Travel Stories in Amsterdam & Netherlands
I wanted to tell you in this post of our 10 days tour in Holland. Do you want to know what to see and visit in the Netherlands? Well, there are many interesting things for all tastes! The first thing we thought when we started planning our trip to the Netherlands was that the first point would be Amsterdam.
Day 1 - Rotterdam
Rotterdam was the first point of contact of our trip in Holland and the first contact was not good. This time we arrived in the city with the largest port in Europe and the second largest in the world. As soon as we got off the train we realized that we had arrived in a totally different city. It is a modern, cosmopolitan, commercial city with a port but that left us rather indifferent. There was evidence that Holland was going to be more expensive.
After a walk to get to the port, passing by the tourist information office this city, made us realize that we had arrived at other types of sites. In Rotterdam, we will have a lot to see but visually it does not attract attention. We do not find the charm that we should or at least we did not know how to look at it with good eyes. I have to say that it is the first time that I arrive at a place and it leaves me clearly indifferent. But there we were, in the main European port and we decided to take a long walk.
And we arrived at the port area where we found this small and coquettish lighthouse. From here we had beautiful views of the Erasmus Bridge, whose name comes from its famous neighbor Erasmus of Rotterdam, of course. Perhaps it is the best known of this city or at least a remarkable symbol of it along with cube houses. As we had time and little intention of seeing museums, we decided to go to the Euromast tower, which had been placed on the map in the tourist office. It seemed to be closer than it really was. When we arrived at the beginning of the park in which it is located we turned around because the sky did not invite us to walk and we still had a great way back.
It is the communications tower of the city and you can climb it. The views from there certainly do not detract but we were not to check it. We turned around and continued our way where we had arrived. We passed again by the Erasmus bridge and we continued in the direction of the Cubo houses. This area is perhaps the one I liked most about Rotterdam, with small canals and their boats on the banks. Here if you can find places with charm because the boats are not modern and contrast with the rest.
Our walk took us to The White House or Witte Huis. After its construction, it became the first skyscraper in Europe. Next, to the Cubo Houses, we can see the Pencil building, of which I do not have any photo. Removing the cube houses I found the place to be the most horrifying. It is the one that has the most charm in the city. The Cubo Houses are the work of Piet Bloom, and there are 32 cubes. Here I was looking up for a while and really wondering how they would do to clean the crystals and what their internal distribution would be like.
All the houses inhabited and before the complaints of the neighbors decided to open one to the public. I suppose your visit may be considered interesting especially when, like me, so many doubts arise. But at this time I did not know that they could visit and we did not see anything indicative of that either. Here I run because it started to rain again. We decided to conclude with the visit to Rotterdam but along the way, we went through other points of interest. The Stadhuis or City Hall, which since it survived the bombings of 1940 was considered a national monument.
From here we return to the train station and from this moment on we realize that in Holland if we move on public transport we have to go loaded with coins. The machines do not accept tickets and most of them do not accept a credit card or the one that accepts is the Maestro (which we do not have). We only found a ticket machine in the whole Netherlands where they accepted Visa or Mastercard. For paying with the card or taking the ticket at the ticket office they charge 0.50 euros per ticket. From here we go to another gem of this trip, Delft.
In Delft, we stayed at the hotel, which is located right next to the Canal. The hotel is a classic Delft building, with winding corridors and steep stairs. The window of the room faced the canal and although it was expensive for what it is we were delighted. Our walk through Delft was quiet, slow and with few photos but the weather was great and we enjoyed it very much. We loved Delft as a city and we found it to be the most charming. We continued to see the accumulation of bicycles everywhere.
We began to realize that in the end, they were more dangerous than cars because you do not hear them arrive and they appear when you least expect them. Taking pictures in these conditions is a risky job. Delft is known for its characteristic blue ceramic and we can see it in all shops. As we arrived late we did not see many open but we look at shop windows that invite a lot of attention. It is not only due to the blue ceramics but also showcases large cheeses. In the surroundings of the Grote Markt, there are numerous restaurants.
After a little strolling around we came to a square full of terraces where we chose an Italian restaurant for dinner. We order a trio of pasta, a pizza, a beer and a coke, and for dessert chocolate mousse. When we went out to dinner the temperature was nice. It was so good that we took a long night walk until the walk was interrupted by the arrival of the rain and we returned to the hotel to rest. The next day we have the busiest day of the trip.
