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Sex, Drugs, Flowers, Canals and Bicycles.

This is how I can sum up our recent trip to Amsterdam.Going around the world is always our passion and that is the only reason I agreed to be in London after the wedding though I prefer India. Europe is our dream destination and since London is near, you don’t have to spend much to visit all over Europe. One country down, Netherlands :).I know it is a long way to go still. At least we have started it.
It was really an exciting and exhausting trip to Amsterdam.The view  I saw when our flight started descending in Schiphol Airport, was exhilarating with rows and rows of canals bordering the front and back side of the houses and the suburbs are plush green and fertile. Anybody from a busy city would definitely love that.
Here are some of the highlights.
We stayed in a nice hotel at the heart of the city center, right in front the  ‘National Monument’ and ‘Royal palace’. National Monument looked so dirty that we did not realize it to be a monument until we saw it in one of the pamphlet.One of the worst maintained tourist attraction I have ever seen.

National Monument

I have never searched for so long for a nice and decent coffee shop. Of course  there were thousands of coffee shops around, where coffee is served with marijuana and hashish 🙂
Amsterdam: Sex and Drug capital of the world – I promise my husband did not tell me this ( reason given : Are you so dumb that you did not know this even 😦 ) until it is too late to cancel the trip. Just behind our hotel is the famous ‘Red Light District’ where hundreds of young(old) men(women) flock every day. Just browse the net to see what is special about it unlike other red light areas.I saw a lot of bars, shops, windows which I never imagined that I would see in my life. Of course my husband enjoyed our walks through the RLD – His GPS does not work at all, I ended up going with him so that I do not end up losing him in Amsterdam :).
Ofcourse, We visited ‘Sex Museum’ – the oldest in the world, with its wierd sculptures and pictures.
We went for day trip to Alkmaar – the oldest cheese market in the world. It was the first day of the market for the season which is from April to September. We were dumb-struck seeing rows and rows of cheese being auctioned, weighed and transported. The market started first at 13th century and I should say it is a well organised one.



Then to Zaanse schans – with old windmills and beautiful greenery.I do not have words to explain the beauty of it. Check out the photos below.

Zaanse Schans - Windmill zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Next we visited the main destination of our trip – Keukenhof tulip gardens. We were more than excited to see so many tulips in all colours. I have never seen the same flower in all possible colours. The gardens were so awesome. It was again green, green and green everywhere with canals,fountains and birds.



The gardens were so huge that it took the whole day and we could not do our cycling trip to Tulip fields nearby. At the end of the day we felt that we have seen enough flowers for the rest of our life. I would say the gardens were the most beautiful man-made gardens I have visited till now. See the panoramic photo below, for a view of the gardens.

Panorama of Keukenhof gardens

We were dead tired because of the sit-ups we did for the last 2 days to capture the best views in our cameras.The next day, We just did a free guided tour of Amsterdam. How can I miss writing about the bicycles in Amsterdam. Did you know that the number of bicycles is more than the number of people in Amsterdam? You can see hundreds of them everywhere – tied to the bridges, over the bridges, stashed in the canals, on the road side.


Kissing Penguins

Our last trip was to the Artis zoo – which is a not a very big zoo like london zoo but with good variety of animals, birds and free-flying butterfly pavillion.We rushed to the airport only to find a loooooong queue but finally managed to catch the finally managed to catch the flight.