Sights and Sounds of Amsterdam

I would love to start today’s blogpost with a quote that resonates the real essence in my opinion of Amsterdam. “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” John Green, The Fault in our stars.

Well, as many of you know; Amsterdam is a very liberal place; it has legalised prostitution and marijuana and evidence of this is very profound as you walk through the streets of Amsterdam. From the smell of marijuana on the streets from coffee shops; yes coffee shops; Over 200 coffee shops in Amsterdam are licensed to sell pot from different destinations; the strongest joint being the most expensive and vice versa for the cheapest. Remember; to always carry your photo I.D if you wish to indulge.

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One of the 200 coffee shops
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The Canal boats

 

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Amsterdam started out as a port city and this was reflected in the construction of their buildings which were initially warehouses and had to be constructed slightly bent; for the sole purpose of easy lowering of the goods
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Amsterdam Royal Palace

The Red Light District is also an attraction; and to be bluntly honest by my observation. The most controversial yet highly frequented; all age groups are well represented there with the sole purpose of quenching their curiosity with their eyes.  So I set off to RLD to see what it was all about; to be honest; it wasn’t as crazy as the stories people put out there. It’s just a bunch of women parading their wares in red fringed window parlours dressed in lingerie. Some of them with obvious work done from botox filled lips to boob jobs. I must reiterate that it was not as provocative as I had imagined it to be; some bikinis on the beach are more revealing than what I saw. Having said that; taking photos is totally illegal of any of the girls and in my opinion a violation of their rights. Most people that go to RLD are just curious cats like me, you could see others murmur and giggle (i.e my friends and I) on the street as they took it all in, it is also a popular site for hen party’s and bachelor party obviously.

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One of the many cafe’s in the Red Light District
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Houses in the Red Light District that host the window parlours used by the girls of the RLD
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Those window parlours are used as the display for the girls of the Red Light District

The city is also filled with amazing attractions such as Anna Frank House Museum which exhibits the amazing story of a German-Jewish girl who documented the events of her life in her diary during Nazi Germany era and eventually died at age 15 in a concentration camp, the Royal Palace, Vondelpark, Rijksmuseum, Red Light District, Coffee Shops, Amsterdam Flower Market, Holland Casino which was once a prison, Canal Tour, Icebar, Body Works Museums, Madame Tussauds, The Heineken Experience which is absolutely amazing (PS: I am not a beer person but the tour is something that EABL should look into) we can have our own version The Tusker Experience hehehe! I will do a three part series on Amsterdam; how to move around in Amsterdam relatively cheaply and the things I did during my stay there.

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Anne Frank House
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Amsterdam Centraal; the biggest and the main train station in Amsterdam
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Anne Frank Museum (the queue was insanely long)

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I amsterdam sign outside the Rijksmuseum
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The Streets of Amsterdam
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Holland Casino used to be a prison but is now a famous casino
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Hey kid, “If you want a picture….pay up” hehehe
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Rijksmuseum; Amsterdam’s National museum of arts and history
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The Dam
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One of the many cheese shops in Amsterdam

I have to point out that it is an expensive destination; you must pay entrance fees to all their tops museums and attractions. Having said that they have pretty amazing museums and one that particularly caught my eye though I was strapped for time and could visit was the museum of bags and purses.

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Museum of bags and purses

There were a few facts that I almost forgot to mention; Netherlands has the most number of bicycles in the world, a lot of them get dumped in the canals and there is usually a service that cleans and collects dumped bikes. Their love for cheese is so evident as you walk through the streets. Another amazing fact is the diamond cutting shops which they are famous for; their skill in diamond cutting spans centuries and their world renowned for it.

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Amsterdam has over 600,000 bikes; this is but a small depiction of it
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Clearing off the canals; bikes are usually dumped in the water by thieves and others as a result of accidents. So don’t ride a bike if your not a pro!
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Someone please say cheese
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Diamond factory
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Rijksmuseum
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Rijksmuseum

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Outside the Royal Palace
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The Amstel River

Asides from that; I really did enjoy Amsterdam; very diverse city. I had never seen so many mixed raced adults and children, interracial couples in my life. Don’t get me wrong London is pretty diverse as well but goodness Netherlands takes the crown; which I applaud. To top that all off people are very friendly and I have to say I think the Dutch are most good looking Europeans, this is subject to change as I continue to travel. I also made a Surinamese friend, have you heard of that country and her people before in your life? I also met two Brit girls there an shared a laugh, Louise and Lauren.

Enjoy the pictures.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” Soren K.

Love and Blessings

One thought on “Sights and Sounds of Amsterdam

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