Day 2 - Delft - The Hague (Den Haag, as it is called)
We got up early, for a change and as we had seen Delft the night before decided to continue on the road. More than anything, this day we had it marked in the planning because we did not think it would give us time to everything. In the original plan was to see Delft, Hague, Madurodam, and Leiden. Although we had ruled out The Hague we did not know if it would still give us time to see everything. But having arrived in Delft before the time allowed us to leave before and thus go through all the points of the original planning. We went to find a place to have breakfast and fortunately, we found a chain in which for three euros per person they gave us a coffee, a croissant, a sandwich and orange juice. The cheapest thing we had seen so far.
We get to Madurodam in a bus, since the cars did not reach here. In Madurodam we find a theme park not only dedicated to children. We enjoy strolling among all these miniature monuments. It was a great success to make the first visit to Madurodam before starting our tour of the Netherlands, since here we could see, in a size 25 times less than reality, everything that awaited us in our Dutch journey.
The entrance to the enclosure costs 20 euros, which are donated to different works for the benefit of youth. This is because the land and the Madurodam start was funded by the parents of George Maduro, who died in a Nazi concentration camp. Although upon arrival the venue seems small, I can assure you that at first, I thought it was too small. It is worth stopping at each point, visualizing the small and careful details of each model and surprising yourself with the reality with which they are made.
After spending a few hours very nice, enjoying as children between the models, we headed to The Hague. The Hague did not particularly attract our attention. It is also true that although during our visit to Madurodam the weather behaved. After leaving here it started to rain. Possibly The Hague has much more to offer than what we saw. On the other hand, having no initial intention to go through it made us less organized.
Basically, what we did was to go to the Dutch Parliament. Besides the Parliament and the visit to its inner square where we find the Hall of the Knights, the most remarkable and known of the buildings of this city is the Peace Palace that we did not see. The rain made us go to a cafe. I take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and wait for the rain to clear a little.
We visualize the Dutch Lion on a facade, that of the Gevangenpoort, the prison door, which was originally the entrance door of the Castle of the Counts of Holland and that later, in the 15th century, became a prison. When we saw that the rain had subsided a little, we went off in the direction of the train stop. I have to tell you that despair came back here and I wanted to go to bed and sleep more than to continue walking in the rain. Fortunately, these things are meditated and decisions are not made without thinking because I would have repented a lot. We liked Leiden, and we liked it a lot.
We went down for a coffee while we waited to see if there was any free. In the end, we got to put the big suitcase in a box that seemed a little older and we got it. In Leiden, it rained, and it rained a lot, so much that we almost do not have photos. It is impossible to take the camera out. Leiden is known for having the oldest university in the Netherlands, being the birthplace of Rembrandt. It has the oldest town in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and has the building with the longest baroque façade in the country, its town hall.
As soon as we leave the central station, we come across the Valk Mill, which currently houses a museum related to the grinding of corn, which was originally used when it was built in 1785. We went through the courtyards of the Museum of Ethnology or Vokenkunde Museum. This museum tries to collect curious things made by man, articles, artifacts, objects that illustrate the development of many cultures. There are objects from Korea, Japan, China, and Latin America. On our walk we saw a second mill, in this case, it is the Molen De Put mill.
And after a few strolls contemplating the beautiful architecture of the houses of Leiden, we arrive at the Town Hall, which has the longest Renaissance facade in the Netherlands. When we went through it there was a wedding taking place, well, the end of it and the atmosphere was more than picturesque. We were meeting the couple during our entire walk through Leiden. In the end, it seemed that we were following them.
The Korenbeurs Brug bridge is a stone bridge located very close to City Hall and which in 1825 was covered to protect the merchant posts I guess from the rain, as at this moment. We acceded to De Burcht, a small fortress built on an artificial embankment possibly with defensive work. The most remarkable (apart from the large bottle that was made by a group of children) are the views from here of Leiden and the Pieterskerk Church. That imposing mass of stone that stands out in any image of Leiden.
