 or so in bottles. All Dutch. We sampled several different varieties, all wonderful, some rather strong! The spot by the canal and flowered be-decked bridge was gorgeous. We returned several times to sample the wares. The Funsters tell me the soft drinks were nice as well. 🙂

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A walk back through the city to rest and relax in the apartment ready for water based fun the next day.

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