'Can you please tell me where the nearest Coffee Shop is.... ?!?!'
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
After the shortest flight in history (a mere 25 minutes in the sky, during which a Cabin Crew member literally ran down the ailse, asking 'Drink?, Drink?,.... Drink?' clearly hoping no-one would want one) we began our decent into Amsterdam. Myself and my 5 good girl-friends had decided to jet off for the weekend in celebration of one of our birthdays, and the excitement of arrivial was almost to much for us to bear.
I should point out now, that our reasons for choosing Dam were vastly differing; I cant lie.... all 6 of us were gagging to be part of Holland's culture and to sit in the coffee shops whilst smoking a giant doobie - of course the special part is the not being chased down the street by cops afterwards. I however, was also very excited about finally setting foot into The Anne Frank House, after years & years of interest in The Holocuast, and of course reading her book many many times.
Unfortunately my very first encounter with a Dutch native was not a good one; this came when we made our way to the train terminal at Schiphol Airport ( I had managed to convince my friends that taxis were for losers and that we HAD to get on the train and trams to the apartment for the weekend). I was trying to get change from a shop, as we were minimally short to acquire our train tickets - no notes accepted! The shop-keeper obviously seeing this problem a lot, wasted no time by shouting abuse at us, even refusing to give us our change from the chewing gum, or other incidental item we had tried to purchase to get our much needed change. Eventually we made it to the terminal, and leap aboard the funky two-story trains that would take us into Grand Central Station. So far so good!
We had spent an eternity choosing accomodation, but it totally paid off and actually I believe we had possibily the best deal in Dam! It was a private rental, I forget the mans name, but we called him from the airport and told him how long we would be and that we were making our way slowly towards Bellamystraat, south -west of Dam Square. He was waiting as we arrived, stuck around only to show us around the apartment, and how the use the facilities, and off he went with his payment, leaving us to our own devices for the next four days! The apartment itself was the whole bottom floor of a typical dutch style 3-storey building. It had its own kitchen at the rear end, with a door backing onto a garden with tables and chairs for us all the us; next to the kitchen was a large living room, with a 2 peson sofabed amongst its stylish leather suites, and widescreem television! There was also another two totally seperate rooms, one a twin room, the other a single - plus one final twin room at the front of the apartment, which had beutiful french doors that opened into a huge dining room, and onward into the living room. It was vastly spacious, so much more than I had ever expected..... It was a fantastic start to the holiday!!
Im not sure that any one of us even began to un-pack before we legged it down the road to track down a coffee shop for our first taste of Amsterdam's finest weed. The first coffeeshop we stubbled upon was called 'The Cashmere Lounge'. Oddly enough, Ive been to Amsterdam twice since, and never have a found another coffee shop to live up to this one! It had an overall Moroccan feel, laden with warm colours, sequined seats; this place managed to pull of style and keep its casual atmosphere at the same time. One side was a bar (very rare for Dam!!!) the other was like a den; giant beanbags laid on the floor, or huge comfy sofas sat round low slung tables all vaguely directed a DJ area, where a young -dreadlocked girl was wistfully playing chilled house music. It was love at first sight. We conquered the vast majorituy of the more famous haunts..... The Grasshopper, The Bulldogs chain....plus various smaller coffeeshops surrounding Dam Square, but we remained true to The Cashmere Lounge - highly recommended to anyone lucky enough to visit!.
To say we over-did it on that first day would probably be a vast under-statement, and If I remember correctly we ended the evening chilling in our funky little home with a tasty kebab from the vender just round the corner (who, by the end of our stay seemed to know our first names!). The following day was when the games would really begin....