An August weekend in Amsterdam

I’ve been meaning to share these photos for absolutely ages (it was August when we did the trip, after all). In fact, it’s been so long since I went to Amsterdam that it’s actually not long til I go again, as I’m off there next month. I’ve been very behind on blogging, so I hope these are better late than never.

We took the train to Amsterdam for the weekend from The Hague, and spent a pleasant 48 hours wandering around the pretty canals and trying our best not to get mown down by the crazy number of cyclists.

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I absolutely loved the architecture – so many higgledy-piggledy buildings, each one different and elegant in its own way.

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I really wanted these flowers to be tulips for the purposes of this photo!

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The whole city is built on a system of canals, a bit like Venice. This makes for some picturesque walks, though it’s easy to get lost because they all look very similar.

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With so many bikes and no railings, one wonders how many cyclists inadvertently end up in the canal when they’re cycling home after a few too many beers?

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We were staying in a cool yet affordable hotel close to the Rijksmuseum, so our walk into the city centre took us through this famous museum each day.

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The queues to get into the museum were really long and we hadn’t had the foresight to book tickets, so we didn’t go in this time. However, it was fun watching people posing for photos with the famous ‘I amsterdam’ sign.

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This was unexpected: some sort of art event involving body painting meant that there were loads of people wandering around stark naked!!

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A more family-friendly group was to be found near the entrance to the museum: this fabulous gathering of musicians playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. We watched them for ages!

Having Googled ‘free things to do in Amsterdam’, one of the things we did that weekend was hop on a ferry for a free ride around the harbour. There wasn’t a great deal to see if I’m honest, except for a passing cruise ship and this unexpected curiosity: a German U-boat.

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Another free thing is the floating flower market, which is a good place to buy souvenirs if you’re in the market for small wooden clogs or replica tulips.

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A somewhat less salubrious port of call is, of course, the city’s famous Red Light District.

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It was absolutely packed with people – particularly at night – making moving around somewhat challenging and not very fun. However, it was a good opportunity to try out my Olympus camera, which manages night photography really well.

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The Red Light District was everything you’d expect it to be, of course. I’m sure I don’t really need to elaborate on that…!

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Outside this less-than-savoury part of the city, Amsterdam by night was charming. Lots of the bridges are lit up, and the lamp posts along the canals make for some lovely reflections.

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I’m looking forward to going back. I’ll be on my own next time, but visiting my friends who live in The Hague, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more photos to share after that!

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