Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Netherlands - Amsterdam, To Do (Rijks Museum, Spui Square, Red Light District, Albert Cuyp Mkt, Heineken Exp)

Amsterdam - Where Crew Stays
Amsterdam - To Do
Amsterdam - To Eat 
Amsterdam - To Buy
Amsterdam - To Do
RIJKS Museum
The best 15 spent. Recently re-opened on April2013 after a ten year renovation, the RIJKS Museum is an amazing four floors of diversity in art and collection spanning globally. Information was well presented with placards, short and sweet and having various pull out picture cards to enrich the entire visit.
Best of all, photography without flash is allowed, allowing guests to capture and savor the intricate details and bring a little of the art works home.
Art ranges from religious representations, elegant weaponry, porcelain works, pencil art, intricate metal works for both ceremonial and decorative, amazing doll houses and many many more. A few hours of viewing for sure.
 *The eye to detail even in such a large picture is amazing. The closer up shots show the details of the picture which in itself can be a art piece on its own.*
 *Perhaps a Spartan Child with his 6pack (L) A massenger passing on a love letter (C) A healer helping the wounded
 *Relgious depicition of soldiers killing young males aged two and below for fear of the saviour Jesus Christ's arrival. (L) The working library of archival art documentation. (C) A father being wooed by his daughters in order to porcreate. (R)*
- Due to it having just opened in April2013 after a long renovation, go early. Queues started to form at about 10a.m. onwards. Queue to get into the building itself, followed by another queue to purchase tickets and another short one to put your backpacks, if any, into storage.
- Get to the exhibits faster. After purchase of tickets, there are shorter queues at the sides where the toilets are rather than through the main exhibit entrances. 
- Packet a meal or grab a meal prior. By noon, the only diner in the Museum had a long wait line and planning to head out for a quick bite would require another 20min wait just to get in the museum ground, even with an already purchased ticket. (Visited on a Sunday)

Spui Square
(Art Market Avail Sunday Only

Small, pointless and disappointing. Absolutely a farce with at a glance, 8-10 stall vendors selling their art pieces at prices that perhaps are more hopeful than deserving. 
Click here for ABBA location of Spui Square

Oude Kerk & Red Light District
(Church at the center of the redlight distcit)
The holly grounds ironically juxtaposes the red-light district which it sits in. The church itself lacks in originality with many of the stained window planes being replica pieces. Perhaps the two most interesting draws are that the church was build over graves and it's rustic wooden high ceilings.
The church today seems to be merely a space, available for rental and no longer serves its religious purpose. Around the church grounds are a statue of "Belle" dedicated to respecting the sex workers of the world and a brass sculpture located on the ground. Fitting displays given it being the epicenter of the red light district.
Stop Human trafficking PA.

- It seems that the closer one gravitate towards the church, the prettier the girls are. *Disclaimer. Your experience may differ pending taste, preferences, alcohol or marijuana.
Click here for ABBA location of Oude Kerk
and Red Light District Oudekerksplein 23, 1012 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cheese shops
Though not so much of an attraction, but it is a nice shop to step into. Below are the two which were visited and purchases made.

Prices of cheeses at the various shops did not differ greatly in price or flavors. It really boils down to taste and preferences and they are not shy on the generous samples they have to aid in your decision making process. The same goes for all sauces, jams and mustards. In fact, one could get full just by the sampling alone.
Henri Wilig Cheese & More
A greater variety of sweet chutneys and mustards blends as compared to Old Amsterdam which only had two flavors. Some of the purchases were balsamic mustard and a spicier mustard blend.
Click here for ABBA location of Henri Wilig Cheese & More located at Leidsestraat 52 1017 PC Amsterdam, Netherlands

Old Amsterdam
- Purchased the aged cheese as well as farmers cheeses.
Supposedly older cheeses could be gotten elsewhere but we did not seek them out. If already here, crew can venture down the same stretch, along flower street to two adjoining cheese shops for more cheese options.
Clickhere for ABBA location of Old Amsterdam Cheese located a little bit further at junction of flower street.

Click here for ABBA details on old Amsterdam cheese

Albert Cuyp market
World famous 100year old market

(Closed on Sundays)
The world famous Albert Cuyp market is a 100year old open market which sells various fresh produce, offering street eats, snacks as well as a range of miscellaneous items. Behind these vendors are the shop houses which are as diversed in their selection, ranging from spice shops, antiquities, traditional toys shops and many more. A strong similarity to Malacca's Jonker Street (Click here for more details on Malacca.)
The highlights here were definitely the two famous street food stalls.The first being the Hering Store which had served Queen Beatrix on occasion. Hering, synonymous with Amsterdam, was fresh, sweet and accented well against the pickles and onions. 2.50 each.

The second,  were Fresh GOUDSE STROOPWAFFLES €1.50 for plain and €2 for half chocolate coated.  Done to order, sweet dough is pressed within two flat iron skillets and sandwiched between sweet maple syrup, with a chocolate coat to boot. Sinfully amazing, a perfect disc of sugary goodness. One order would more than suffice to blow out whatever workout you had done for the day.

On this occasion there was a 'magician', filming a pilot episode on performing street magic on the girls in the group. The video is thus amply named, "How Dutch Magician attempts to con Singapore Girl with Magic."

A good place to go for street snacks and look to purchase cheeses, cured meats, seafood, exotic spices, and maybe, potentially be in a pilot-episode.
Click here for ABBA location of Albert Cuyp market located on Albert Cuypstraat

Flower street
Located along the river bank, this street is a gardener's haven. A wide selection of flower bulbs and seeds are available to you, allowing one to add to or start their home garden. Depending on the laws of your home country, some of the starter kits such as Cannabis may not be the best gift idea. Buyer beware is the most apt in this instance.
Click here for ABBA location of Flower Street

Heineken Experience
*Yet to be fully reviewed*

Yet to be reviewed. Long queues were spotted from about noon time and it maybe advisable to go early. 

Heineken shops allows for great souvenirs such as printed names on heineken beer bottles for €5 each or have glasses engraved with names at €3. Click here for full Heineken experience review.

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