The best thing about Leiden, from my point of view, is to walk through its channels, enjoy its architecture and if the weather allows it to have a good beer in one of those terraces, something that we could not do. At this point, it was raining a lot. It was raining and we decided to go back to the train station. It was early so before leaving for Amsterdam we went to a cafe to rest for a while and get rid of the thick rain.
We took the train and in a short time we got off at Amsterdam Central Station. The sun peeked through the clouds. After locating us and contacting the owner of the apartment, we climbed a tram that left us at our stop in less than 10 minutes, right next to the Heineken Experience and very close to the Van Gogh Museum. There our landlord was waiting for us, and after a walk and a good talk, he took us to the apartment. The apartment was located in a classic building in Amsterdam and really staying like this is very good to know, not only how they live but to know how it is a building of these inside.
I'm not going to cheat you. I was shocked (and in this case not pleasantly). As he opens the door and we begin to climb, a thousand things start to come to my mind. I have to climb half tilted. I look up and think: How am I going to climb these stairs, with my suitcase, without killing myself? Well little by little. When I reached the top one point in its favor was the mural with the skyline of New York. Well, we started well but the house, in general, was fine, except the bathroom that fell apart, but I heard the word "mouse" and that changed everything. According to him, in Amsterdam, it is very common for mice to exist. That is why he had placed a repeller on us, but that did not give me much confidence. All this was a trauma at the beginning,
It had gotten dark and it started to rain. So we looked for a pizzeria that was close at hand and we went to dinner. And we dined in the company of a cute kitten, who at first just sat next to me watching how it was raining through the window but it was gaining confidence until it fell on my lap. With this, we ended our day. Now we had long days without moving the suitcases from their place.
Day 3 - Amsterdam
Our first day in Amsterdam and it did rain, for a change. However, the rain did not stop us from enjoying the city, strolling through the canals. Although we could have gone to one of its many museums (like Van Gogh's, which we really wanted), we did nothing but walk. Our apartment was located very close to Heineken Experience, a recommended place if you like beer. It is a kind of museum in which they teach us how to make the famous beer. They also give us a Heineken with our name (although this is supposed to be a surprise) and if you travel only with hand luggage you have to drink or empty them or buy a bag.
From here we left in the direction of the museum area. It was another place that was very close to our house in Amsterdam. Along the way, we passed by a cafe for breakfast with a couple of croissants and a couple of coffees. After this, we decided that since we were in an apartment the best thing would be to have breakfast at home and thus save something.
We continue our tour and we arrive at the museum area. As an entry point, we find the Rijksmuseum where the most important collection of Dutch art in the world is located. Just behind other important museums such as the Van Gogh Museum. It houses the collection of paintings, drawings and most important letters of the artist. The visit to the museum can be done following the chronology of his life.
This is how we get to the canal area and if Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the North it is undoubtedly due to the multitude of channels that cross it, over which more than 1000 bridges cross. The best-known, and undoubtedly the most beautiful canals area is that of Grachtengordel. It is a ring made up of three channels that were created during the 17th century to withstand the increase in population suffered in the city. The most beautiful is the interior, the Herengracht. We walked quietly in the fine rain, stopping at every step to see the canals, the buildings, the striking way in which everything was placed.
How beautiful it all seemed so colored, all so flowery (thank goodness we were not in spring because then we assume that Amsterdam has to be an explosion of color). We passed through Leidseplein, one of the liveliest squares in Amsterdam, not to mention the liveliest. In it take place all the important celebrations of the city, such as the arrival of the new year or the victories of Ajax. From this square Leidsestraat starts, a commercial street where we find shops of all kinds. We went to Rembrandt Square but it was raining a lot, so we just peeked around and turned around.
We take refuge in the flower and souvenir shops of the Mercado de las Flores. It must be impressive to see these barges located on the canal full of tulips and natural flowers in full spring. Now, outside of this time and despite the fact that we can still see natural flowers, the bulbs of flowers and souvenirs of all kinds are much more important. Yes, in this area we find cheaper souvenirs than any other.
At one end of the flower market, we find the Munttoren, located at the confluence of the Amstel river and the Singel canal. It was originally part of one of the main entrance doors of the old medieval city wall. That medieval charm still keeps it. Its name means the door of the Currency. It is called like this due to one of the functions that it had during the S. XVII, in whose interior the coins were minted.
