Thursday, July 29, 2010

A XXX kind of day in the city

Well seeing as I do live in Holland, Nina and I had to eventually make the trip up to Amsterdam for the day.  And of course we had a blast.  I’ve never actually been to Amsterdam as a “tourist.”  I’ve always gone with people, usually who live in the city, maybe visit a museum, and then hang out in Vondelpark, or o to Cocos, or eat stir-fry.  But this time we were touristing-ing it up!
Ok to be fair, first we got there early enough so that I could run to an H&M and try and find this bathing suit I had been on the lookout for…success!  But then we got into tourist mode…
Tourist thing #1: we took the free walking tour.  And I learned tons of things about my city that I never knew.  Like people used to be executioned in squares.  And that they built a DAM on the river AMSTEL(R) which gave them the name.  Fascinating no?  Oh and I walk by this all the time…
And on that day I learned that it was NOT Einstein, but rather some guy who went abroad and wrote about the horrible goings ons by the Dutch East India Trading Company.  Also I learned that that was real.  The Pirates did not make it up (kidding…about the not know…not about the Pirates)  And we saw the skinniest house whose inhabitant is taller than the house is wide…
We also learned about these…
They’re pee deflectors.  So people don’t pee on buildings.  Or if they do, they get pee on their shoes.
And we ventured into the red light district and saw BOOBS!
It was an art piece placed by an unknown artist in the middle of the night to represent the anonymity and happenings of the Red Light District.
It was a nice little tour and it gave Nina to see Amsterdam for the first time and me too see things I never knew about.

When we were done, we grabbed some lunch at the local Albert Heijn and had lunch by the canal, but then it was on to tourist thing #2: Eating poffertjes!
These are Nina’s new favorite food and I’ve always loved them.  They’re little Dutch pancakes cooked on a griddle with tiny holes and covered in butter, powdered sugar, and in our case…chocolate…mmm.

Then it was on to probably the most touristy things ever at #3: The I amsterdam sign.  We proceeded to do as the tourists do and climb all over it…

Then we couldn’t do without #4: a visit to see some great Dutch paintings.  So we opted for the Rijks Museum
Here we saw a drunk guy, a milkmaid, and a ship…not particularly in that order.  It’s a huge museum with many paintings, but we kind of did a run through only stopping to make fun of the occasional crazy person in a painting.

To put a little break in our run through the city, we stopped for ice cream with Lily reveling in our air conditioned break form the city.  But we had little time for that, so after a quick pic with the sunshine bike...

 It was on to our last stop at #5…one more museum…
That’s right.  We couldn’t help it.  Seeing as we wouldn’t be partaking of any of the vices Amsterdam had to offer, we figured we could at least learn about the History of it.  And boy did we…Marilyn Monroe, fetishes, chastity belts, a chair with six foot penes on either side that humped you (unbeknownst to me…until I sat down) and the piece de resistance: a recreation of the 1930s Red Light District with moving animatronics.  Oh it was fun.  And all presented rather light heartedly so we got a kick out of it.

I’m glad I got to take a moment and be a tourist in Holland.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve been here to long to do things like that, but then I think, why not?  I enjoy visiting Pier 39 every chance I get and pictures in Disneyland are always common on my facebook profile.   So why shouldn’t I enjoy all the things that make Amsterdam the city that I want to be in?  I just won’t be carrying around the Nikon every day.

note: the XXX reference in the title is because the symbol of Amsterdam is three Xs. No one is quite sure what they stand for..but they're on everything...the flag, buildings, signs, cars, tattoos, etc.

Word of the day: toerist - tourist

6 comments:

  1. How awesome! I can't believe you didn't take pictures in the Sex Muesum! LOL I've got students that are dying to go to Amsterdam so they can smoke pot legally!

    Come by when you can...

    www.frugaltractormom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great photos! No photos in the sex museum though?!?!

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  3. I think it's awesome that you take the time to explore while you're there :) beautiful pictures!

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  5. 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

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