Arrival and First Morning

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Looking down Leidse Straat.

We had a direct flight to Amsterdam from Chicago via KLM. The flight, being only my third and the longest so far, was not bad despite being 7 and a half hours long. It was pretty quiet and as comfortable as it could be for being coach... and at least there was free Heineken!

It was like a ghost town when we landed at Shipol Airport in the morning. The airport was nice and clean... and empty! We had a snack at this cafe in the airport that looked like something out of A Clockwork Orange.

It turned out we had arrived a little too early to check in at our hotel (The Leidse Square Hotel), but they let us drop our luggage in a locked room. Which was cool of them! So, we went and wandered around for a few hours.

View from Holland Casino looking at the Park Hotel and intersection.

Getting used to the streets of Amsterdam and the traffic is something you have to learn quick if you ever visit!! You don't ever want to be that dopey tourist, you know? But even when you think you are out of the way you are still getting run over. Once I figured out where I could walk and stand and move it was actually quite refreshing... I wish traffic moved like that in America! Everyone and everything in Amsterdam moves with a purpose.

Now, I did not travel 4,000 miles in a tin can to be shy... First stop, the Bulldog Cafe! Please note that the following was not the sole purpose of my trip, but it was pretty high up on my list!!

Bulldog has many cafes throughout the city... there are three in a row down one stretch of street in the Redlight District! The one we stumbled into, all jet-lagged out at 10:00am, was close to our hotel, near Leidse Plein and Weteringschans.

Street musician performing out in front of the Bulldog Cafe near our hotel. This guy does a bad-ass rendition of "My Girl" for like 2 hours straight!

I think they set the place up to stay in accordance with the law because there is a bar upstairs and a cafe downstairs. I believe they do not want them selling alcohol and weed-type products together. So, you have to get weed or hash from the cafe... and it doesn't matter anyway because you can take it right up to the bar and smoke it while you swill!!

Luckily, there is also a little "head-shop" counter in the Bulldog because the first thing I had to do was aquire some gear. I got a cheap metal "Bulldog" bowl and a funky, swivel-head doper's lighter. I got the cheap bowl because I knew it would have to be ditched at the end of the trip.

From there I headed over to the "officer on duty" and, for the very fair price of 12euro, he gave me 1.5g of some White Widow. I took that up to the bar, got a Heineken, and started to smoke... It was just a relief to finally be there and put the brakes on for the beginning of long relaxing week!!

:::MORE TO COME:::

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When we first planned this trip (I went with my girlfriend) I thought we'd spend a week there, and when we got tired of Amsterdam we'd take the train to Belgium, France or Germany and find something else to do. But we didn't have to go anywhere! There was plenty to see and do right there in Amsterdam!

I think I will try to throw blogs in here of little chunks of time and events as I remember them over time... I think I got some interesting memories for anyone who's interested! Yes, I checked out just about everything!

Oh, and I got a bunch more pics too... nothing illegal :( but I got a couple cool ones.

Looking down Leidse Straat.
Looking down Leidse Straat.
View from Holland Casino looking a…
View from Holland Casino looking …
Street musician performing out in …
Street musician performing out in…
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photo by: pearcetoyou