I (in) AMsterdam

amster_41.jpgI AMsterdam said the city pass leaving the ‘I’ in Amsterdam wondering where to start exploring.

The City is literally buzzing with museums, sights, activities and good places to chill out. Added to that was our timing of a long holiday summer weekend  and the city was packed with happy holiday makers.

amster_18.jpgThe tram ride and short walk got us to our hotel.

The Seven Bridges Hotel. We’d chosen it over others for the lovely antique filled rooms and ‘non-hotel feel’. The rather blunt and strict letter of can-and-can’t-dos we’d received on booking was an oddity for my Indian sensibilities however the welcome when we got there was reassuringly warm and our room a world of discovery. Including the strikingly beautiful Baroque Wardrobe. (My simple tee-shirts and jeans were totally misfit within it’s grandness!)

Back on the streets again, the first halt was Rembrandt Square. Rembrandt stands in solitary glory overlooking the merry chaos of pubs and cafes all around him.

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Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil

By evening we were all set with great seats for the Circus de Solie. An experience not to be missed. Specially since photography isn’t allowed.

The show well justifies it’s international renown. The sets, the costumes … the performance. Only superlatives can describe.

Also not to be missed was the nautical theme dressed crowds heading for The Love Boat Edition concert in the nearby stadium. Clearly in the mood to have fun!

Crowds gathering for the three day Love boat edition concert 2012

Credit to the Dutch. Even with thousands of people, most with a couple of beers already down, there was no rowdiness. A handful of policemen were more then enough security for the entire venue and event.

The next couple of days saw us walking over 50 kilometers lugging heavy camera bags and tripods. Vain me even attempting a day in high heels 😀 I’d learnt my lesson by the second day and the flats were out again.

The Van Gogh Museum, The Diamond Museum, Nationaal Monument , a gorgeous day on the canals in a sturdy canal cruise boat and finally Nemo

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Electrified!

Nemo the Science center, which right at the entrance has the instructions ‘Please DO touch’, guarantees you’ll be a child again. Blowing gigantic soap bubbles, sparking electricity and generally having a lot of fun. Learning too since every activity has a science lesson behind it.

Evenings were meant for Blue Hour photography. Which meant being out till almost midnight chasing the blues across the skies.

The days were for canal cruising, cyclist spotting, museum visiting and souvenir shopping. My favourite was the Rembrandt house. The house where the Great Master lived at the height of his success. It’s been carefully redecorated with objects mentioned in his assets inventory and those that figured in his works.

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Photography tips:
Keep your lenses clean. With the water all around the lens get smeared really fast. Specially when on a canal cruise.

Lots more to view at the complete AMSTERDAM GALLERIES on my website
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