Cheese, wooden clogs, windmills, bikes, plain fields, farms and a lot more… all of it I remember vividly as we explored Amsterdam. It was the summer of 2015 when Derick and I joined the Expat Explore’s Europe Escape tour. One of the countries we visited was the Netherlands.
As I was organizing pictures from our 2015 travels, I just realized that I haven’t yet shared our travel experience in Amsterdam. I can’t believe it’s more than 2 years ago already. Time flew by so fast. Having said that, it prompted me to write this blog. At the same time this is my way of reminding myself of the things we did during the trip and to be inspired to visit Holland again.
If you are interested to know how we spent our 24 hours in Amsterdam, then keep on reading. 24 hours may seem very short but actually we got to tick a lot of things from our to-do list.
Photo Stop at a Traditional Windmill
Derick and I beaming with our sunny smiles even if it’s gloomy.
It was a gloomy day. Thick dark clouds covered the skies. It was chilly and slightly windy. Our first stop was at an old traditional windmill. The windmill is no longer in operation and is currently being used as a residence of the owner. Because the windmill is still in perfect form many tour buses come by and stop for picture taking. Oh well, as they say “you have never been to Netherlands if you haven’t seen an iconic traditional windmills”.
Visit to Clara Maria Farm (Cheese and Clog Factory)
Right after our photo stop at the windmill, our tour bus went straight to a cheese and clog factory. Along the way are vast greeneries and farm with cows and horses grazing. Some horses we saw were wearing a dress even if it’s summer.
Our tour in the farm included a short demonstration on how wooden clogs are made and how local cheese are processed. The couple who owned the farm was very enthusiastic in introducing there local products. At the same time they were able to inform us on how to correctly process different kinds of cheese and the proper way of making wooden clogs.
Before we left the farm, I got the chance to feed the cows who gave milk to produce delicious cheese that I bought from their shop. It was really a fun experience.
Walking City Tour
The IAmSterdam sign was packed with people during our visit. Perhaps it is a good idea to come here early in the morning so you can have the whole place to yourself.
Our walking tour included a visit to the “Red Light District” however Derick and I decided against it since it doesn’t interests us. Instead we separated from the group and explored the city on our own.
Exploring the city on our own gave us the flexibility to discover new places and do things at our own pace. Even for a short period of time Derick and I enjoyed strolling and at the same time admire the beautiful sights of the city. We also did some souvenir shopping.
A canal cruise is another exciting option to see the city through the waterways. Our cruise lasted for about an hour passing through Amsterdam’s historical landmarks including Anne Frank’s house.
Together with our fellow Expat Explorers
What We Ate?
Complimentary olives as out starter.
I got 1 box of Hawaiian pizza all for myself.
I know it’s kind of funny but please don’t judge us. If we only had the choice we could have opted to try their local food. Unfortunately only pizza and ice cream were readily available for us in the boat during our canal cruise. Since everyone were hungry already, we didn’t complain anymore. The pizza was tasty. It wasn’t bad at all.
Where We Stayed?
Our tour agency was the one who booked all our accommodation during the tour. Our hotel in Amsterdam was the Hamptom by Hilton. It’s Amsterdam’s airport hotel which means it’s very close to the Schiphol International Airport.
The hotel has a modern design with aesthetically pleasing ambiance which I personally like. It is also equipped with complete room amenities and essentials for all types of travelers. A Restaurant, a bar, a business center and meeting rooms are also available.
Our room has a decent size and very clean. Complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea were provided. Our beds were very comfortable, although it would be nice if we were given a queen bed.
Bar and restaurant
I’m glad we had this hotel as our last accommodation in the tour. Comfort is always my main priority when traveling and Hampton Hotel gave us an amazing experience.
Finally, Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and given the opportunity we would definitely love to explore more including other cities in Netherlands. Hopefully we will have that opportunity soon.
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