Welcome to Amsterdam

Recently we went for a short break in the lovely city of Amsterdam which I’d never visited before. We can fly from our local airport and the flight is less than two hours, so really easy to get to.  Schiphol Airport is nine miles south of Amsterdam and is a really easy airport to get around with trains leaving from the airport direct to the city.
Statue in the airport

Our hotel was only a ten minute walk from Central Station, once we were walking the right way – we came out of the station on the opposite side to what I thought we were and got a little bit muddled to start with.

We’d booked to stay at Max Brown Hotel Canal District and it was fabulous with lots of unique and arty touches, including a bike hanging up in the window, that really added to the ambience of the place.

Sign in the hallway leading to our room

Once we’d settled into our room we headed out to explore and find somewhere to have our evening meal. I love the architecture of the houses that border the canals, all different and quite narrow.

We found a lovely restaurant down a side street and I had my first Prosecco of the holiday.

The restaurant was lovely and in a really old building.

On the end wall, above the window into the kitchen, was a large screen showing a scene from a cabin in a snowy wonderland, with an open fire, large bed, and comfy chairs – it was very peaceful to watch and I would love to stay somewhere like that.

My arty shot of a candle behind my glass of prosecco.

As we wandered we came across this arcade with an amazing mosaic ceiling and beautiful decorations down the sides including  lit up glass shapes and a huge fish head.

The street we were walking along was called Nieuwendijk – I have no idea how to pronounce that. On this street there were a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There were many different forms of cannabis and sex related items being sold and I was quite shocked at how in your face it all is. Saying that, it didn’t feel seedy as it’s the normal for there, and everyone was friendly and enjoying the evening.

Cannabis comes in all shapes and sizes

This very colourful mad hatter is surrounded by various drug paraphernalia for sale.

Look – we even found the Loch Ness Monster in Amsterdam
The below picture is of a shutter covering a shop when it shut – at first glance you think it’s a lovely decorative thing, and then you realise it’s a slightly x-rated decorative thing.

On the way back to the hotel I had a bit of a chat through the window with this local cat – he must be bilingual as he seemed to understand me fine.

This is one of the bridges near our hotel – the canals are lovely at night with lots of lights decorating them and showing the way for the boats that are out and about.

When we arrived back we sat in the downstairs bar for a drink – Ken had hot chocolate which consisted of hot milk and chocolate buttons to drop into the milk. It also came with a tiny little stroopwafel which is a dutch delicacy.

My drink of choice was an espresso martini which was fabulous, though I did manage to spill some of it on me.

The end of our first day in Amsterdam and I will share the rest but it will have to squeeze in between my A to Z blogging challenge posts which start tomorrow.

Have a peaceful Easter.

Pamela & Ken

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