Our walk continued between canals and bicycle and bicycles and canals until we reach Spui Square. In the nineteenth century, this area was a large pool of water that marked the end of the city of Amsterdam. In 1882, this entire area was filled and generated what we now know as Spui Square. Currently, it is a nice square full of cafes, restaurants, and shops, and every week there is a market where you can buy works of art.
From the square, you have access to the Begijnhof and just by crossing the entrance door it seems that we have gone back in time. We arrived at this haven of peace where formerly it housed the beguines, a lay Catholic brotherhood. Inside this enclosure, we find the oldest house in Amsterdam, one of the only two houses that are preserved with the wooden facade (number 34). Engelse Kerk, a church that was confiscated from the Beguines, was also located inside. After that, they had to join two houses and make what was a clandestine church known today as the Chapel of Begijnhof, which is just opposite the previous one.
Here it rained a lot and the visit was complicated. So we took advantage to go to lunch and later we would find a little more tranquility around this place. As it rained a lot we entered the first place that we saw that had an empty table and in this place, we ate a kind of pizza with a thick dough. We also take the dessert with strawberry milkshakes. After lunch and almost running as it was raining we reached the Dam Square, the main square of Amsterdam and the center around which the city was created.
In this square that did not attract much attention to me, we found a series of historical buildings such as the Royal Palace and the National Monument, an obelisk located in the middle of the square that was built in honor of the Dutch soldiers fallen during the World War II. Before visiting the square as it was raining we had to take shelter in this shopping center that turned out to be smaller than it seems on the outside and gave us space for little.
From the square I will talk to you later because we went through here several times and sometimes it was not raining as much as I was doing now, so we stopped little. On our return to the apartment we went back to several points we had already been. We toured the Herengracht canal and went back to the Spui square, we entered Begijnhof again. Come on, we pretty much walked the path we were trying to go through different channels.
After resting a while in the apartment and changing clothes that had been more than a rainy day, we went to find a place to dine with tranquility. We chose a restaurant located in the same Spui square and there, with two glasses of gin and tonic and a delicious dinner, we said goodbye to the first day in Amsterdam. There was still light over the city, something that for us was a luxury since in previous trips through Europe was getting dark at 3 or 4 in the afternoon.
Day 4 - Edam, Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken, and Purmerend
The main towns are Edam, Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken, and Purmerend. This last one we would not visit because of problems of time and logistics but in exchange, we visit Broek in Waterland. The ease of getting to these towns by public transport is what makes it an essential visit if you are in Amsterdam. In our case, we got something cheaper than buying simple tickets. We did not take the boat and the route we did in this sense was Edam, Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken and on the way back and with transshipment we went through Broek in Waterland.
We had breakfast in the apartment and in a walk of little more than half an hour we arrived at the Amsterdam Central station. We find a sign that takes us to the platforms of the buses at the top. In our case, we are going to Edam, the first stop on today's route. Edam is known worldwide for its cheeses, but behind its history, many secrets are hidden. In Edam many ships were built, some as famous as Halve Mann was born there, who commanded by Henry Hudson disembarked on the island of Manhattan. After these naval and commercial beginnings, Edam began to elaborate the famous cheese known as Edam cheese.
Volendam is a small fishing village where the best thing to do is stroll through its streets, visit its shops, have a drink on the seafront and if you feel like it, take a photo at any of the many photographic workshops that take photos with the traditional suit. In Volendam, you can still see women dressed in the typical costume.
Here I was paralyzed with the price of food. Walking around the harbor we thought it was better to eat something. The sky was getting very black and it was threatening rain, so the best thing we could do was find a place to eat. And so we did. We saw many places where they served a kind of plastic tray the size of a hand, full of different types of fish. For example, Rubén ordered a tray of fried calamari and I mixed fish (basically, some fish, squid, mussels). They put it back in the fryer and they served it that way. These two trays, a coke, and a coffee cost us a whopping 30 euros. I do not know why I ran out of breath. From Volendam, you can take the Marken direction or turn around and follow the bus route. We did the latter and got off at Monnickendam.
Monnickendam was the town that I liked the most. As soon as we got off the bus we went to the center. Moving without a map in this area is very easy since everything is indicated. We spent a lot of time on this bridge, looking at the views until we followed the road, we found a cute pastry shop and here we had dessert. After this pleasant walk through Monnickendam, we continue the journey to the bus stop. We had gone through the tourist information office that in addition to giving us a compass to avoid losing the north, we were informed of the different bus stops to get to Marken. In the end, we had to wait 20 minutes for the next bus.
