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Strangely, I’d felt a wee bit like a Paparazzi that day….but there was certainly going to be no stopping me!

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This was my very first (and most likely my very last) opportunity to photograph celebrities at such close range. And “WOW”, I seem to recall there were just so many of them all in the one place! I could see Royalty, Prime Ministers, Scientists, Famous Historical Faces, Sporting Aces, Religious Figures, Hollywood Starlets, Supermodels and Rock Stars everywhere I looked that day. Had it all been for real I know I would have considered myself to be way out of my personal comfort zone!!

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Anyway, it wasn’t for real, and I have to admit to feeling a little excited by the prospect of spending time amongst these replicas of the sparkling glitterati (even if they were only of a plastic variety). I’d managed to convince my dearly beloved that this could be an interesting way to while away an hour or two. He actually even seemed to be in favour of the idea himself. So with the decision made we’d headed back towards the Dam Square in the centre of the City. We’d been trying to make the most of our last couple of days in the Netherlands, just pursuing some of our lighter touristy type interests, before embarking on our long-awaited Viking River Cruise.

The Female Stars

The Female Stars

For today our first choice had been the convenience of a Hop On, Hop Off bus! This way, we’d hoped to gain a slightly different perspective of Amsterdam to the one we’d enjoyed the previous day as we’d travelled through the beautiful canals and the IJ.

Somehow (don’t ask how) we’d managed to arrive safely in-front of the old brick building, Madame Tussauds. We’d narrowly been missed by cars and trams and then also by millions and zillions of bikes! You know, back home here in Australia (aka in the world down under/God’s own country), we’ve really only ever had to worry about being missed by big things like cars and trucks….even then I’m told pedestrians in Australia still have the right of way! (Not that I’m likely to be testing that assumption any time soon. I sort of like being in just one piece!)

Anyway, let me say that the intensity of the traffic around Amsterdam City was somewhat challenging….there was always a lot to watch out for ….and just so so many bicycles. At times, it felt like we were physically crossing up to three main roads all at once. YES THREE…first there were the buses and cars just like we have here at home, then there were the trams and finally after that there were still the thousands of bikes to watch out for!

Yikes…and each of them appeared to be really merciless towards poor strangling, geographically-challenged, pedestrian tourists such as us.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Earlier that same morning we’d already tried to visit the historical Anne Frank House. Sadly the queues had been just too off-putting (well over an hour of waiting we’d been told) and that was fairly early in the day. So in the interests of saving time, we’d thought it best to give it a miss for now. Maybe we could try again another day.

Madam Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

So we’d made our way through the crowds to Madame Tussauds. We’d arrived right in the centre of Amsterdam. And it was actually a kind of special time. Dam Square and the Tussauds building (like much of the rest of Amsterdam at this time) were adorned with the most enormous flags and crowns and other quite royal regalia. On arrival a couple of days earlier, we’d learnt that the Coronation of King Willem-Alexander was about to take place in just a couple of days – April 30, 2013 to be precise. Crowds had been building in preparation for the royal event; and there’d been heaps of folk everywhere you looked. We would have liked to have stayed for the coronation too, but unfortunately we’d had to miss it. By then we were already travelling on….sailing down the mighty Danube and on through Germany and Austria to Slovakia and finally into Budapest.

But for this day, neither of us had ever been to a Madame Tussauds before. So we decided to enjoy the moment and just look around at all of the interesting characters on display. I’m glad to say neither of us were disappointed by our visit. It was quite amazing how life-like some of these waxy figures appeared to be.

And of course, for me, it was just another photographer’s paradise… After all, I was photographing some of the most AMAZINGLY COOPERATIVE MODELS I’d ever tried to capture….there was no grumbling, no moaning, no “can we stop smiling now”, and no blinking at the wrong time by any of them. HOW EASY CAN IT BE? We both spent an interesting hour or two acquainting ourselves with all the historical figures and learning heaps more Hollywood trivia.

As we were leaving we stumbled upon a most interesting “Amsterdam Street Artist”.  Take a look below…he was oh so cool and hip in his shiny silver suit. He sat, or should I say stood, in the most unusual and unnatural position for what seemed an eternity. Of course I had to get a photo of him too. I nicknamed him “Amsterdam’s Newest Star!” Unlike all the other stars we’d already seen that day, he was absolutely 100% for real. How he managed to stay in that very strange and unusual half sitting/half standing position I’ll never know. Maybe some of you might have an idea or two…Let me know if you have any inkling regarding how it is done??

Amsterdam's Newest Star

Amsterdam’s Newest Star