Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 30 of 45 › view all entries
Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, woooooohooooo, Iâm in Amsterdam!!!
And what a fabulous place it is! Everyone has heard all the stories and laws, but still itâs hard to imagine a place so liberal and open minded, let alone all that set in a beautiful setting of winding cobbled streets and canals!
Mind you, it was an absolute disaster when we first arrived. My bungy shoulder has been playing up a treat, you gotta love that feeling like someoneâs stabbed a scalding hot blade into your shoulder and is slowly twisting in endlesslyâŠ Ouch! But, Iâm tough, well, kinda, almostâŠ Anyway, Iâm used to it so tried to just shut up and put up with it.
Finally someone explained that the guide book was completely wrong in both the address listed and the map provided, and gave us the right directions. And yes, of course itâs right on the other side of the city (triple UGH!!!) At this point I was wondering if I was going to make it, but as if I would ever give up. Then something miraculous happenedâŠ YAAAAAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAâŠ It started snowingâŠ YAAAAAAAAYAYAYAYAYAâŠ Yeah, so, ummmâŠ I kinda like the snow (ok, Iâm addicted to it!), and it cheered me up enough to get us to the hostel pretty quick cos all I wanted to do was dump my stuff and go back outside and play!
Once we had checked in and dropped our bags in our rooms, went back outside and I was actually able to take in exactly how stunning a city it is.
Before getting to Amsterdam we had booked a train out of there knowing full well how easy it would be to get stuck there and how quickly money filters through your pockets in a place like that. So knowing that we had only 4 nights to get everything done we got absolutely stuck into the city as quick as we could!
The streets are lined with so many things that you can wander around for so long just entertaining yourself with the shop windowsâŠ Prostitutes, Bars, âSmart Shopsâ, âCoffee Shopsâ and CafĂ©s (yes, thereâs a difference here!) are everywhere in the red light district, then outside of there you have beautiful old buildings that are so fascinating in their design.
So, in case you donât know, let me explainâŠ In Amsterdam, a cafĂ© is where you buy a cup of coffee. A coffee shop on the other hand, is where you can buy hash, weed, joints, got it? Good. Then thereâs âsmart shopsââŠ These are where you can legally, over the counter, legitimately buy magic mushrooms. I knowâŠ Who wouldâve thought that such a place existed on Earth!?!?! They have all kinds of menus for all the different types available, and of the, errrr, ummmâŠ Effects. Itâs completely random.
The prostitutes are all in windows, normally in their underwear, and believe me they come in all shapes and sizes. I later found out that the oldest working prostitute there is 74 years old. Ewww! Time for a career change honey!
But there is so much more to the city than the red light district, fascinating as it is.
Sorry to dampen the moodâŠ Iâll try to change that. Sexmuseum Amsterdam. Kinda says it all, huh? Well, it could possibly be the trashiest place Iâve ever been (probably isnât though!) Itâs really hard to explain this place.
Ok, so Iâve gone from depressing to trashy, letâs try to class it up a little, huh? Went to the Vang Gogh Museum which was brilliantâŠ So many of his paintings and his life story, and stuff Iâve never seen beforeâŠ Someone said to me a couple of days ago that it was the most boring place theyâve ever been, but I found it fascinating to see all of his random stuff right down to the scribbles heâs done in magazines and on the backs of paintings, and the plans for his masterpieces and everything, but I guess itâs not for everyone.
AhhâŠ Back to trashy stuffâŠ Did a pub crawl one nightâŠ ITâŠ WASâŠ HUGE!!! I think that it was a Thursday night so everyone was out and the crawl was insaneâŠ I think that itâs safe to say that I have never had anyone physically pouring alcohol down my throat, but thatâs how it was all nightâŠ They go to, like, 6 venues through the night and at every place you get a free drinkâŠ But in between and at all the venues they come around and literally pour alcohol down your neckâŠ It was such a good night that most of us only made it to the fourth bar before we decided that was enough if we didnât want to fall into a canal on the way home (hahaha, it must happen so often there!) But it was a great night, everyone had a blast, and guaranteed everyone also had a headache the next morning.
Another day we went on a big walking tour of the city and learned so much about the place and the historyâŠ It was amazing but I wonât bore you with all the details, just trust me, itâs interesting and like all history, itâs kinda gory sometimes too.
On my last night there Nico had some Canadian friends coming in from Denmark so we went and had a beer with them before rushing to the train station to find our way to the bus station to get to Germany. Another overnighter but well worth it to save a nightâs accommodation (Iâm just a very poor backpacker now, remember!)
So, catch you in Berlin.