Saturday, December 13, 2008

12 & 13 Dec 08 – Day 1 & 2 (Amsterdam)

Gathered at the Terminal 2, met the tour guide Eva, checked in and boarded the plane around 11+pm to our first destination, Amsterdam. It was a very long flight and by the time we touchdown in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Luchthaven Schiphol) including clearing the custom, it was already 6.40am.

Bought a bottle of 500ml mineral water for 2.90 Euro at the airport and then boarded the coach to visit a farmer in Holland Village for cheese and clog making demonstrations at 8am. Took some photos of the cheese, clogs and the house and bought some souvenirs. Next we visited Zannse Schans at 9.30am and stayed there till 11.30am. Took some photos, explore the area, climbed a paint mill “at own risk” (that was what was written inside the mill), tasted stroopwafels and they were yummy.

Wooden Clogs


Zannse Schans

Zannse Schans

Me climbing down the paint mill

Then we made our way to de Kroonprins (Prins Hendrikkade 52-58 1012AC Amsterdam) where we had lunch. We ate mushroom soup, salad, roasted half chicken with boiled carrots and potatoes and vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate fudge and whipped cream. While on the way to the restaurant, we noticed that there were a lot of bicycles in the city. They even have designated bicycle tracks for the cyclists and a multi-storey parking for bicycles near Central Station.

After eating, we checked into Hotel Die Port Van Cleve to rest for 2 hours till 4pm before going for a walk around the City Square and the Red Light District where we saw lots of skimpily dressed women standing at the display window trying to get business. We were told that if the curtain is not drawn and neon light is on with a woman at the display window, that means she is available for business and if the curtain is drawn and neon light is off, that means the woman is doing business.

There were a lot places for live show and shops selling adult toys in the Red Light District. Eva told us that the Rainbow Flag that we saw in some establishments is also known as Happy Flag and that means gay is welcomed into those establishments. The iron pole on top of the buildings is used for transfer of furniture into the house coz the doorway is small.

City Square

Then we had dinner at Nam Tin (Jodenbreestraat #11) and the food wasn’t that great. After eating, we headed back to the hotel for the day.

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