Day 6 – Amsterdam

Day 6
We got up super early for a day of sightseeing. We wanted to see as much of the city as possible since we had plans to go to neighboring cities the next day.
We walked to the tram, hopped on and decided to stop in the heart of the city.

Really, we just decided to stop because we saw a sign that said “Pancake breakfast” and Craig and I were on the verge of ripping each other’s heads off since we hadn’t had breakfast. We don’t do well if we haven’t had coffee and food.

The pancake wasn’t the version we see here. Nope – no three stackers of fluffy goodness. Rather, more crepe like and the size of a hub cap. Craig got strawberries…and whip cream. We folded it up like a crepe and he devoured it. Yum.
We decided to do a little walking and exploring and just see the city. We took pictures by the canals, the boats, and the buildings. We stumbled upon the Flower Market.

Confession: I love open air markets. That’s the one thing I do not like about living where I do. I love food stalls filled with local veges and fruits. I love the smell of freshly roasted nuts. I love sampling cheese and meats from the farms. I love smelling fresh cut flowers. I love seeing the handcrafted jewels of clothing, jewelry, etc.

Anyhooo….the Flower Market was filled with beautiful flowers and tons of tourist souvenirs. I perused each stand but only bought one thing. I was saving my shopping for the next day.

We decided to go to the Anne Frank Museum which is actually the place where her and her family were in hiding during WWII. The line to get in was over 45 minutes but we decided to wait anyways.

It was worth it. I started to get heart palpitations, dizzy spells and chest pain during our visit into the museum/house. The cramped quarters plus all the people made me feel very claustrophobic. I was only in the house for about an hour. I could not imagine living in that space, with at least 12 other people, unable to go outside and get some fresh air. What that family went through….

After our visit to the Anne Frank House – we decided to buy a pass on the Canal Bus and Van Gogh museum. Of course the Canal Bus (which takes you to different parts of Amsterdam via the canals…hence..canal bus…) didn’t leave for 40 minutes so Craig and I thought we’d be smart and hop on the tram back to the museum district.

One hour later…I got us lost, cursed at Craig for no reason at all (I hate being lost and I take it out on those I love the most), threw the map at him, walked by Darth Vader and Triton King of the Sea, and pouted that I hate Amsterdam and wanted t go home. But, Craig was calm, cool and very patient with me and took charge. We found a tram stop that took us to the museum district and went into the Van Gogh exhibit. Craig is the ying to my yang…wait…that sounds so wrong….

I’m not an artsy person. I don’t know about brush strokes, movement in the pieces, etc. I just see art and like it or not. Van Gogh – I really like. His works really show amazing technique and emotion. After the exhibit, I needed to take break so we headed back to the hotel to research more stuff to do.

We decided to hop on the Canal Bus after lunch and take the tour of the city. It was a great mini-tour and gave us the opportunity to sit and see the city rather than having to walk around all day (hey – I don’t like to do any type of physical exertion when I’m on vacation).

After the tour, we decided to go back to our hotel and rest up before we tackled the Red Light District.

My palms started to sweat as we boarded the tram to the Sodom and Gomorrah of Amsterdam. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had read about the Red Light District but wasn’t sure what it all entailed. I was just hoping that people didn’t think I was merchandise or something.

We knew one thing for certain. We wanted Chinese food (whoa – what a random departure). So, we found a hole in the wall in the area and ate the best Chinese food in the world. Or it could have been the best because we were so hungry. I love Chinese food. I’m Asian. And before ya’ll start…we weren’t hungry because of the cannabis. WE did not partake in the cannabis smoking or eating. The closest I came to cannabis when I mistook a bag of cannabis biscuits for dog biscuits.

So, after filling our tummies with fried rice and MSG, we decided to roam the area. I nervously took Craig’s hand and we walked to the forbidden streets. Hmm…it wasn’t what I thought. I thought there’d be filthy looking people everywhere but it wasn’t the case. Instead, there were tourists like us – old, young, back packers, hostel stayers, American’s, British, Germans, Spaniards…you name it. After a few minutes of walking and experiencing a few random – erm – birth control places…we stumbled on our first set of “red lights.” I was shocked. Really. It’s one thing to read and hear about – but another to physically see a girl (and yes – girl…she looked like she as 17 years old), standing in scraps of clothes, all done up, smoking a cig, behind a window that looked into a room with a twin sized bed, a sink and a toilet.
There was a small alley that had these “red light” windows. The girls were of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities. I was shocked even further as we continued walking and there were more “red light” windows in across the way from a church. I was asked by a girl if “I wanted to ________ her.” Sorry…there’s no other way to put it. I got really nervous and held onto Craig tighter.

We walked up and down a few alley’s and thought that that was it. We weren’t all that impressed until we kept on walking and found the REAL “Red Light District.” The district where there were alleys and alleys of red light windows. The district that housed theaters for – ahem – adult shows. The district that had stores full of sex toys, sex museums, sex everything.

Now, I’m no prude…but man…even this was too much for me.

We decided we had seen it all – literally – and headed back to our neck of the woods. We topped off our night with a cocktail at the hotel restaurant. Another great day.


  1. Jonathan Mack says:

    Red Light District is a lifetime experience!
    But, to be sure to have a unforgettable time, you should check out this The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

  2. enjoy