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1983, 1985 Magellan Cruise in 2015. 2017 Rhine Cruise. 2018 Saga Pearl II Cruise

Anne Frank statue and waxwork in Madame Tussaud, Amsterdam

1983. What a lovely City! We caught the bus and then a no. 16 tram from the Airport to the City (we certainly wouldn't do that now but we were over 30 years younger!) and the tram driver and a passenger pointed out our Hotel (The Memphis, 4*, excellent) and we were let off the tram by the entrance (because of all our luggage). As Edna said in her journal at the time "I think I shall like the Dutch." We did then and nothing has made us change our minds in the intervening years.
Had a very busy few days "doing" the City. The New Church (has an incredible canopy and pulpit), Anne Frank's House, the Red Light District (just a wander you understand), a boat trip to see the Skinny Bridge, the smallest house in Amsterdam, the Hotel New York (just two rooms), Victor's (the King of the Hippies) house boat etc. etc. Went to the Concertgebow. A strange system for a World Famous Concert Hall, no numbered tickets, basically sit where you want! Moved about three times until we found seats that suited my long legs. Heard a Sibelius Violin Concerto (which we found rather indifferent) but Beethoven's fifth was, of course, magnificent. Some hours in the Rijksmuseum (I'd never seen "The Night Watch" before!), the Royal Palace and the Art and Crafts Centre (disappointing). Took a train to Zaanse Schans, a charming village with green timbered houses and windmills. A real showpiece!
Went to the superb Van Gogh Museum although we're not really fans of his paintings! There was a worn patch in front of "The Potatoe Eaters", we didn't know it and were not impressed, but no patch in front of "Sunflowers" which we assumed would be more well known (and popular). Still, we're not art experts but, as they say, we know what we like!
Must mention a couple of Restaurants we enjoyed. De Blauwe Hollander (Edna wanted Dutch and they did do the most divine sweet!)

De Blauwe Hollander (and I'm smoking - gave up nearly 30 years ago!)

and El Rancho, an Argentinian Steak House, that's my sort of thing! Both excellent. Having said that, the brown bars and Indonesian restaurants offered excellent value for money.
We loved Amsterdam in '83, thought it was about 15 years behind with hippies etc. (that suited us). A wonderful young type City.

1985. We were astonished! The plane we flew in (to Rotterdam) had propellors! By 1985 this was most unusual. The cockpit door was left open and anyone who wanted to could go in and meet the pilot and co-pilot. Happy days.
Hotel Beethoven
, very good. Nice room and an excellent breakfast.
The main reason for this trip (just a few days) was to seek out the record shops. Everly Brothers International had an advert for a '50s style record shop and we went there first. Bought LPs of Marilyn Monroe (Edna) and Phil Everly (me). Several other record shops about, which we visited (and bought things from) but the other memories of this trip are of the restaurants - excellent.

I did go back again for a few days (with a couple of friends) to explore the record shops (one friend, God rest his Soul, was a '50s fanatic).

2015. To be honest this was not what we wanted. We travelled north to collect some Dutch passengers on our trip to the Canaries. A few hours in Amsterdam (actually we enjoyed going around the souvenir shops, a cut above many other cities) but it meant that we lost at least a day and a half in the sun! Alright, they might need to fill up the ship but, we've never been on a cruise before that has to rely on a detour. Nice few hours in Amsterdam (no problem there) but we were going to the Canaries and could have got there earlier.
Anyway, we did buy a few souvenirs, as I said - a cut above.

A bridge and bicycles in Amsterdam. You can't get away from either!

2017 Rhine Cruise. Arrived in the afternoon so decided to do a Coach / River trip as there wouldn't be time for much else. Excellent coach tour and a nice cruise around the canals (we'd done it all before of course) but it did remind us what a lovely City Amsterdam is. Trouble is, photos from the coach and boat don't work as well and there was not much time for walking (above photo is taken from the coach).

2018 There was no shuttle bus although there was a long walk, even before we got out of the terminal, and another long walk before we even got to the Railway Station (which, to be honest, is the first point of interest we reached) - took us 40 minutes! Still, there was an "interesting" bike parked on the way:

I wanted to go back to Dam Square (we'd seen a destination lecture on board for Amsterdam and I remembered how good it was) so left Edna sitting on her rollator and went striding(?) off. To be honest the buildings looked a bit drab (the weather didn't help), they could do with a bit of a clean-up. Sorry Amsterdam, I know times are hard but I'm merely making a comment as a tourist (it doesn't make me love Amsterdam less).

The Royal Palace and New Church in Dam Square

The National Monument in Dam Square and the Old Church (right by the Red Light District, nice!)

Walked from Dam Square to the Old Church. It's right by the red light didtrict but I didn't realise 'til much later, and I was on my own! Having said that, not even giving the red light didtrict a thought is probably a sign of my age. Then passed the St. Olof's Chapel (it's now a Conference Centre for an hotel apparently) before popping into St. Nicholas's near the Railway Station. Met up with Edna and a stroll back to the Ship.

Entrance to St. Olof's Chapel and St. Nicholas Church



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