Of all my August travel memories, Amsterdam, the capital of Holland (Netherlands) is set apart as the only country I visited for two (2) consecutive days without having to sleep there at night!
Yes! All you need is an adventurous spirit and a loving boyfriend slash tour guide haha.
During the last leg of my first Europe trip in August 2007, I have two (2) long lay overs in Amsterdam with the route Paris - Amsterdam - Sweden - Amsterdam - Manila.
I met Mark in Paris while I left my trip companion, Atty.Joji Olivete in Arlanda,Sweden and needed to pick her up before our flight to Manila.
Since Amsterdam is situated very centrally in the Netherlands and is not far from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport by train or bus, it would be a pity not to explore Amsterdam’s exciting sights!So from Paris,I flew to Amsterdam while Mark took the express train.
I got to Amsterdam ahead of Mark, so I braved myself and checked out some sights on foot.
The city centre is surprisingly compact and all key attractions can easily be reached by foot like the Dam Square, The Dungeon, and Maddam Tassuads Wax Museum. I was lucky to get in touch with an old friend,Victor Castillo,so it felt good to have company while waiting for Mark.
With Victor's crazy tour ideas like a walk around the 'red - light district' and Mark's commendable suggestions, I had one of the best walking tour before I headed for the airport that day! Amsterdam is so compressed that nearly all tourist attractions are located within walking distance from each other.
For my turn-around visit (after that comfortable sleep on KLM flights back and forth Sweden-Amsterdam), topping my 'to do list' with Atty.Joji is to see Amsterdam from the water. Amsterdam has 165 canals with a total length of 100kms! With all that water, one should not miss taking a cruise and exploring Amsterdam’s waterways!
So we got on that Museum City Boat and cruise along the canals for an hour enjoying the numerous monumental buildings along side and getting amazed at the beautiful gables (frontpieces at roof level) of the houses.
For history sake, we visited the Anne Frank House, a museum showcasing the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during World War II. Anne Frank was a normal girl who for more than two years described in her diary the events of her daily life in hiding.