We arrived at Marken through a dam built in 1957, the year in which the island became a peninsula with the union by means of this dike with the mainland. Merken is also a fishing village, with wooden houses built copper a small elevation to avoid the frequent floods that occur. Currently, the old island of Merken has much less surface since it is being invaded by the sea. In fact, in the eastern part, there is an old cloister under the water. The walk we took in Merken was long, very long since we went around the island. We ended up in the lighthouse, which, in addition to being picturesque, has a lot of details that invite millions of photos. On the way to the bus stop, we had this panoramic view of the town.
Our next destination was Broek in Waterland, where we could do little since the bus started to rain. The only thing we did in the town was to take a quick tour, to perceive that the town is as beautiful as the rest although less known and we returned running to the bus because every time it rained more. We returned to Amsterdam in the middle of the afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon taking a walk, enjoying the city without the camera, eating fried potatoes with salsa, and going around the canals, soaking up the Dutch atmosphere and doing some shopping.
At night and after shopping for dinner and breakfast, we went to the apartment. This was where we spent the rest of the night, watching a movie under a blanket on the sofa. We had been quite cold and it was hot to touch.
Day 5 - Zaanse Schans - Haarlem
We get up later than we pretended. Mysteriously the alarm clock did not ring at its hour so to gain time we went to the train station by tram. Zaanse Schans is a small town north of Amsterdam, where a large museum has been set up, showing a series of mills that are more than 200 years old and still working. The entrance to the site is free, but to enter each of the mills you have to pay a small amount between 2 and 3 euros per mill. Getting to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam is very easy since by train from the central station you get to Koog Zaandijk station. We took the ticket to Alkmaar and we got off at this station because then we continued the road.
Once you arrive at the Koog Zaandijk station, getting to the area of the mills is very easy, as it is fully indicated and there is no possible loss. Before arriving there are some cabins where you can get some maps of the area for free. The easiest way to do the tour is starting from the museum area, continuing along the path that leads to the different mills. Once we reach the end of the journey, for one euro, a boat takes us to the town of Zaanse Schans to continue with the visit. The area is very beautiful and you can take countless photos, both the mills and the town in general.
We finished our visit and continued to Alkmaar. We did not know this before leaving, but after investigating the stop we did not find the possible combination and we had to ask to reach the conclusion that we had to change. Alkmaar is another beautiful town full of canals and with a town hall that draws attention. In the center of Alkmaar, we find the Waag or weighing house, where the tourist office and the cheese museum are currently located.
The most touristy market in Alkmaar is the cheese market, which you can not miss if you visit the Netherlands between the months of April and September (from the first Friday of April to the first Friday of September). We went out of this period but without a doubt, it has to be something worth seeing. It takes place on Friday mornings. The market is not much since you cannot buy cheese, it is just a demonstration of how traditional markets took place, with cheese weighing and marketing.
As we had lunchtime we entered a place where they put fast food. They had no tables. Here life is lived in a different way. We quickly ate our kind of Pizza and went out to find somewhere to have a good dessert. In this singular pastry shop we took the coffee and dessert and after that, we concluded the visit to Alkmaar and set off for our next destination: Haarlem. When we arrived in Haarlem we already noticed that we were having too much luck with time and that we had little to enjoy the sun. The weather threatened rain. So we went around a few times. We arrived at the Grote Markt, with the Church of Saint Bavo.
It is known as the city of Flowers and is that if something is known Haarlem is for its tulips since for centuries was the most important production center of bulbs of this flower. Just get off the train and you realize you're in a pretty city. Its train station deserves a mention as it is tiny but with a very characteristic art deco style.
Haarlem is four meters below sea level and was built on the bottom of an old lake, hence the huge number of canals that cross it. The city has a lot to see and especially a lot to enjoy. At the tourist information office, you can pick up a map with a walking route that makes you go through all the points of interest.The Grote Markt is a must see. In the central square is the Town Hall and the Gothic Church of San Bavo, where there is a piano with more than 5000 tubes and that was played by Mozart himself.
