Friday, 21 May 2010

A weekend in Amsterdam

Phil had a work meeting in the Hague for a few days, so Nicole, Cameron and Alexander took the opportunity to meet up with him and have a long weekend in Amsterdam.  They arrived on Friday afternoon after a very comfortable 6 hour trip on the train. The kids played Nintendo, and redtheir books, Nicole finished off the last part of a Uni assignment.  Phil was working on Friday and transferred up to Amsterdam early on the Saturday morning.

Once we got to Amsterdam Central Station we caught a tram to our hotel, put our bags in our room and headed out to explore with maps in hand.

The footpaths around all of Amsterdam have iron pillars to separate the footpath from the road.  Cameron was in heaven, as he leapfrogged over every single pillar along the side of the road as we wandered around the streets. He loved jumping over each one, and he would sleep well in the evenings!

We wandered around trying to get our bearings a bit. We started to understand the layout of Amsterdam and work out the street signs, the canals and be very wary of how to cross roads, watching out for cars, trams, bicycles and vespas.

We stopped at a cafe for a drink and a muffin and I talked a bit about some of the attractions of Amsterdam that we would see, and also some of the attractions that other people come to Amsterdam for....the marijuana and the Red Light District. The boys were fascinated by the latter and were interested to find out a bit more. We stopped at a Hash shop and looked in the window, while I tried to explain some of the drugs that were legal in Amsterdam, but not legal in most other countries. I thought that was enough information for the boys, and didn't think it would be appropriate to take them into the museum!
We enjoyed walking around the streets and had ice-cream besides one of the canals while waving to numerous boats that past us, counting how many people waved back.

We walked through the floating flower market which we really enjoyed, and the kids loved looking at all the different kinds of bulbs and plants, especially the Venus Fly Traps.  Cameron was fascinated by the Venus Fly Traps and wants one for his room as soon as we get to Australia!

As Cameron leap frogged over pillars, he slipped and came down in the middle of it.  We had to stop for a good 10 minutes while he caught his breath back and felt like he could keep going.  Unfortunately the area he hit wasn't an area that he could show me in public.  when we got back to the hotel room later that evening we could see how bruised he was.  This area has now been named the "Zwischen".

After 3 hours of walking around Amsterdam the kids had a good idea of the layout, we grabbed some takeaway pizza slices, and sat beside the canal and watched more boats sail by and then headed back to the hotel room for the evening.

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