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Amsterdam Travel Blog

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As millions of travelers, nay pilgrims, have done before me and innumerable more will in years to come; I found myself in Amsterdam. Capital of the Netherlands, of hedonism and beauty and of (of course) marijuana. Now, I wont even try and pretend that I wasn't peeing myself in excitement, anticipating stoned joy and naked women and all kinds of wacky and wonderful, not to mention kinky, stuff! I was, however, pleasanty surprised at the other gemstones I encountered in The Dam during my day there.

We actually slept in! I was kind of mad but it was my own fault so I grinned and bore it when Maarten told me we wouldn't get to Amsterdam until 2 in the afternoon (I hadn't realised there was a 2HOUR commute, some people do this every day??). So, we arrived at ADam Centraal, which is great  when it isn't surrounded by roadworks, I'm told.

Our first stop was Dam Square, this is where all the cool kids hang out. On my trip half of the Square was transformed into a beach, palm trees and all, for Beach Shuttlecock. The best thing about the Dutch is that you dont even question the random and ridiculous things that you see everywhere because as a country that pretty much sums them up. I love all you Dutch people who wear whatever you like, do whatever you please and embrace the all kinds it takes to make a world.

Wandering along the main shopping strip I found out that my credit card only works in the Travelex ATMs in Holland... handy!! Anyway, my body had decided that I was hungry and also that I should revert to a 6yr old child until I had eaten. For me hunger is the WORST discomfort. I can be too hot, too cold, too tired, whatever! None of these will cause the mood that hunger puts me in. Believe me, you don't want to me hungry Kat, shes a bitch. Thankfully, Maarten kept his head long enough for me to have some food and return to behavior appropriate to my age.

Our next stop was... a coffee shop! Of course Maartens (if you knew him you would understand) favourite  place is 21+ so we went to the next best one down the street. It was kind of nice not to be surrounded by stoned tourists that I saw populating the coffee shops arund the Red Light District. We did what you do in a coffee shop, chatted to the hostess who was very cool- I dont think Ive ever seen someone look so cool while bumming around at a cash register- and took some for the road ;) then made our way down the road to the Flower Market. This is rows of stalls selling fresh flowers by the side of a canal and leads to the open air market. There was some interesting/weird/tacky stuff there. Unfortunately it was also a bit touristy and too expensive for my modest budget.

So, off to Vondelpark. This is one of the surprising pleasures I mentioned earlier. The park is really beautiful. It isnt huge but its got a nice atmosphere. There are heaps of benches, alternatively you can loll on the grass or sip coffe in the bistro near the water. (Thats the ony downside of Holland- a Pub is a Cafe and Coffee Shops sell weed so what the hell do you call a place that just sells regular coffee?). I think its a realy nice spot to get away from the rush of the city and just chillax. We did that indeed, until (for some reason...) we got hungry! So we made our way back to Dam Square, had some Australian Ice Cream and some really nice fries (I also remember eating a waffle but I cant seem to fit it into the chronology of my memories anywhere :S).

Maartens friend Robert came to meet us in the Square, all I can say about him are positive things, he is a very snappy dresser! He showed up in a three-piece! Of course he had been to a wedding but privately it just confirmed my suspician that the Dutch are terminally quirky. He insisted on taking us to the oldest Cafe/Pub in the City, which incidentally is called Fockink. No joke. There we had some stong liquer, mine tasted like brandy and gave me a sticky warm feeling like alcoholic lollies. He showed us the correct etiquette for sipping our teeny-tiny drinks, which was about the time we suggested a walk to clear our heads (and find a place patroned by the under-30 crowd.

Since we were so close anyway (and because you cant NOT) we decided to take our stroll through the infamous Red Light District. The thing that struck me most was that firstly, most of the people were obviously tourists not patrons. Secondly, the alleys are so small that you are really quite close to the girls when you walk past. I hadn't pictured it being quite so in-your-face and there is no way to oogle discretely!! I felt really bad because I kept giggling :( and I was almost tempted by the Banana Show which we passed on our way to a pub. Almost.

By the time we left it was after 11pm so we didn't get home until 1am and THEN I realised I had to book some kind of transport home in the morning!!!
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Amsterdam Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
ice cream to die fo
I dont know why the chain is called Australian Ice Cream and we have no equivalent (e.g. Dutch Ice Cream co.) in Australia but its GOOD. The stores ar… read entire review
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou