BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Monday, 3 December 2012

My Heineken Experience, then the red light district.


We made a late start this morning and walked into town to get some lunch. On the way we saw this:

You want it, these guys will have it.

This is Concerto, the coolest record shop (do they still call them that?) I've ever been in. It is actually five shops side by side and sells vinyl, CDs, DVDs, T Shirts, and all things musical. Each shop is a different genre. One is current stuff, one is classical, another is old rock and roll and blues. I think I could live in there. The last one houses a cafe with some huge photographs of recording artists performing, hanging on the walls. It has just the best atmosphere.

Amsterdam is not a bad little spot.

A few blocks up we found a little cafe and we had lunch. My burger was perfect, and very filling. Two things have become obvious in the short time we've been here. Firstly, the food is exceptional. Every meal we've had has been really tasty, and made fresh on the premises. Secondly, the staff here are all happy in their jobs. They are friendly, efficient, and are happy to have a laugh when the opportunity arises.    

Back on the street I noticed this building:

There was a crooked man,
who lived in a crooked house...

This building really is crooked, it's not a fault of the camera lens. Once I noticed this, I saw quite a few more buildings that were like this. They sort of lean on each other. Then I noticed that some lean out toward the road as well.

Around the corner we found this:

Rembrandt Square.

The square is named after the famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn. The figures in front of his statue are characters from one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings, The Night Watch. OK, art history lesson over.

We found the ticket office for the Hop On - Hop Off bus tours and bought tickets for the bus as well as for The Heineken Experience. Now Heineken is my favourite beer and it was born here, so a visit to the Heineken Experience was a must. It's sort of an interactive museum. A little bit of history, a lesson in how beer is made, a tasting, a lesson in how to drink beer (yes, I learnt something), some modern history, some beer, and of course a shop.

 Tasting Wort, the first stage of beer.
It wasn't bad.

The real thing.
Half full, or half empty? 

 My lesson in how to drink beer.

At this point I had my beer, and another that the guy gave me, then Suzanne's. They were only little ones though. We continued the walk through tour and arrived at a audio visual presentation, where you are the beer. You stand in a small room on a  platform that moves, and you are taken through the process of making beer, from the beers point of view. Along the way you are shaken, sprayed with water, and heated up with strong heaters. It was a bit of fun.

Then it was a further wander to end up at the Heineken bar, where we got our drinks.

Two beers are included in the price of your tour. As Suzanne doesn't drink beer, I had access to four beers. When I walked up to the bar and got my first beer, the guy asked if I wanted another beer and put it on the bar in front of me. He said he had already poured it, and if I didn't take it he would tip it down the sink. Well, you can't waste good beer can you?

That was me. Two beers and I'd had enough. Oh no! It's OK, we've arranged to go back the next day to "collect" the remaining three. So all is well.

Merry Christmas from Heineken.

Of course there was a shop on the way out. It was pretty big and had nearly everything you could want in the way of souvenirs. I could have shopped up large, but I can't carry anything on the bike.

Really good tour and worth the time if you're in Amsterdam. It costs fifteen Euro and includes a couple of beers (at least), the sampling, a ferry ride through the canals, and a souvenir bottle opener.

The thing that stuck in my mind was that Heineken is so hugely successful world wide and they only make one product. Heineken Beer. No other products, no variations, nothing but one type of beer. Interesting. 

OK, back on the walking path again we saw this:

A wooden pushbike! 
Can you imagine this in Australia?
Meals on wheels for termites.

Street art, Amsterdam style.

 The canals by night...

 ...pretty eh?

Christmas decorations I think.

We found a really nice Argentinean restaurant and had some delicious tapas then made our way to the infamous red light district. 

How much does the land settle here?

We found a bar and sat down for a few drinks. I found it a little bemusing, looking across a canal with beautiful white swans, at girls on the other side pedalling their wares in their windows.

The purity of these white swans 
was in contrast to the rest of the surroundings.

And that ended what was a full day. We were tired and it was getting unbearably cold, so we grabbed a taxi back to our nice, warm hotel. 

No comments:

Post a Comment