A Travellerspoint blog

Day 27

Amsterdam

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We packed up in readiness to check out around 8.30 am and set off in search of a place to buy breakfast. We got some directions from the concierge to a local café. The first instruction was to turn right. Unfortunately we turned left and then we were on our own. but we found a nice outdoor café to eat at in the cool morning air.
Darlene decided on some orange juice, muesli and yoghurt but was quite surprised when they arrived together in one tall glass. Somehow she ate it and kept it down. Mine also arrived in the one container but was a little more compatible combination. We carefully retraced our steps back in full realisation we had not arrived at the intended destination.
We checked out and left our bags with the concierge for the day whilst we explored Amsterdam. We followed instructions more carefully the next time and found our way to a canal cruise and arrived just in time for the 10am tour. The commentary was in Dutch and English and was interesting and informative. We took many photos and learned many interesting facts like how they have narrow steep stairs so when they move house they use a crane and take everything out the windows of the upper floors.
After the tour ended we walked to the retail district and purchased tickets for the hop on hop off bus and the ice bar. We changed our minds about the hop on hop off bus after we saw the length of the line to get on. The tickets were non-refundable but we were able to spend the money in store so it wasn’t a total loss. So we had some lunch and wandered through the shops. We stopped at a coffee shop for a drink whilst we waited for our allotted time at the ice bar. The coffee shop sold a variety of substances that are illegal at home but commonly available here. They even had coffee although I suspect it was a side line for them.
We entered the ice bar and exchanged our tickets for a coupon and six drink tokens. You get to have two drinks inside the actual ice bar and one outside in the normal bar. We donned the ponchos and mittens they provide and entered the ice bar. It contained ice sculptures of polar bears and had a few places to sit on animal skins atop ice benches. The temperature is kept at minus 10 Celsius. They serve vodka either straight or with orange juice in the ice bar in a glass made of ice. They take you in to the ice bar in groups at pre-arranged times. Most consumed their drinks, took their photos and high-tailed it out of there to escape the cold. We stayed a little longer but were out inside of 15 minutes.
We had our cocktails in the regular bar and then wandered back to the hotel crossing several canals in the process. We had some time to kill ahead of the taxi pick up to take us to the airport. Darlene had walked enough so I took a short stroll back into the red light district thinking I might visit one of the museums there. I was surprised to see there were girls in the windows in the late afternoon trying to attract customers. One pretty girl tapped on the glass and beckoned me. I smiled, pointed to my wedding ring and made a cutting of the throat gesture with my finger to indicate my likely fate should I enter. She smiled and laughed and waved me off. Shortly after, it happened again. This time she indicated she was married too and we should proceed.. I shook my head and decided my visit to the district was over.
Our taxi took us to the airport and the 1 hour flight to Copenhagen was uneventful. We would have liked another day here but with Qatar Airways cancelling our intended flight home we cut our trip short by one day and it was our second day in Amsterdam that was deleted.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 23:43

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