Thursday, February 25, 2010

Medieval Amsterdam

I would be lying if I say that Amsterdam is not my favorite city. She is far different, unique is the right word, compared to other cosmopolitan and historical cities. I especially love her dark, mysterious and leaning buildings and I never tire of seeing them standing tall on the canals. They, for me are more captivating than the luxurious buildings in Paris.

The medieval Amsterdam quarter is the oldest part of the city. This old area stretches from Centraal Station to the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, the Damrak in the center and the Wallen, which is also called the Red Light District. As you may be aware of, it’s not advisable to flip out your camera in public in the Red Light District, the hookers there are paparazzi shy. If you take a foto of them their no mercy bulldog bouncers will on a fly pounce on your sorry neck. Thus being warned, I only have fotos of other places. Nevertheless, my girl friends were pretty amused with the smorgasbord of sexy ladies available that night, the throngs of tourists to add that picked up after eleven and men trawling the district for the right find.


On the left is the only foto that I took of the Red Light District, by Casa Rosso where one can watch a live sex show. There was an unusual gathering of swans and ducks, it was so pretty I had to preserve the moment. Middle foto is an interesting corner building near the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, where our hotel is located.


The Spui square, you see that arched brown door on the red brick building, that is the entrance to the Begijnhof. On the left you can see the flag of Amsterdam on the walls of the Amsterdam Historisch Museum, the Triple X flanked by lions and the royal crown.


Kids feeding the doves on the little square between Spui and the floating Flower Market. Next foto is a traditional Dutch cheese store in the basement of the building.


Tulips in the floating Flower Market, they also sell cannabis/hash here. Middle foto is the Munt Toren. On the right is the statue of Rembrandt on Rembrandtplein.


The Rembrandt square... before, you can find life size sculptures of the characters depicted in Rembrandt's popular painting, 'The Nightwatch' here. Foto on the right is the view to Rembrandtplein from inside the cafe.


My friends loved the Dutch chocolate milk drink, they think it is the best chocolate drink in the world hehe. Foto on the right--bittergarnituur for lunch. We had heavy breakfast at the hotel that we snacked our way to lunch.


Typical Dutch architecture, the gable houses. Foto on the right, a biker meets classic rider. I love the poshy melon color of the car.


More Dutch architecture here along Rokin nearby Damrak which is really close to the Dam square and De Wallen/Red Light District.


Yours truly inside the canal boat cruise playing as tourist haha. Middle foto is a typical Amsterdam scenery: gable houses, canals, bridges and bikes. On the right foto it says Beware of pickpockets, they also shop!


Traditional Dutch wooden draw bridge, the bridge is opened upwards for passing boats. Foto on the right is a typical Dutch stonebridge and canal by the Carre Theater, one of the oldest theaters in the Netherlands.

More fotos can be found here: Amsterdam (Medieval) - The Netherlands

Our day was full-packed with lots of sightseeing and activities that I am, helaas, already quite familiar with. Obviously I have done most of them before. We walked endlessly; my back hurt at the end of the day and I was looking forward jumping into my inviting bed in the hotel and then stretching myself with the soft pillows nuzzling my tired back. The weather cooperated as well. Saturday was quite chilly and windy but it was dry and the sun shone!

A recap: We went to see the Waag in the Nieuwmarkt area; ate in Chinatown; passed by Spui and visited the Begijnhof; checked out the floating Flower Market; had lunch and drinks in Rembrandtplein and then afterwards we took a canal boat cruise.

We also spent a lot of time in the Jordaan area but this strongly merits another separate entry.

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