Hoggies Do Amsterdam

12 Dec

We can now cross Amsterdam off the list (the first visit list anyway) and can say that we definitely had a fun weekend and intend to go back. We arrived home late last night/early this morning from our trip to Holland with me feeling as though I’d been hit by a bus with a massive congestion-filled head so downed some night time pseudoephedrine cold and flu tablets to try and have somewhat of a normal breathe-easy sleep. It worked!

On Friday afternoon we took off for our one and a half hour flight which went smoothly – thank you Lufthansa – we will never be taking easyjet again after our London experience. The airport in Amsterdam, I remember from my research, was not that far away from our hotel but after being on a train, after landing, for almost an hour, it seemed a little bit suspicious as to why we hadn’t hit our destination yet. Turns out the woman we bought tickets from told us the wrong platform, so we actually ended up being on the train to the city longer than the flight from Munich to Amsterdam. Anyway…slight glitch but we made it safe and sound to our hotel, smelling of Eau du Hemp, from our stroll down Pot Place.

Starving and tired, we walked over to The Jordaan, a quieter side of town made up of 9 streets of different restaurants and shops, where we grabbed some dinner at a Dutch restaurant. Due to us not eating until about 10pm we didn’t stay out afterwards but just wandered back to the hotel checking out the city at night and grabbing a few happy snaps along the way.

Saturday morning, the first activity was the hunt down for some breakfast. I’d read in the hotel magazine about this place called the Pancake Bakery which was right near the Anne Frank house on our list, so we stopped in there for a solid meal as the precursor for our drink fuelled day ahead of us. We had full intention of going to the Anne Frank House, where she wrote her diary and where there is a museum now, however, the line went around the corner and we couldn’t be bothered. That was about the only real cultural experience I had planned for Day 1 so we got straight to venue 2 – the House of Bols.

The House of Bols is the home of the Genever spirit called Bols which comes from Amsterdam since 1575. It has been a key ingredient to cocktails and bartenders for many years and is still used by many bars today. Genever was the spirit that Gin was influenced from by the English. We weaved our way through the pretty cool and very interactive hall where we got to smell all the different scents to their flavours; read about the ingredients; and find out about the history before finishing up in a mirrored bar where we had our choice of cocktail made from Bols as well as 2 shots to try a couple of the different flavours.

Next stop…the Heineken Experience which is at the very first brewery of the Heineken beer. The Heineken family is still extremely involved in the business which is really cool considering how big the brand is. Here we got to read all of the history; the evolution of the brand; see all the original apparatus; enjoy a 4D experience where we were the beer being made; taste the beer; watch some old ads; enjoy some interactive Heineken publicity and money making scheme experiences; and then try some more beer.

Amsterdam really is a beautiful city, it has a quaint feel about it; the house-lined canals are cute; there are loads of restaurants; and everyone speaks English. The night-life can get a bit much though and it seems as though it isn’t restricted to just night time. First thing in the morning you get quite a few strong whiffs of the green-plant goodness and it’s just a little sickening. This, however, didn’t stop us from dabbling in it on Saturday evening after we chowed down on a huge Argentinian mixed grill for dinner. Off we went to a “coffee shop” and bought the “relaxing” joint seeing as though the “uplifting” one was out. Neither Mark nor I are really fans of this kind of thing but when in Amsterdam! We felt the hit and had to escape the cafe as it was sending us a bit mad so we headed back to our hotel room where we could just relax and ride the wave. I’m not keen to do it again as I don’t love the feeling of being out of control, but that said I had a few episodes where I burst into hysterics and couldn’t stop laughing no matter what I did. Us old ragers slept it off for 12.5 hours from 930pm until 10am on Sunday but I was still left a bit dazed and confused.

I had originally planned quite the cultural and grown up day for us on the Sunday – it was meant to be the NEMO Science Center where we could see some science experiments and I know Mark is into that kind of thing; then to Vondelpark; then to the Van Gogh museum. Our actual day went like this – quick breakfast; then a walk down the Red Light District; off to the Erotic Museum; made it to NEMO which was basically a really big kid’s playground and nothing much scientific happening whatsoever; then just wandering around the streets and looking for clothes and shoes before having an early dinner and making our way back to Munich. So not quite achieving what we’d set out to do, but still got to a museum of sorts.

Nothing all that exciting happened during last week – apart from receiving more vegemite, along with Tim Tams and Cherry Ripes from our lovely friends Danielle and Maarten; getting a cold from being out for 4 hours to hide our dog from the apartment owner on Tuesday; and also planning another couple of domestic trips for January.

We are now home until the New Year and will definitely be making the most of the Munich Christmas spirit. We got a bit of snow last week but not enough, so we’re crossing our fingers for a great big dump over the next couple of weeks so we can enjoy a white one for our first European Christmas. This week I intend to get better and feel human again and it’s time to purchase and decorate our first Mr and Mrs Hoggies Christmas tree.

Enjoy your week and the countdown to holiday time.

Till next time…..xx

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2 Responses to “Hoggies Do Amsterdam”

  1. Loz March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    You’re supposed to have the joint BEFORE the big dinner, guys! Would’ve made both the high and the meal much more enjoyable 🙂

    • Ali Hodges March 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Yes we thought about that but because we don’t part-take in this habit and don’t really enjoy the feeling we didn’t want to feel self conscious for being spasticated at dinner

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