Monday, April 18, 2011

Babymoon in Amsterdam

I was fortunate to be able to tag along with hubby to Amsterdam for one week during mid-March. Though the arrangement was very last minute, I was relieved when I got clearance from my boss, and hubby was able to get flight tickets for both of us. Will consider this as our babymoon trip since it is very unlikely I am able to go to Hong Kong in May.



We arrived at Schiphol International Airport at 6am Netherlands time. After checking into the hotel, we freshened up, and then started walking around with the hotel map as our only guide. The weather was between 5C - 9C as it was between winter and spring. It was quite pleasant to walk around provided there was no wind. The first day was basically to get a feel of Amsterdam city, and how to navigate around the area so that I am able to be an independent tourist for the next two days. Although the buildings may look alike and the canals at every street may lead to confusion, Amsterdam is in fact a very easy place to walk around so long one has a map in hand.

Another way of getting around Amsterdam is by taking the tram. The trams have an extensive network which extends beyond Amsterdam Central.. The nearest station is 10 minutes walk from our hotel, and by purchasing their 24-hour pass for €7, I can choose to hop on and hop off the trams to reach my destination should I am too tired to walk.

So here is Part 1 of where I visited in Amsterdam :

Museumplein

Translated as Museum Square, Museumplein comprises four museums - Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the Diamond Museum. Concertgebouw, a world-famous concert hall, is also located here.


Concertgebouw

Although Ototo-san highly recommend I visit both Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, I only went to Van Gogh Museum as I was more interested in his works as compared to Rembrant's famous The Night Watch.



Rijksmuseum

Ticket to Van Gogh Museum costs €14. It was very interesting to see some of his early works, and also able to admire some of his masterpiece in person (Those strokes! The colour he uses! The sunflowers!) I was disappointed to find that the museum has loaned out one of his famous works - Bedroom in Arles, was looking forward to seeing that painting. Maybe next time then.


Van Gogh Museum


Amsterdam Flower Market (Bloemenmark)

The famous Flower Market is located on a full block along the Singel Canal, right in front of the Koningplein tram station. The stalls here sell an assorted range of fresh flowers, bulbs, seeds as well as souvenirs. Prices are non negotiable.


Their products are homogeneous, no big difference in price if you go from one stall to another.


Pretty Primulas


Tulips! We were few days too early to visit Keukenhof :(


So many type of bulb plants, I thought it is only limited to tulips.


Colourful fridge magnets.

Buying marijuana seeds in Amsterdam is legal, so I supposed it's no surprise they have Cannabis Starter Kits being sold openly in the market. Definitely not something I will risk buying back to Malaysia as a souvenir.




Next post - More sightseeing in Central Amsterdam...

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