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After our boat docked outside of Amsterdam (click here for our boat journey), we took a bus into the city. It was about 10 in the morning when we arrived so we headed to our hotel, dropped off our bags and started to explore. Here’s the view of out hotel, NH Museum Quarter, from the canal:

DSCN9368We loved the location of our hotel because it was not in a busy area but a two minute walk from all the museums and a ten min walk from the Heineken Experience. We spent a lot of evenings just walking the canals in this area and it really was so relaxing and not touristy like other areas. After walking for a little while we discovered this really cute cafe and my new favorite sandwich – goat cheese, honey, date syrup, slivered almonds, and arugula . . .

DSCN9362DSCN9386DSCN9394DSCN9366DSCN9367After our lunch and a stroll along the canal we went back to check into our room at our hotel – we totally lucked out! We got a corner room that had two balconies overlooking the canal!

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DSCN9405DSCN9406So, after settling it it was time for the Heineken Experience! Part of this tour was really awesome and parts of it just felt like too much marketing. You don’t actually go to where Heineken brews their beer but instead to the Heineken Experience where they used to brew. All the original tanks are still there but Scott and I prefer the small tours you generally get at microbreweries as opposed to this one – but it was well worth visiting! As a tip try to get your tickets ahead of time online – in fact get your tickets online before you go to any tourist attracting in Amsterdam – the lines are seriously so long! If you have an online ticket you can bypass the large crowds. Ok, now for the Heineken pictures . . .

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I love this next picture – it shows how the Heineken logo has changed over time:

DSCN9419So after walking through a small museum with different awards and memorabilia, you enter the old brew house with the copper tanks:

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of course, Scott had to pretend to be the brewer . . .

DSCN9428During this part you get to sample what the “wort” tastes like – this is the stage before the beer is fermented. After here you get to walk through the stables where the Heineken horses are . . .

DSCN9443From here you go to the part of the tour called “brew you ride.” You stand on a platform that moves and you watch a screen that carries you through the brewing process. It reminds me of a ride you’d take at Universal Studies in Florida. The platform shakes, at one point bubbles surround you and you get to experience what its like to be beer hahaha. It was actually pretty cool. From there we got to enjoy different interactive activities – you could send an email with a picture of you at the brewery to a friend, or create a Heineken commercial and many other things. You could even practice pouring the perfect Heineken . . .

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we both failed : ( Oh well. Then we were off to the tasting – and we did not fail at tasting : )

DSCN9454After our Heineken Experience it was time for us to find some dinner. As some of you know I have been experiencing really bad abdominal pains so finding food that doesn’t upset my stomach has been somewhat difficult. Luckily we found this amazing restaurant called Het Paardje in the De Pijp area (where Heineken is located) and went back a couple times while in Amsterdam! I was so happy to find a meal that sat well with my stomach and was delicious – risotto, asparagus, and chicken stuffed with spinach, mozzarella, and prosciutto! This restaurant was so cozy, friendly, and not at all touristy. Both times we went we were the only ones not speaking Dutch in the restaurant so we really felt like we were experiencing Amsterdam.

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So that ends our first day in Amsterdam! Can’t wait to share more . . .

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