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Amsterdam and its magic

This post is written upon request and dedicated to a bunch of my friends who are going to Amsterdam this Easter – jealous! I remember it I had an awesome trip where there were 5 of us and we kept doing stupid poses for photos. As with many European cities, you do everything mostly by walking. But if you get tired you can easily hop on and off the trams – make sure you have a valid ticket so you don’t get fined. But whilst a city break has its perks you are only getting a glimpse of the country and you can’t really say you have explored it until you venture into countryside Holland which is so beautiful.

To stay:

We stayed at Bob’s Youth Hostel 16 bed mixed room but I wouldn’t really recommend it as it was pretty scrappy. But that was back in 2005 so they may have changed by now. As soon as we walked into the reception area we were greeted by strong sense of local culture – literally. Since we could smell the strong magic mushrooms being inhaled by people relaxing in the lobby area. You should stay at the Flying Pigs Downtown Hostel as it is highly recommended by many and such an awesome location.

To see and do:

  • We visited the Ann Frank museum where you can learn about her life and living which was pretty interested.
  • On the way you can see buildings and houses that are on a slant because apparently Amsterdam is built on a swamp, so the houses are supported by a foundation made of tree stumps.
  • Along the river is very lovely and we did a little boat ride as well. Cycling around Amsterdam is also very enjoyable.
  • I’m not really an art fan, but if you are then you will visit the Van Gogh museum.
  • Of course you can’t say you have been to Amsterdam if you didn’t seep through the red light district after dark which is such an eye opener. They do business in a glass box where they try to lure you in behind their glass window then they just close the curtain when they have a client with them. Don’t be too obvious when you are taking photos though, you might get into unwanted trouble. Funny story – there were two good looking and mischievous boys in our group on this trip. After our stroll, we all decided to go back to our hostel to sleep which was pretty early. But we couldn’t really believe it, we reckon those two boys went out on their own after we went back to our hostels because they didn’t want us in their way. I still can’t prove it to this day though…

To eat:

They serve a wide variety of magic mushrooms in their ‘cafes’ so pick and choose what you want. Because they are legal in the country creates much ethical debate but I say why not try it whilst you are there.

Oh and don’t forget you should definitely try Dutch pancakes.

To shop:

You really have to buy a pair of those wooden clogs from their all-around souvenir shops. To date, it is still one of my favourite souvenirs from my 38 countries.

My Old Dutch @Holburn, London

March 19, 2011 3 comments

My Old Dutch Pancake House provides authentic Dutch pancakes just like the ones I’ve had in Amsterdam.

For savoury choices, smoked duck and smoked salmon are my favourite because it’s not loaded with cheese which makes me feel like I’m really just eating a pizza equivalent. The smoked duck one kind of reminds me of the crispy duck wrapped in bread which you can get in Chinese restaurants. The smoked salmon one is nice, although the cream sauce can be a heavy at times.

For sweet pancakes, I can’t say no to anything chocolate really.

It is not stated clearly on their website but on their menus, they have 5 pound pancakes on Mondays! So if you are on a budget, it’s always handy.

***The bigger pancake in the pic is The Old Dutch, the smaller one is smoked salmon.