bruges - amsterdam
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 7 of 90 › view all entries
May 8th, 2006 – by: chivato
well, the day started out in bruges, which was nice.. and the weather was being good as well, which is always a positive. i had gotten up nice and early so I could get onto the internet (since there was only one working terminal for the entire hostel, there was quite the queue after awhile). Grabbed some breakfast and wandered around.. I bought some chocolate for the bus ride up and a pin of belgium (stole a friend's idea that i get pins from all the place that i visit). Yes, yes..there are no original ideas. For those of you a bit younger and might not completely understand, I didn't steal it, I'm just borrowing it.
I had hoped to climb the 366 steps up to the belfry overlooking the town.. but it was closed. Seems for whatever bizarre reason, Monday is a day that many things are not open, so I settled for some leisure strolling and a final waffle before carting myself off to the bus (at the point,the weather turned very sour and started raining pretty hard).
The bus ride was uneventful, I had to swallow my pride and eat "Mackers",which is australian for McDs. It was cheap and it was.. well, McDonalds.. the new and improved, sorta more healthy version of the place hasn't arrived here yet, so it was, yea. Anyway, not proud.
After arriving, I spent a lot of time looking for my hostel and for a cybercafe. Cybercafes in amsterdam that are not in coffee houses, where one goes to aquire cannabis are, kind of like finding an easter basket in the place at Versailles.. sounds like fun, really isn't, after about 30-40 minutes. Obviously I've found one and well.. hence you're getting my tale. Lucky all of you.
Anyway, I read up on hostels before arriving here and found out that almost none of them had positive reviews. In fact, the hostel recommended by busabout was rife with comments about how dirty and unsafe it was so I had decided to go a different route. I reserved a spot in a christian youth hostel.
Anywho, I got a very bad impression of Amsterdam the first go around. Getting lost in the red light district isn't my idea of a good time. I know that is what Amsterdam is supposed to be about, women in vending machine type availability and the availability of cannabis. It kind of flustered me a bit since I wasn't prepared for it. I figured that creatures only came out at night, but that's certainly not true. Walking down the main strip, hearing knocking at the windows and feeling that odd feeling that something wasn't right. Its just something you're not used to. Concentrating on your map (which I must say was not very good) and all of a sudden out of the corner of your eye, the manikins are moving. Only they're not manikins, they're real people. Just freaking wierd.
Okay, what is the deal with the maps in this place. They're all particularly bad, at least the free ones and the ones that aren't free.. well, they're not free. What's the deal? I mean, honestly, you'd figure you'd want to be able to get the tourists to your museums and .. well, the red light district. So you can sum up the first night as a search for a cyber cafe and the christian youth hostel.. which I will describe in much more detail in the following day's journal.. heh, it probably needs one all it's own...
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