03.10.2008 - 07.10.2008
Amsterdam is an expensive city – on the weekends! And as we arrived on a Friday night we booked ourselves into a dorm in a camping ground on the very outskirts of the city. 10 euros each a night (well within budget). Still getting over our mammoth colds we took it pretty easy on the first 2 days, walking the city and trying to stay warm.
Note this is not like the ice cream tucks back home. They will not stop if you run beside them waving money.
We opted to do the ‘free’ walking tour on the 3rd day after we’d moved to our luxurious (compared to the plastic sheeted snore infested no door lock BYO TP camping ground) Hotel room closer to the city. Below are some photos of the walking tour, very informative and interesting, lead by an overenthusiastic American student.
Interesting facts (maybe fact or fiction, who knows what drivel come out of tour guides):
- Houses lean forward so that large furniture can be hoisted to upper floors without hitting the exterior.
- Houses get wider at the top due to the width tax being imposed on the first floor only. Bringing us to our next point…….
- Thinnest house in Amsterdam, short one in the middle, apparently someone just walled up a alleyway looking to get the lowest rate of width tax.
- Thoudsands of bikes get stolen in Amsterdam every year only to be thrown in the canals. They even have a bike extraction from canal barge.
- This guy is not Albert Einstien or Mark Twain, but some other guy who’s name escapes me but is important in some way and from Amsterdam.
One of our late night strolls through the red light district, hence the glow.
Bikes bikes bikes
We also went to the Anne Frank museum where you can actually walk around the rooms where the Frank family and friends hid from the Nazis. No pictures allowed which I think is a good thing as people treat it more as a memorial and less like a tourist attraction.
Amsterdam gets a bit of a bad rap from the red light districts, drugs and general freedom of choice (and yes it’s all here if you want to partake). But there’s so much more to the place than what you expect. It’s a beautiful clean canal city with loads of museums and cultural type things to do.