Friday, 1 August 2008

Amsterdam 2008--Day One

We went to Amsterdam 26th-29th July and had a great time! The weather was very warm and pleasant, except for one afternoon when it rained and we got soaked. We had our usual run of bad luck with finding a restaurant where we'd be happy to eat, but other than that, it was a great trip.

Saturday we arrived at 9 AM, dropped our luggage off at the hotel and went out for a walk around. I bought a new bag at the Tibetan shop near the Begijnhof. It was the first place we visited. We wanted to show our friends, Libby and Hannah, this small oasis of calm in the city centre.

Then we went marching off to the Oude Kerk because I had read in a guide online that it shouldn't be missed. I wish I had looked closer outside, because we each paid 5 euros to get in only to find that it was being done up on the inside and was empty of everything except some scaffolding! At least we got to use the loos, though.

We continued our march until we reached Museum Amstelkring, Our Lord in the Attic church. This is a house with a Catholic church hidden in the attic, built during a period when Protestant rule forbade Catholic worship. But, in the old Amsterdam tradition, breaking of existing laws was overlooked. You could attend services if the building didn't look like a church on the outside. Thus, a 'hidden' (sort of) Catholic church.

After that, we went and checked in to our rooms, had a cup of tea and ventured over to the edge of the Red Light District, had a hummus sandwich, then decided to turn our attention to walking to Leidseplein to buy tickets for Boom Chicago. It rained on us during this walk. We stopped along the way in various shops, and in one shop called Takara, I bought an umbrella and a little black wooden statue of an elephant.

Derek took this photo of us at Boom Chicago. See how drenched and knackered we look!

This was my view of the stage. Hooray for balding German guys who come in right before everything starts, plonk themselves down and then try to eat a hamburger with a knife and fork all through the peformance!

After the show, which was a funny sketch and improv show by a bunch of Americans (in English) with an environmental theme, we headed back to the rooms after eating falafel sandwiches while sheltering in a doorway to get out of the drips.

More in the next entry.

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