Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
98Trip End Ongoing
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This is also the last of the nice hotel bargains that we managed to accumulate in the planning process, after here it is hostels and hostels pretending to be hotels all the way.
As with all good trips to Amsterdam ours started with a wonder through the Red Light District and a cone of Dutch chips, dinner and evening entertainment for just €8.00, brilliant.
As we have done most tours and trips in Dam before we thought that we would investigate what we could do for free in Amsterdam to see what excitement we could find
1. Go to Albert Hein supermarket for a free cup of coffee,
2. Get a free ferry trip from Central Station to Amsterdam Noord (5 minute journey),
3. Sit on the banks of the canals and wave at the passing boats.
I think it is safe to say that the motto 'the best things in life are free' does not apply in Amsterdam. After much deliberation we decided that none of the above activities really tickled our fancy so we reverted to shoe shopping and found some giant clogs to play in. How is that not on the top free activities list?!
One of our main reasons for returning to Amsterdam was so that we could head to Utrecht for a day trip to see our old work colleague, Icon Jon. Utrecht is a great city, just 30 minutes from Amsterdam and it is full of charm with lovely canals, cobbled streets and little boutique bars and shops. We had a lovely day with Jon & Wena; we were lucky enough to visit on the rare Sunday that Utrecht has a street market and was generally bustling, so we ate our way through the main street trying all the delicacies on offer
Back to Amsterdam and after many a walk along the canals we decided to treat ourselves to a canal trip to see the bridges, the houses and the people enjoying free Amsterdam by sitting on the river banks waving. Believe it or not they were out in force. Before we knew it, it was our last night in Amsterdam so what better way to spend it than with a cone of chips and another walk through the Red Light District to say farewell.
Our plan to go overland to Japan goes a little bit awry at this point as the train system in Europe was not quite as direct as we had hoped. Our original plan was to go to Rosscoff by train to then get a ferry to Helsinki, however this plan turned out to involve more changes and overnight stops and Euro’s than we could justify so next stop is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for our only flights this side of Japan. Amsterdam to Oslo, then Oslo to Helsinki.
Bye Bye Amsterdam, I am pleased that we have survived your bustling streets without one collision with a bike or a tram. Amsterdam, the only city with more bikes than people?!