So continuing on from Part 1 of our trip to Amsterdam...
After a really good night's rest, we woke up on Saturday morning to continue our Girl's Weekend in the city of weed 🙂 Breakfast was a standard Buffet and both of us needed some greasy bacon and eggs.
After breakfast, we made our way down to the nearest pick up point for the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour. We had decided the night before to purchase the Combo 48hr ticket that would allow us to use both the buses as well as the boats. We also pre-bought the tickets to the Rijksmuseum.
The weather was not playing along on this day, so most of my outdoor pictures have grey clouds in the background. And it was quite chilly too. We hopped off a few times and strolled along the many canals and bridges. We passed through the the main shopping district, window-shopped our way through the 9 Streets of Amsterdam, visited a Diamond Factory which was also included in the ticket and of course we finally made our way to the Rijksmuseum.
The main shopping district of Amsterdam is like any other big city: large chain stores selling the same stuff you get back home. But they do have an area called the Nine Streets of Amsterdam where you will find small boutiques selling vintage clothes and gifts, cozy cafes as well as designer flair. I didn't purchase anything here though, as this was not a shopping trip.
We then made our way back to the bus and decided to stop off at the Diamond Factory which is also included in the ticket. At the Gassan Diamond Polishing Factory, we were taken on a short tour of the different rooms used to showcase the various stages of Diamond Cutting. Our Tour Guide gave us the rundown of how their diamonds are cut, etc. The Tour ended with her showing us real cut diamonds and of course told us about the 'huge' discount we would receive, were we to purchase any item that day.
Once we got back outside, we decided to instead take the boat to our next stop, which was the Waterlooplein Market. By that time though, my feet needed a break so we didn't do too much walking here. We were also a little worried that we would not make it in time for the Rijksmuseum, so hopped back onto a boat and headed towards the biggest attraction (at least for me) of the day.
I love a good museum. What I don't love is waiting in a long line for tickets. I missed going to the Louvre in 2011, because we didn't pre-purchase tickets and when we got to Paris, there was a 2 hour waiting line. It's on my list though, so soon Le Louvre, soon!
The Rijksmuseum is one of my favorite museums. It was also the very first museum I visited when I first visited Holland in 2003. And so I really enjoyed being back. I was very worried that we didn't have enough time, because of the size of the museum and the fact that we only had 2,5 hours before they closed the doors. We managed to do 2/3 of the museum and I got to at least see The Night Watch, which is by far my favorite painting in the entire museum.
Unfortunately we didn't get to Van Gogh and Vemeer, so next time I will factor in more time 🙂 By the time we left the museum, it was already starting to get dark and once again dark clouds threatened in the distance. We made our way across one of the little bridges once more and went to grab some food.
It had gotten really cold by then and we headed back to our hotel to warm up with some drinks. It was our last evening together and we still had so much to talk about - yes, we did! I don't recall how many of these large G&T's I had before we called it a night.
Our Last Meal...
The next day we woke up, already with sad hearts. Ms Lee packed her luggage ad we headed down to breakfast. She would depart straight after and I still had a few hours to ponder life with my best friend 8870km away. So breakfast was certainly bitter-sweet - and I don't mean the waffles and bacon 🙂
Once Ms Lee left, I took a long shower, packed up and checked out of the hotel. I made my way around the bustling city once again before making my way to the Main Train Station to wait for my train.
Back to normal life...
All in all, we had a great time. And I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my best friend. It was something I didn't think we would get to do again. So much has changed since our time in Dubai, and yet when we ran into each other's arms at the airport, it seemed nothing had changed at all.
Anyway, this post was supposed to be about Amsterdam and I hope that I managed to convey my love for this city. If you are ever in Holland, Amsterdam is a must do. I probably wouldn't do such a trip with a kid though. I definitely would wait until Miss E was a little older and would appreciate the culture and what this amazing city has to offer.
There is a lot this city has to offer and so much that we didn't get to do. So it's all going on the list for the next trip to Amsterdam!
Until next time, Dearies. Happy travels...