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Published: October 3rd 2015
The houses are tilted forward so any loads which have to hauled up don't foul the building.
Day two, time to get up and explore some of the famous Amsterdam attractions. Specifically we wanted to ride the canals and visit the Van Gogh Museum. Anything else , a bonus today.
So, after a good breakfast at Riks BnB we found the canal hop-on-hop-off bus and settled in to take the tour and hear the history. It's probably one of the cheaper ways to do it as you can get on and off all day long if you like. Amsterdam is very compact (the historic part) so walking around is no trouble (but watch out for mad cyclists), however seeing it from the water is quite different. and a commentary certainly helps understand the place a little better. We had bought tickets for the VG M at the railway station expecting to get in no problem. We arrived at the big park that has the Rijks Museum and VG M in it to find a queue stretching a 100 metres or more back from the entrance. Ah ha, we thought. We've got no worries - we've got tickets. Hmmm, not so. Our "tickets" turned out to be vouchers which were then exchanged for tickets and the queue was
partly for people like us and partly for people who had nothing, voucher or ticket. Bummer! We very Britishly queued for 45 minutes, exchanged our vouchers for a ticket and were finally admitted about 20 at a time.
We were fortunate that the Van Gogh collection was being displayed in tandem with a collection of Edvard (The Scream) Munch's work so we got two old masters for the price of one. There was a reverential atmosphere in the Museum, like attending a pilgrimage I imagine, never having been on one, which for some may have been almost true. I didn't share the reverent attitude not being into the art world in an aficionado way but could appreciate the artistry and the story of their lives which were exhibited as parallel stories. We enjoyed it. The shops in the Museum were doing flat out trade as anything that could be branded with Van Gogh symbols was on sale. I couldn't see any toilet roll holders though.
Out and back to the canal bus which never came - a downside to a hop on, hop off - they need to turn up when they're supposed to. After mucking around for
Not allowed photos inside.
some time awaiting the ghost ship we thought, "bugger this", and got into a pedal taxi whose rider took us back into the centre. We didn't need to, we could have walked, but just wanted to be in a pedal taxi. I was a bit put out when I found out it was electrically assisted. Later on we did meet up with a canal bus and got in for another cruise along the canals, ending up in a different part of the old city. Walked back from there - bikes, bikes, cannabis, red lights, narrow streets, canals, outdoor bars, tacky souvenir shops, narrow high houses fronting the canals, bikes, cannabis.....we stopped at a canal-side bar and had a beer and soaked it all up.
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