My stay here was brief but wonderful. This vibrant city left quite an impression on me.  It was fun just walking around, checking out the diverse shops along the canals. I loved those chains of colorful, crooked buildings; I’m a sucker for anything artistically whimsical.  And all those bikes!!

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glimpse of the Royal Palace  and street behind Dam Square
glimpse of the Royal Palace and street behind Dam Square from my hotel window
view of Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) from my hotel window
view of Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) from my hotel window
National Monument, Dam Square
National Monument, Dam Square

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pubs

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I’m glad I got to visit the Ann Frank house.  (the line to get in the house tends to get really, really long: I arrived at the site 5 minutes before it opens and already the waiting time was 2.5 hours!)  It was worth the wait.

Ann Frank statue
Ann Frank statue

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Museumplein area

museumplein
one of the art exhibits at the Museumplein

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Museumplein exhibits

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Volendam is a pleasant harbor city outside of Amsterdam with old fishing boats and people wearing traditional Dutch costumes.  The area is reminiscent of Cape Cod in the East Coast.  

Volendam harbor
Volendam harbor

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one of the residential houses at Volendam
one of the residential houses at Volendam

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raw herring with pickles and onions! yum!
raw herring with pickles and onions! yum!

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amsterdam

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A stroll through the Red Light District:

a stroll through the Red Light District*

Amsterdam Centraal Railway Station, beautiful Gothic/Renaissance architecture:

Amsterdam Centraal Railway Station, beautiful Gothic/Renaissance architecture

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Fries with mayo!

good ole' dutch fries with mayo from Mannekin Pis who claim to have the best fries in Holland.
good ole’ dutch fries with mayo from Mannekin Pis who claim to have the best fries in Holland.

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I love this bit from Pulp Fiction where they talked about the quirks of amsterdam, and europe in general. Pay attention to their take on the fries towards the end of the clip:

VINCENT: But you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
JULES: What?
VINCENT: Mayonnaise.
JULES: Goddamn!
VINCENT: I seen ‘em do it. And I don’t mean a little bit on the side of the plate, they fuckin’ drown ‘em in it.

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