One of the peculiarities of Haarlem is its Hofjes, asylums that have been built around patios. Those that still remain are in Haarlem 19 and some can still be visited on weekends. We did the whole visit in the rain so at a certain moment we had to take shelter. And what better than to take a few beers. Undoubtedly, what struck me most about Haarlem was the area of the Adriaan mill, where there is currently a museum dedicated to the technology of the mills. This was what happened on the day and after that, we went back to Amsterdam where we went to a supermarket, bought dinner and some beers and enjoyed a night under the blanket on the sofa.
Day 6 - Utrecht - Gouda
After a breakfast at home, we headed towards the central station of Amsterdam. On our sixth day in the Netherlands, we arrive in Utrecht under a major downpour. Utrecht is located half an hour by train from Amsterdam, so visiting it will not cost you much, neither in travel time nor in money. We were quite a while in the mall that is right in the same station. Nor do you have to go outside because they are united. Here I had to buy a fleece and that we had very little left in Holland, but could not stand the cold and had no intention of putting up with it another day. As we spent a lot of time here I found one that came to me wonderfully and I began to notice that blood was flowing through my veins again.
The Catharijen Hoog is one of the largest covered shopping centers in the Netherlands and is like a labyrinth. There were moments of not knowing where we were. At the top is the area of bars from where you get magnificent views of the cathedral. We could not verify it because with which the visibility was falling was rather null. An hour after arriving in Utrecht and having made a rigorous stop to warm up (the coffee always comes in handy) we decided to go out and start discovering the city. Utrecht has many charms and one of the main ones are its channels.
The main difference of the Oudegracht canal with the rest of what we have seen so far is that just in the walls of the canal are born all kinds of bars and restaurants, that if we go in another less rainy season we will find them with terraces next to the water. In addition, Utrecht has a special animation. We were there in the morning and we could see the number of people on the street, the crowded bars, the people buying and it is obvious that Utrecht is a university center and also commercial. The center of Utrecht is small enough so that you can go on foot without problems, however, you have to be careful with the bicycles that arrive silently and can give you more of a fright.
Another of the main attractions of Utrecht is its cathedral, with its Dom tower separated from it since in the seventeenth century a tornado separated them in two. The visits to the tower are guided (I think in English) and the views from there must be impressive, that is, if you are willing to climb the 465 steps. We, given the weather, do not climb, but it is said that on clear days you can get to see Amsterdam.
What we did visit was the Pandhof, the garden of the Dom tower, one of the most beautiful fenced gardens in Holland. And so quiet, and alone, we find ourselves enjoying this haven of peace within the city. If you go in another time, you will surely find it much more lively and then you will stop having this melancholic atmosphere with which we visit you. So removing the climb to the tower, we settled for a quiet walk through the streets of Utrecht, under a thin water that did not quite leave the day.
When the desperation for the water that did not stop falling was reaching the peak a ray of sun came out and we saw the light, for the first time, in Utrecht. People started going out into the streets and they started to cheer up. The day, now yes, invited to walk and enjoy the city. We take this opportunity to take another trip around the city and see images that had gone unnoticed in the rain. This is what Utrecht left us, a pleasant taste in our mouths and the feeling of having to feel grateful that the weather gave us some rays of light to see how this Dutch city shines.
What we did not see was the Rietveld - Schroder house, unique at the time of its construction and unique today. In its design and construction is played with straight lines, flexible spaces and primary colors, in a conjunction that provides a unique style. The walls move and rotate, adapting the space to specific needs. We left Utrecht and headed to our next destination: Gouda. The journey between the two cities is about 20 minutes by train.
Gouda is known worldwide for the cheeses of the same name, but if an image is the most widespread of this city is, without a doubt, its Gothic town hall. Located in the middle of a square, it stands out above the rest of the buildings. If you go in December, do not miss the Night of the candles, in which the lights of the city are extinguished and the city is illuminated by thousands of candles. Only 2500 are lit at the City Hall. Next to the Town Hall is the house of the peso (Waag).
Another point of interest in Gouda is the Church of San Juan Bautista, which, in addition to having spectacular stained-glass windows, has a central nave that is 123 meters long and the longest in the Netherlands. But if there is something you can do to enjoy Gouda, it is to stroll through its streets and small canals, admire its architecture and sit on one of the terraces to contemplate the movement of people.
