sex, drugs and... canals
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 6 of 30 › view all entries
It really is the city of sex and drugs! I visited the red light district (as every tourist does!) on my first night. It's one of those places that you have to see for yourself - the girls stand in their tiny shopfront windows, dressed in (sometimes glow-in-the-dark) lingerie and make eyes at all the potential customers walking past. I found out later that the windows illuminated by a red light are the girls and the ones with a blue light are the "girls" (ie. ones who previously were not!) Can't say I noticed any difference! Anyway, strange and fascinating place.
Went on a bike tour which cruised out of town a little (past some windmills!) to a cheese and clog factory - how very dutch! All the houses in Amsterdam have a hook at the very top of the house. After many random guesses as to why it might be there (including to cook meat?!!), our guide told us it was to move furniture - All the houses are so tall and narrow, they couldn't possibly move furniture up the stairs, so they use a pulley system to get things through the windows. Ingenious.
Something you quickly learn in amsterdam is the difference between a coffee shop and cafe. Don't expect to get a coffee at a coffee shop - this is where they sell the cannibas in smoking or edible form! I tried a very tasty muffin (hey, it's legal!)
Visited Ann Frank's house (very moving), the Van Gogh museum and the Heineken museum. All worth a visit!
I also hired a bike for a day, as bikes rule the road! It was strange riding on the wrong side of the road, but there were so many other riders, I could pretty much just copy what they were doing. There's plenty of nice parks around, so it was a relaxing day.. much needed after a night of drinking!