We actually had a great night’s sleep on the ferry. We had taken sea sickness pills which were antihistamines, and those things are great at making you sleep, and sleep we did, for 7 glorious hours. We had trust in our itinerary, we caught the train from Hook of Holland to Rotterdam, and then transferred to the train bound for Amsterdam. All up, a really simple experience.
Amsterdam has a population of about 800,000 people, or a tenth the size of London, and it shows. There are far less people around, which makes it really nice to walk around, though there’s always a constant hazard of being hit by one of the infinite number of bicycles biking around the city. I think it’s cool that there’s a dedicated lane for bikes and scooters, rather than using the road.
Anyways, our hotel is right next to the station which made it super easy to get to. We had a few hours to kill before checking in, so we went for a walk randomly, towards the Museum of the Netherlands. It was around 10am in the morning, and you could see the tourists making a beeline straight for the Coffeeshops. Coffeeshops are the places you go to smoke Weed. Kathryn actually wanted a coffee and went into one, and quickly left, having realised that for breakfast, a Coffeeshop isn’t the best place to go to.
We kept wandering down the beautiful canals, and all the buildings that perfectly lined them. With the sun out, the autumn leaves on the trees falling, and everyone on bicycles, I instantly fell in love with Amsterdam. Especially the relatively lack of people compared to London. It was a treat.
Two tourists came up to us and asked us where Anne Frank’s house was. There are good street signs everywhere, and we pointed them in the direction of the huge line of people. We then kept walking towards the Museum of the Netherlands. This is the location of the famous I am sterdam sign, which you would have seen in anyone’s pictures of Amsterdam.
We entered the museum, which was a bit pricey at 17.50 euros per person. There was a really interesting exhibition on the difference in houses between the Netherlands, and Belgium. While in the Netherlands the look of the house is taken into account making your house the same as all your neighbours, in Belgium the style of your house isn’t regulated. Because these houses are near each other on the border, it makes for an interesting juxposition between the two countries.
I also saw a painting of John the Baptist’s head on a plate. That was weird. By this time we were quite tired and made our way back to the hotel. I was supposed to have a 30 minute power nap, and ended up sleeping for 4 hours. I think when you’re exhausted, it slowly creeps up and you, and then it hits you.