Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A trip to Amsterdam - Part I

A dream comes true. I visited Amsterdam over the Christmas holidays for 4 days with my friend.

Having got a good deal on the hotel for staying at Amsterdam, we looked forward to the trip very much, as every person we spoke to had only praise for it. Of course, when I was in India, it was one of the great European cities, bordering almost on legendary.

We reached Amsterdam around 3:30 pm and took a tram (the service is quite good, although i have my doubts on its capacity to handle a very large population!). After about an hour of searching, we finally located the hotel. Addresses in the city can be quite confusing, since main roads do not have the house numbers sequentially!

The hotel - The Sphinx - was decent, although there might be a law suit waiting to happen because of the narrow, spiralling stairs.

We spent the next few hours roaming around the Dam Square (see image above), which is the city center and very close to the Central Station.

After a few hours visiting the, umm, tourist attraction..., we had dinner at an Indian restaurant. One difference in this Indian restaurant was that the indians serving inside the restaurant were polite to us. It has been a source of perennial irritation to me (in Germany, especially) that Indian restaurants don't seem very welcoming of Indians, especially guys-only groups. One reason I can think for not getting a lot of attention is that tourists from other countries will need explanation of the menu. That is OK. What is NOT OK is the almost rude nature of service.

The next day was spent in visiting the two famous museums, Rijks and Van Gogh. It was a time well-spent, although for some of the paintings, we pretended to be art connoiseurs, looking at the paintings from different angles and trying to talk knowledgeably :) [We even had a tourist eagerly listening to us!]

The two museums are close to each other and you can buy reproductions from them of the masters.

We bought a few paintings and some postcards that we think we can use as smaller paintings. I know now what makes something world-class. Basic facts about the paintings is only one part. History, situational commentary and above all, the overall presentation. I was very impressed by the background, the lighting and even the fonts used in the museum. I will post more of these pictures in my Flickr account, as Blogger is not allowing more pics in this post.

We finished the two museums late in the evening and the rest of the night was spent in going around the Flower market and the canals. Look out for "Amsterdam Part II."


Blogger Ravi said...

Just read this post again... and, don't we have any pics of the tourist attraction? ;-)

Also, where is the second part sir?

January 10, 2007 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Sridhar said...

The audience of this blog might include "someone" who will be extremely offended. We don't want that now, do we? ;)

January 14, 2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger Sridhar said...

Ah yes, thanks for being interested! I have updated now.
"No motivation" if people don't even sign up for email updates of blog, much less visit it. :(

Except you, of course.

January 14, 2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ravi said...


January 15, 2007 10:23 AM  

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