Its been a while since my last post on my travel plans. I have been stupidly busy with work and the added fact I could not for the life of me get into my WordPress account! absolute rage ! but anywho I have finally managed it which means another new travel post for you all ! whoop whoop! Hopefully I will be able to complete this post without to many distractions from my rabbit who is in thief mode. He has already tried to steal my blueberry muffin twice!!  However he is way to cute to get angry with. Look at him ! the little beaut! Say Hello to the readers Hogil! He’s not camera shy at all.

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Ok id best stop gushing over my wee fluffy friend and continue with my post.  As you will know from my last few travel post , I’m taking a wee trip around Europe and parts of America. My last post was about Copenhagen. If your thinking of going you should check it out. Copenhagen is amazing! I talked about things to do any see and some facts about Copenhagen. That’s pretty much what going to do again but this time its about….. Amsterdam!!

Yes Amsterdam is the next pin on my map. It is the capital city in the Netherlands.  Its population is  2,332,773 which is double of Dublin’s . That is a hell of a lot of people to dodge. Amsterdam was surrounded by a moat, called the Singel, which now forms the innermost ring in the city, and makes the city center look like a horseshoe. Its’s known as the “Venice of the North,”  a nickname it picked up due to its division into about 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1,200 bridges. So basically its like visiting 90 little islands. Two days 90 islands, sounds like an adventure. To the bridges!

We are all very aware of its drug culture so I’m not going to bother telling you about it, “Leef en laat leven”. So if we where to ignore the drugs and legalized prostitution, what is there to see and do in Amsterdam? There lots! so many I wasn’t able to fit them all into this blog with bombarding you with information. So I had to make some cute throat sacrifices.

Lets begin!

There are 8th windmills dotted around Amsterdam. There is even a National Windmill Day (11 May), and on festive occasions or national holidays molens aka windmills are decked out in flowers, garlands, figures of angels or the Dutch flag. For centuries, windmills have helped the Dutch fight water shortages so its not surprising that they where the first to develop  ‘windmill technology.’

yup the Dutch got’s skills. They have had a part in many new inventions and discoveries. The first true modern atlas (1570),  The development of compacted disc, DVD, Bluetooth, WiFi, the first telescope, microscope and the pendulum clock. Thank you to the Dutch !

Back to windmills. Is it really sad that I want to visit one? They remind me of scenes in old movies like Frankenstein or Gothic horror tales  like Sleepy Hollow or for you gamer’s out there,  Zelda Ocarina of Time or basically any of the Zelda games. There always seems to be a windmill somewhere in Zelda. De Gooyer is located between Funenkade and Zeeburgerstraat. It is the tallest wooden mill in the Netherlands and is now a national Monument.

 

IJ Brewery (brouwerij’tIJ) Is right on the mills doorstep and had been running since 1911. It has it’s own bar and if your in to it you can have a tour of the brewery.

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It might not be for you all but I definitively want to check one of Amsterdam’s many windmill’s out.

When in Amsterdam hop a boat! You are surrounded by water, of course boats will be a main way of transport and I am so down with this. I’ve found so many different types of mini cruises from pub cruise, cocktail cruises, museum cruises and even a pancake cruise ! (think this one is for the kids but I don’t care it sounds delish!) The hop on hop of boat cruise is on my list. It gives you between 10% and 50% of entrance fee’s off most museums. Discounts ? yes I’ll have them all thanks. Another way of saving money is the “I am Amsterdam City card” It gives you free entry to museums and attractions, free transport and other discounts. Its about 13.50 (euros) but is different depending how long you want it valid for which can be between 48-72 hours.

The canal belt is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.  A little medieval village trapped in time. One of my favourite things about Europe is how old it is. You can walk into a metropolitan town that is covered in history, historical architecture, mixing new and old. It’s the reason I am so happy living in Edinburgh. Its just so darn beautiful

canal boat

 

Forteliland Pampus is a man made island. It was used to protect the entrance to IJ bay and  the harbour into Amsterdam. After WWII and the Germans surrender the Authorities used the island to detonate ammunition that could not be defuse. CABOOOOOOM! Now it is open to the public. Anyone like war history? We should always look back at the past so as not to repeat mistakes. We are forever learning and evolving as a species. History of civilization is fascinating and even though we don’t like it, war was and still is a big part of society. And enjoy learning about it.

fort pompus

 

The Anne Frank museum is based inside the very home where Anne Frank and her family hide for two years.  Its in every school history book but I feel its a more relate-able view of the war. A definite visit for anyone going to Amsterdam.

anne frank house

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The museum Escher in het palers is an exhibition of M.C Escher (1898-1972). It is located in the former winter palace of Queen Mother Emma of Netherlands. His pieces ranged from optical illusions to mathematical masterpieces. I’ve seen some of his art before and I never even clicked in my head until now. In the film “The Labyrinth” staring David Bowie (and his crotch) the optical stairway is based on one of his paintings. Just another reason to love that film!

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three-worlds mc

 

Another museum I really want to visit is the Van Gogh museum. His art is beautifully vibrant and colourful.

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Lets step away from all the amazing museums for a moment. Ever wanted to become a detective, well now you can… sort of. “Sherlocked”  is a detective game where you and a small group have to escape a historical room within an hour. You are given clues that you need to work it out as a team. There’s another like it where you choose from 3 rooms, 3 different stories.  Its a bit of a difference from the usual dungeons you get here in Edinburgh and London.

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Xtracold Ice bar is exactly what the name describes, an Ice bar. With your entry you recieve one cocktail and two drinks served in an ice glass. Bottoms up!

drinks

Anyone else getting a vision of that boy who got his tongue stuck to a pole? just me?

tongue stuck

Now you all can imagine it…

I always like to add some random facts to the post so here are some about Amsterdam

Amsterdam is Built on poles and lots of them.

86 percent of the residents are polyglots. They got the gift of the tongue (with languages)

They are the second largest consumers of caffeine. Downing 140 litres or 3.2 cups of coffee everyday. Lots of trips to the toilet I suspect.

They are very tall. The average height of a dutch male is 184cm and for females 170cm. I will be looking up at everyone…

tall dutch

The city is 4 meters below sea level. So it wont be around forever.

There are 500 prostitution windows.

It was the first capital to allow gay marriage.

The phrase Dutch courage came from the British and Dutch naval war for the worlds oceans in the 17th century. It insinuated that the Dutch needed a few drinks to get up the courage to fight the Brits.

dutch courage

Cinema41 as a screen room that seats only one person for 3 euro which also includes popcorn.

cinema41

There is a Tattoo museum for all you tattoo enthusiasts.

There is a house boat that is full of stray cats. Its called Pozenboot. All kinds of yes.

poezenboot

 

lets finish of the post with some boat puns? enjoy!

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pug boat

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Jess x

 

Have you ever been traveling through Europe? where’s your favourite destinations?

 

The images used in this post are taken from web browsing travel images. They are not my images. They are used to emphasis my goal to travel around the world.

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