New year's eve.. trudging in a cold cold city

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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The American Hotel at Leidseplein
Boy was I in for a loooong day, and a night even loooonger (not that I'm complaining about the night!).

By 10:00 I think I was already with my luggage and heading out of Schiphol airport to get to the city. I was somehow indecisive whether to just hang out in the airport for a bit longer where it was warm, or actually go out and walk in the city. It wasn't a clear decision 'coz I could potentially have to lug my bag all around if the hostel didn't let me check in early, I was supposed to check in at 14:00. Anyway I decided to dare the cold, found my way to the bus stop (NS/Plaza) as Schiphol relatively easily. I even had a convenient ride on Connexxion interliner bus 370 straight from Schiphol to Leidseplein, which was 2 mins walking from the hostel.
The National monument close to the Dam.
The bus ride was about 25 mins and I think I had a quick powernap while it was on the highway.

I found the hostel with little difficult, having remembered the map quite clearly from the previous night. I went into "Marnix hotel" and asked if I could check-in, but was told to come back at 14:00, damn. But thankfully they had one of those luggage closets to dump your stuff in, boy was I glad to get rid of the weight.. just taking a few important things with me. So back into the cold for the next few hours... I just walked along the canal from leidseplein, first west and then north, slowly making my way to the Dam. Ate some of the Birneweg I had brought for breakfast, it still tasted good cold, but had never had it this cold. I swear it was something like -5C outside.
Inside 'The Bazar'
I found a somewhat cheaper store near Westermarkt, and bought a biiig wool scarf to keep me a bit warmer, in addition to my smaller lighter scarf. In either case, I just wandered around upto the Dam, looked through a mall, went into the Niuwe Kirk and took a look around, then walked along Damrak for a while and into the shopping street parallel to that. Did a bit of shopping, a sweatshirt at H&M and a wall hanging at some random metal t-shirts/badges/etc shop owned by a Punjabi couple.

So walked all the way to Centraal station, and saw the huge queue at the ticket counter for city transport tickets and decided against waiting there. The ticket vending machine wasn't accepting notes anymore so out of luck there, and also out of luck at a convenience store.
Late lunch with couchsurfers.
So I said screw day ticket or strip cards, I just bought a single ride back to Leidseplein and checked in shortly after 14:00. I had to make it out to the couchsurfing lunch at 16:00 anyway, so I made my bed and relaxed for an hour or so.

Dragged my weary self out again 15 mins before 16:00 and went to Leidseplein to get a tram. Again no luck with buying a day ticket, so just a single ride, to one stop after the Heinekin experience. It was quite close to Albert Cuyp markt, and I easily found my way to 'The Bazar' restaurant. I had only stepped in and shook hands with about 5 people when they readied our tables and I took a seat next to some German gals and we all eagerly waited to order and eat. I was surely quite hungry myself. Chatted a bit with ze Germans, and met Alex and Bellinda and Colleen and Tom.
The group that decided to go for 'coffee'
The empty seat next to me was amazingly taken by Willem whom I'd met in the summer in Zurich and Bern!! We had some friendly chats before the food arrived. It was a mix of a variety of sea food, breads, sausages, sauces/pastes, all interesting and yummy for me atleast. Most of the time I was just chatting with Alex, Bellinda and Colleen, in between some time with Willem and Ramon.

Post eating, settle the bill - just 10.50 euro for the dinner, cheap by Swiss standards. Anyway, the plan after that was to head to a 'Coffee shop' close to Alex's place and then the CS gang wanted to go to a party in the evening. We walked all the way to somewhere close to Rokin. Most of the gang went into the De Dampkring coffee shop. I decided not to smoke anything to keep my energy and head straight for the party in the evening.
At the Dam in the evening.
I went with Colleen to Alex and Bellinda's place. We had a couple of teas and just gabbed and had a nice time till everyone came over. We all left, and walked to the Dam looking for an open grocery shop or something and then back a bit to a liquor shop. They bought some wine and I said my goodbyes at that point.

I walked straight to Dam, then to Centraal. It wasn't crowded yet since it was still about 21:30, but likely it was packed at the Dam later where they had screens and a stage for some sort of New year's eve show. It wasn't too difficult to find my way across Centraal and start walking into the direction of Javakade where the party boat would be docked. But I was feeling pretty tired and miserable in the cold, after walking most of the day outside, I could sooo sit down in some warm place instead of walking all on my own, no music or anything. Luckily, shortly after I passed the Movenpick hotel, at the next bus stop I recognized someone. Who else but ketmeister. And shortly after we were joined by Eric, Sylvie and Sal and walked to the Boot. In we go.... for partayyyyy time....

(Although it was only about 22:00, the rest of that evening's story is in the next day's entry)

-- Ashish Bhambhani
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The American Hotel at Leidseplein
The American Hotel at Leidseplein
The National monument close to the…
The National monument close to th…
Inside The Bazar
Inside 'The Bazar'
Late lunch with couchsurfers.
Late lunch with couchsurfers.
The group that decided to go for …
The group that decided to go for …
At the Dam in the evening.
At the Dam in the evening.
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou