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Published: August 19th 2007
This weekend we headed off to Amsterdam on a 2 night boat trip. When booking the tickets we didn't realise how far the departure point for the boat was from London, so we had an extra trip up to Newcastle to catch the boat. We left London by train on Thursday morning, and arrived in Newcastle about 3 1/2 hours later. Our train had been delayed, but we still managed to hop straight on one of the buses heading from the railway station to the Northshields port, where we boarded our ship (called the King of Scandanavia).
The ship left Newcastle at 5.30pm. We sailed over night, and by breakfast the next morning we were arriving in Amsterdam. After leaving the ship we were transferred into the town centre, where we would spend the day before returning to the ship in the evening.
We arrived in Amsterdam town centre about 10am, and found that the town was only just starting to wake up. Shops were opening, but most people didn't start appearing on the streets until around lunch time. We walked around the streets and canals for a while until we found a nice cafe, and had a few
drinks and a good lunch in the sunshine. By this time the streets and cafes were getting busy, and it was a really nice atmosphere.
After lunch we hit the streets again, and found ourselves at the sex museum. It was a good laugh, and there were lots of animations and things going on.
We had a quick stop at a 'coffee shop' on the canal before going for a quick walk around the red light district. There were a lot of other people also walking the small cobbled streets and tiny alleyways, and peeking in the windows, so it didn't feel to dodgy, but was quite interesting. The majority of the girls were very young - though we did see 2 older ladies not looking so great trying to get some attention! We couldn't stay too long, as we had to head back to the boat for our trip back to Newcastle.
On the second night we bought our own dinner and wine in Amsterdam which we ate outside on the top deck of the boat while enjoying the views. We made our way to the bar and found a bit more nightlife than the previous
night, and spent a few hours in the bar listening to the live band and chatting to a few people.
We arrived back in Newcastle the following morning, and with about 4 hours until our connecting train back to London, we went for a look around the town and did a little shopping and sightseeing. We had a quick look inside the Saint Nicholas Cathedral and then carried on to the Castle for which the city is named.
The New Castle was built in 1080 by the son of William the Conqueror. The castle was rebuilt in stone around 100 years later. Most of the castle buildings have been absorbed by the city but the Castle Keep, which was the principal building of the castle, is still standing and is now a tourist attraction. It was quite fun to look around and Brandt took heaps of photos (I suspect he was feeling a bit useless for not taking many photos in Amsterdam!).
We got back on the train to London after lunch, and arrived back early Saturday evening. We are heading back to Amsterdam in 2 weeks time, so we will keep you posted.
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