Back from Amsterdam

I’m back!!

After 4 days in Amsterdam I have returned. What a great place. Both Natalya and I really enjoyed our time there. As usual, we tried to cram loads of stuff in to a very tightly packed 4 days. I can safely say that we managed it. Without boring you too much with all the details, below are some of the main places we visited and things we did together with details of what I thought of them. If you want to see my photos, then click here.

By the way, many thanks to the people who emailed me with suggestions for things to do during my visit to the capital of The Netherlands (see my previous post).

Anne Frank’s House (more info)
We did this on the first day and I was extremely impressed with it. However, it was a little bit spooky walking round the actual house that Anne and her family were hidden in during WWII and thinking about what they must have gone through.
Verdict: 9/10 – A definite recommendation

Van Gogh Museum (more info)
I must admit that I aren’t a great art lover at the best of times but thought I couldn’t come to Amsterdam without trying to appreciate some of the many art exhibitions. Whilst I found the first couple of floors of paintings quite interesting, my interest started to slip by the third floor and the currently touring japanese exhibition.
Verdict: 7/10 – I’m sure an art buff would love it

Boom Chicago (more info)
We booked this before we went through Expedia. From the write-up it looked like the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway”, i.e. improvised comedy. The show was preceded by a three course meal and cocktails (optional) and then two hours of side-splitting humour. I was in tears half of the time, I found the show so funny.
Verdict: 10/10 – The highlight of the holiday. A must-see!!

Half Day Trip to Delft Pottery (more info), The Hague (more info) and Madurodam (more info)
After sitting on the bus for an hour we had a quick 30 minute look around a hand-made pottery factory (the factory itself wasn’t hand-made, just the pottery :-). We then sat on the bus for another eternity whilst been shown a panoramic tour of “The Hague”. We got to see all sorts of important buildings. However, we didn’t leave the coach. We then finished off at Madurodam, the miniature village. This was the best part of the tour although we only got 1 hour here so it was a quick jog around, much to the digust of Natalya who wanted to spend at least 2 hours here. However, the village itself was very interesting with the level of detail amazing.
Verdict: 7/10 – Should have had more time at Madurodam

Heineken Experience (more info)
This was an exhibition situated in the ex-factory of Heineken. It was extremely interesting and most of the exhibits etc were actually within parts of the factory. For example, some of the exhibits were inside the aluminium tanks that they used to leave the beer to stand for several weeks. The museum was helped along by the 3 free drinks you got as part of the admission price. Surprisingly, to drink you could have Heineken, Heineken or more Heineken (although they did do soft drinks for the softies!).
Verdict: 9/10 – Well worth seeing

Canal Boat Cruise
Well what can I say about this. I think this is almost a mandatory tour for all tourists to Amsterdam. You sit in a boat for an hour and get driven around the canals with interesting architecture being pointed out.
Verdict: 8/10 – A nice sit down

Overall Verdict: I would definately visit Amsterdam again. It was interesting, clean, easy to get around and there was plenty to do and see. Also,  it is close enough that you could fly out for a couple of days and not feel you have spent all your time travelling.

Now that I am back, I have plenty of catching up to do regarding the identity and security world. I’m sure there will be more posts on that soon.

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