We spent a long time sitting on a terrace in the Town hall square, while we waited for the rain to give us a truce, covered with a blanket, in the heat of the fire and tasting a very warm coffee. After our walk through Gouda and to finish the visit we went into one of the Cheese shops, where in addition to a nice conversation with the lady of the store I eat purple cheese. I tried all the colors and smells. We took advantage to do a shopping, of cheese, of course, and we went straight to the train.
The journey to Amsterdam lasts almost an hour. The day was ending and our last day in Holland was waiting for us, so we went to bed early to make the most of it. We had one last day in Amsterdam.
Day 7 - Amsterdam
Our last day of travel dawned. We had breakfast in the apartment and we were ready to kick the city waiting for the weather to take place and allow us to enjoy all those charming spots that Amsterdam has without a doubt. We're headed to the Red Light District. Maybe it was not the best time to visit this area, but time had not played in our favor, we visited it now that it was not raining or we would not pass through here. It is true that at this time of the morning the neighborhood looked like one more, with some other detail that made us think about where we were.
In the Red Light District of Amsterdam, we find women exposing in shop windows and although at this time it was not very lively we could see more than one. And watch the camera because even if you are not taking pictures of them you may get more of a shock as happened to me in front of the Oude Kerk when I went to take a picture of the city view I was thrown more than two voices.
In the Red Light District is the Oude Kerk, or old church, the oldest building in Amsterdam. It was built in the S, XIV although nothing resembled what was built then, a wooden chapel, to what exists today. After many reconstructions, the Oude Kerk became a great church, where it is definitely worth entering, contemplating its stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling. With the passage of time, the Oude Kerk remained small and began the construction of the New Church or Nieuwe Kerk.
When we arrived on the train the day before from Gouda, we spotted a mill. I thought maybe it was not far away so we headed towards with a determined step and along the way we admired the canals, the barges, and in the same port the NEMO museum and the ship called "Amsterdam". The museum is the Science and Technology Museum and if you travel with children it can become an essential visit. Also, the photos from the upper terrace should be quite good.
It started to sparkle so we hurried a little step and not far away we started to see the mill. It is the Gooyer Mill that was originally used as a flour mill. Today, at our feet, we will find the Brouwerij brewery. We turned around because what was originally a fine rain was becoming something else and we went back to the area of the Red Light District. From this moment we started to wander around Amsterdam without a map and without a fixed direction.
After having a coffee to warm up we considered whether or not to go for a pedal boat ride through the channels but rain was still threatening us. So we decided to leave it for later if the weather improved. We arrived at the Iglesia Wester Kerk. We have not visited this area yet. The atmosphere was very good because there had been some rays of sunlight and people had been encouraged by the street. This church has no other particularity more renowned than the fact of climbing to its tower.
Every half hour, only groups of six people go on a guided tour in English. Therefore it is necessary to reserve. Looking at the time it was and taking into account that we did not know if the sun was going to hide from one moment to another we booked for a couple of hours later. While we were waiting we visited the house of Anne Frank and we could see the huge queues that form to enter. We already went with the intention of not entering. It is not something that caught our attention and seeing the queues took away the desire.
We took some walks in the vicinity. I bought a candy in one of the kiosks on the street that tasted like glory and we went down the canals. We looked for a cafeteria or similar to sit for a while as we waited for it to be time to climb the tower. When we left the cafeteria, the sky had once again become overcast. I could not believe the bad luck we had but in the end, the day endured and we climbed the tower without rain. Honestly, the experience was very good. The culmination was when we reached the top and saw the great views.
We had Amsterdam at our feet. After descending from the heights and with enough cold we continued our walk and took the opportunity to make the last purchases of the trip. We had a coffee in De Waag in the Nieuwe Markt square.
We went back to the apartment to pack our bags and collect everything and then went out to dinner and to celebrate our last night in Holland. We dined at a chain that we had already tried in London and that we liked a lot and did not let us down. We tried a fried rice and some noodles. We only had one last walk in the area of the museums that at that time of the night was beautiful.
With this, we said goodbye to Holland and the next day without getting up early we left for the airport. To get to the Amsterdam airport is as easy as taking a train and in less than 15 minutes we are there.