Amsterdam, you’re the place my parents warned me about.
Poor poor Amsterdam, you are probably sick of the tourists coming in to use your coffee shops (marijuana cafes) and gawk at the red-light district. I can see how easily 20 years olds can be distracted by things that are illegal back home and suddenly legal over here. And I know you get a bad reputation from it. Darn tourists.
Amsterdam is a funny place. Although you have legalized prostitution and marijuana, the residences on a whole seem to be more conservative, physically active and more educated than many places in North America that ban those practices. It’s funny how when you legalize something you take part of the rebel edge off it. Now I could lead this into a debate about legalizing marijuana, since in British Columbia where I am from this is a hot topic; however, I would hate for this argument to shadow the quaint and beautiful city that is Amsterdam.
Vlog #15: Contiki European Panorama: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is beautiful.
Biking around many of stunning canal ways, lined with trees and little brick houses, felt like I was stepping back in time to an Anne of Green Gables movie or something. Oh period movies, how I love thee.
Heineken Brewery Tour
Once you have been on one brewery tour, it’s safe to assume that all the rest would be somewhat similar aside from there being a different end product. Think again. The Heineken Brewery Tour aka, the Heineken Experience is one of the most elaborate, interactive and engaging brewery tours I have ever been on. There is hops and barley tasting, horses, interactive games, and even a 3D ride call Be The Brew, where you get to follow the beer process from start to finish acting as the beer.
I am not a huge cheese person, probably due to the fact that I am lactose intolerant and hence cheese makes me rather sick. However, I do have these magic pills that allow me to have dairy products without all the nasty side effects. I generally save them for special occasions and treats since they are somewhat expensive and still aren’t 100% efficient. But I figured a cheese tasting in Amsterdam is a worthwhile occasion. Boy was I correct, Edam cheese is amazing, real ingredients with no preservatives made fresh and local. My favorites were all the garlic, onion and herb cheeses. YUM, what a treat.
After our cheese tasting we watched a wooden clog carving demonstration. I never really appreciated the art form that is the clog until I saw a professional clog maker carve one by hand in less than 10 minutes using only a blade on a wooden handle. Colour me impressed. Although, I feel slightly bad not buying any, mainly since I have a horrible tendency to purchase large, heavy items I don’t need. However, if I had the room I would totally get a pair!