In a recent trip to visit family in England, my flight itinerary routed me via Amsterdam, due to the dizzying flight prices of late. A nearly R3000 cost saving on a ticket, sent me via Amsterdam, so I decided it was spring and that I should stay for a few days. And what an experience that was!
There is something very cool about the Dutch. There is a kind of unpretentious creativity in the way they dress or speak. They are friendly and almost everyone speaks English – which makes getting around very, very easy. The women are tall, blonde and beautiful and the men – as a friend describes – wear a uniform of self-confidence, fitted indigo jacket and a swagger that would make even Mick proud. This video put together by the Dutch Tourism Board sums up Amsterdam well!
Considering that by the time we had arrived, our Randelas had sadly depreciated by nearly 30% since our last overseas jaunt – we had to be crafty about what we spent our money on. I shopped at a local supermarket to fill our mid-city apartment with the basics and we made sandwiches to take with us during the day. Our average dinner meal out was about 60€ (R800) for 2 people, which included 1 bottle of wine. Hence our reluctance to go overboard! We found that the best investments were a 90 minute boat trip around the canals 20€ per person (R270), the Rijks Museum – also 20€ per person, the Anne Frank House, 12€ (R160), is a must if you have read the book and of course the Van Gogh Museum 15€ (R200). These are just a handful of the attractions that make Amsterdam appealing. I would recommend getting a decent guide book, we used The Rough Guide, and found it really accurate.
The weather was probably the highlight of the trip. LONG days with bright blue skies and very little cloud. Temperatures peaked at about 22 degrees and in fact on one of the days I got quite burnt! It’s not warm enough to wear shorts though and you will need a jacket for the evenings. Pretty prefect really. J