Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Amsterdam, Netherlands

My boyfriend and I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend and it is definitely a place I would love to return to! Amsterdam is so beautiful and I found the bike-riding culture very amusing, they were everywhere!! I was getting pinged at (to move) every other minute and although at the time I found it quite irritating, I wondered how different London would look if it had adopted a similar attitude to travel. (It is starting, but I can't imagine it changing anything about the city until many more years).
I can't really say anything about the food because I could have easily been in a London cafe/restaurant ... the menus were pretty much the same! ...and I absolutely hate cheese so I can't really speak about that either and had to hold my breath every time we walked past a cheese specialist shop to my boyfriend's amusement!
One of the places I wanted to visit was the Museum of Bags & Purses. I didn't expect it to be anything amazing, but I do always love to see anything related to the history of Fashion when possible... and I was totally blown away! This museum is definitely a hidden gem and it exceeded my expectations. There must have been over 500 bags in the museum that covered over a century and most importantly, photos were allowed!!
I loved these carved ivory purse frames and the embellished bags were so beautiful!!
Of course, Amsterdam is known for its Red Light District so we just had to take a stroll through and it was so surreal! I felt like I was in a film, and these were all actors. It just didn't seem real, seeing these half-naked women, behind glass doors, trying to entice passers-by. We then popped into an Erotic Museum which was just quirky and very amusing! I think I was more amused at several groups of grown men giggling at naughty photos! 
After visiting a couple of European countries this summer, it really occurred to me just how prudish England is!! I have lived in London for 27 years and if anyone asked me where there was an Erotic Museum, I would not have a clue!! I'm sure I would find one if I was browsing 'alternative museums' ... but why can't London just have one in a reputable place? I'm not suggesting the Victoria & Albert Museum, but it doesn't make sense that there isn't a prominent one here. However, even while I type this I wonder if my blog is going to be marked as an 'over-18' blog for UK visitors just for mentioning the Red Light District!
I took so many photos but I just had to include this one in my blog post... a lovely way of adding art to the pavement!! ...although I did wonder just how many people may have tripped over it!
The thought of going to the cinema while on holiday was always a little strange to me but there were so many films we wanted to watch on the big screen that we couldn't resist! So when we came across the Tuschinski Theatre, we just had to watch something there! The building is of the Art Deco (my favourite) period and just stunning!!! We didn't mind paying the premium to see it in its glory! I also found it very spooky and felt a chill down my spine when I was using the Ladies Toilets when I couldn't see where the exit was! The doors were camouflaged into the walls!
Overall, I love Amsterdam! ... we didn't do everything we wanted to do as this was our 'relaxing' holiday after our very busy holiday to Athens ... but we will certainly be back!!
Click here to see more photos including my visit to the Museum of Bags & Purses! nuvonova- Flickr
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