Go to the Amsterdam photo album if you want to see the pictures.
A holiday in Holland without a visit to Amsterdam is impossible, so on a day in July we went by car to Amsterdam. Our first stop was at the airport Schiphol to leave a suitcase in the luggage depot. Sisi's parents were going back to Vietnam the next week and had so many suitcases and boxes to take back that not everything would fit into our car. So this was an easy solution.
From Schiphol we drove to the Olympic Stadion to park the car. Easy and because of a special parking deal it was also very cheap. Included were two public transport tickets. By tram we rode to the centre of Amsterdam and got out at The Dam. We walked around and watched the people. Very interesting was of course the Red Light District. Sisi's parents had never seen anything like that!
After lunch in a small turkish restaurant, we took a canal cruise. The boat took us first to the river Het IJ. From there we sailed past The Maritime Museum, which houses an unique and superb collection that tells the story of the maritime past of the Netherlands. In front is moored the Amsterdam, a replica of a Dutch East India Company (VOC) vessel of 1749. Through the narrow canals we sailed further along many canalhouses, which were built by rich merchants some hundreds of years ago. After one hour we were back and the guide promised us to learn some vietnamese for the next visitors from Vietnam.
We walked back to The Dam, where some living statues were performing. They looked really great and many pictures were taken with people posing in front of them. What to do next? It was still too early to go back home. Madame Tussauds was just across the street. I had never been there, so I suggested to visit this museum with hundreds of wax statues of famous people. After paying the pretty high entrance fees we went inside and a photo of us was taken, together with Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
The elevator took us upstairs where we had to wait. After some minutes the doors opened and we walked into 18th and 19th century Holland with its houses and people. It looked very good and authentic. We walked further and came to the halls with the famous people. We stood eye in eye with actors like Mel Gibson and Eddie Murphy, sportsmen like Johan Cruyff, artists like Rembrandt and Picasso and world leaders like Bill Clinton and Mandela. The museum was not very big and too soon we were at the end of the tour. We picked up the photo with James Bond and left the museum.
Everyone was tired, so we decided to go back home. We waited a while at the tramstop, but no trams came. An accident had happened a while earlier and the trams couldn't pass until everything was cleaned up. We had to take the tram from the Central Station back to the Olympic Stadium. Sisi's parents stepped almost in the wrong tram. Her mother saw a tram coming and thought it was the right one and started to board it. Sisi called her back and finally the right tram came. Two old vietnamese persons with no travel experience in a big strange city. But they liked and enjoyed all the places we had seen the last weeks.