Netherlands – not in a day but short enough

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Dome of our hotel, our beacon

Our trip to Flanders had a little detour, Amsterdam.   Isnt Holland worth visiting in tulip season, why bother in August?  A lone traveller I am not, and J really wanted to go to Amsterdam so why not just go there for one night?  Well, I am an armchair traveller that researches all things about the trip to the extent that maps used to be memorized at one time, now thanks to Steve they are just apped.  The result: none of my trips can be called adventures.  Wow! to my surprise Amsterdam has a lot to offer, not just the green leaf and red light…….so we ended up staying there for – less than enough – four nights.   
I guess I will have to  make another trip in tulip season and catch the Aalsmeer flower auction.
Flying easyjet from London to Amsterdam was easy enough.  Getting from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal, another story – note to self – keep Euros and carry american credit cards with chips or pin that work.
No sooner had we left the train station, I hear J crying out – “watch out, you will be hit!” even though I was a good 10 feet away from the traffic lane! This continued throughout our four days and I never got the hang of staying safe.  Note to self – traffic can come as two wheelers too.

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Thank god this one was parked and not racing away

Signs all over town warn you about pick pockets.  I say they need more signs about cyclist who run their own tour de netherlands on the streets of amsterdam.
Our first tourist venue – the Anne Frank Huis, it is open till 10 pm on some nights.  
The next day was spent visiting the Rijk and the Van Gogh museums.  Note to self – multiple museum surges in a single day for J can lead to museum circuit breakdown – Do not repeat .  At all three venues we had bought our tickets in advance to skip the usual lines but still had to wait for 2 hours at Van Gogh. It was well worth it!!

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Wanted to buy this until a street bum told me it could be from China 🙂
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9:30 pm and folks still at the Anne Frank Huis
Daily rains offered us an opportunity to enjoy being true tourists, a complete package with coach trip, psuedo clog factory, pseudo cheese factory, for tourist only relocated windmills and fake wooden tulips in stores – a day trip to Zans Schaans, Markem and Volendam.  
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“Psuedo Cheese Factory”  all 200 square feet of it
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Wind mills at Zans Schaans

Markem ended up being a clog at the clog factory and a short walk through alleyways to the ferry terminal.  We did not think either Markem or Volendam (just a stop for lunch) was worth paying for the trip especially if you are short on time.  I can say I went to the Netherlands and saw the dutch windmills – for that alone maybe a self guided excursion to Zan Schaans would have been enough.

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Markem, Toby McGuire town.
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Man made beach in Volendam, you say you dont see one?
See that little corner in the forefront?
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Checking herself out!
A few additional hours in Amsterdam itself would have been worth it .  Around the corner from the Anne Frank Huis is an area called Jordan, full of turkish restaurants, cant go wrong with any of them.  Exploring the little alleyways and walking around the Harrengracht, Kiezersgracht and Singel canals (I am not talking about the canal boat trip – though we did that too) is wonderful.  Here are some of the images from Amsterdam.
 
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Enjoying lunch outside Rijk
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A side alley by Dam Square, could be Anytown, global world
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One of the canal homes lit in the evening
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Daytime view of the quiet residential canals
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View of the Canal in the Red Light Area
Turn 180 and you see Saint Nicholas watching over the district

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