Arrival in Amsterdam & the King's Birthday

Published: May 3rd 2014
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The final cruise morning coming into Amsterdam was fine and misty but many photo opportunities in the amazing light.

We arrived in Amsterdam around mid day as we were having lunch, however we did not leave the ship until about 1:45 pm when the Freedom of Choice tours were due to commence. We had decided to go to Zaanse Schans which is a picturesque village which is famous for it's traditional Dutch buildings and windmills as I didn't think that Christine and Peter would get the opportunity to be in the countryside other than to see what we saw from the ship as we came along the canal to Amsterdam where we docked.

We had one final night on board then we had to be out of our cabins by 9:00 am so they could prepare for the next lot of passengers, although we could stay on board as long we liked. It was a hard mind set to leave the ship, great friendships had been formed in the two weeks, as as the thought that we were no longer going to be spoilt, no more lovely meals prepared for us, and worst of all having to repack our cases!

We decided to take our cases to our hotel, which was just a short walk from where the ships had docked, then return to the ship and have a cup of tea and say our final good-byes to those still on board. The atmosphere had already changed with a new Cruise Director on board, ours had left earlier with a bus load headed to Paris and others we had made friends with had already disembarked.

No plans were made for today as we knew ahead that it was The Netherlands King's Birthday day and having been in Amsterdam twice previously on the Queen's Birthday I knew how packed the streets would be and how chaotic it gets as the day progresses. We did however go for a walk and take in the atmosphere as the revellers got into the swing of things. It was very colourful with people wearing orange, orange balloons and streamers everywhere.

As we set out for our walk we came across where we could take a canal cruise and we decided to do that first and to get an idea of what else we might like to do. During the cruise we passed many boats laden (probably over loaded) with young people standing and drinking and most had loud music playing (no Health and Safety here).

Once the cruise ended we decided we would walk for a bit until we passed one pub where we noticed several people leaving a table so we quickly replaced them, ordered a beer then sat and people watched. A little later we luckily found a table by a window in a little cafe for some lunch and we could continue our people watching.

The day ended quietly for us by having dinner at the hotel.

Additional photos below
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