Amsterdam and Leiden

We decide to pay a flying visit to Amsterdam, taking the bus from the campsite into the centre of Leiden and then the intercity to Amsterdam. Only takes us just over an hour.

As soon as we land, we decide on a canal tour. It takes us around key buildings and canals in the center of the city and we learn some jaw dropping facts. They pull 16,000 bikes out of the canals each year and a few cars too! The canals are wider and longer and busier. At high tide the canals are 1.5m below sea level, so those locks need to work!  Most of them have been here since the 1600’s though. We saw the dancing houses, all pointing every which way as the wooden posts on which they sit are sinking. The taxes used to work on width of houses so there’s lot of skinny ones and furniture has to go in and out of the windows as the doors and staircases are so narrow!

After a stroll to Dam square we visit the Amsterdam museum which charts in an interesting way the ups and downs of Amsterdam over time and now. I also want to visit the Anne Frank museum but need to be more organised to get tickets, maybe next time.

A quick wander through a bit of the Red Light district, passing a few coffee shops and not breathing in and finally a beer by the canals before heading back to Leiden. Wasn’t overly impressed to be honest, we been spoilt by the gorgeous places we’ve already visited.

We stop in Leiden for another wander about its streets and a meal in a chinese restaurant and a few beers. Late bus back to the campsite where we sit outside, wrapped up and play spot the difference!

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