Ali Digs Amsterdam

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Bike Accident - Amsterdam, Netherlands

As soon as we got into town I could already tell that this place was going to be a fun adventure!  From the train station we took a taxi to the hotel because we had no idea of where we were going.  Page 2 of the itinerary did not print, all the street names were incredibly hard to pronounce and they all looked alike.  Our taxi ride ended up being a little more expensive than what we had anticipated.  We later found out that anyone can become a taxi driver; it’s just a matter of getting the right paperwork.

When we arrived at the hotel our room wasn’t ready so we decided to get a bite to eat. We went to a little pub located on the bank of the canal.  We then walked down to the outdoor flower market.  From the flower market we returned to the hotel to settle in and take a nap.

This is a Cafe not a Pub! - Amsterdam, Netherlands

After our nap we headed back into the city center (8:00 PM) and the partying had already started.  The clubs were opening for the evening and the restaurants were filled with all sorts of people.  As we walked around we were deciding where to eat and we ended up on the patio of a sports bar and grill that overlooked a busy “street scene” square.  Dad and I got the all-you-can-eat spare rib special.  Christy and Sam got margarita pizza, again!  You would be surprised to know that I ate almost everything on my plate (2 full racks) with a little help on the fries from Christy.

After dinner we decided to live on the edge and go to the red light district. WOW!  That is the only word that can describe what we saw. For the “business owners” it seemed like a weird, maybe awful way to earn a living.

Ali & Sam Along the Canal - Amsterdam, Netherlands
I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that it’s not something you see every day!  Dad didn’t seem too impressed and said, “He’d seen more boob in Spain!” 

Another thing to remember about Amsterdam is that “pub” means a drinking establishment and “café” means a smoking establishment, and they weren’t smoking tobacco!

As we headed home from the Red Light District we stopped and had little dessert pastries.  I speak for everyone when I say that they were delicious!

This morning (Friday June 18, 2009) we woke up at 7:15 AM and had breakfast at the hotel.  We then walked down the street to the Anne Frank House (annex where Anne, her family and 4 others hid for 2 years during WWII).

Strait-Up Stairs (Acro Hotel) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  For me this was the most interesting museum that I have ever visited.  The annex being so small and having the windows blacked out paints a dismal picture of what these 8 people went through while living in such small quarters.  I would like to share a couple of things you may not know that makes the story even more touching, or should I say sad. Did you know the 8 people in hiding were on the very last “deportation train” out of the Netherlands, only two weeks after they were caught?  How sad is it to think after 2 years in confinement they were only two weeks short of survival.  Another sad fact is that Anne died only 3 weeks prior to the liberation of the concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen.  An intriguing mystery to the story is that the person who turned them in has never been identified.  Below is a link to a short article that tells about the theories.
Sidewalk Chess - Amsterdam, Netherlands

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/7-4-2002-21809.asp

 

We left the museum at around noon and went to a pancake house and had pancakes with different things in them.  Pancakes are a specialty in the Netherlands.  No wonder the Ragsdale’s had pancakes for breakfast every morning of last year’s vacation.  My pancake had cheese and resembled a quesadilla, Dad had bacon, Christy had apple, and Sam had chocolate, of course! 

One thing I have to mention here is the transportation in Amsterdam.

Hot Food Vending Machine w/Sam - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  Everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike, old people, young people, fat people, men in business suits, and even women in heels.  Some bikes have wheel barrows on the front to transport groceries and kids.  Some bikes had ladies pedaling 2 kids around.  Now for the scary part, mopeds, bicyclists, and pedestrians all share the same sidewalks and you really have to be on the lookout otherwise you would get run over.  As we got out of the taxi our driver said, “Watch out for bicycles!”  We thought he was joking, but it was no joke.  After pancakes on our way back to the hotel Dad and Sam decided to stage a bicycle accident that drew a couple of onlookers who thought it was pretty funny.  They asked if they could get a picture too.  Guess we weren’t the only ones in Amsterdam that thought the bikers were crazy.
Bikes and More Bikes - Amsterdam, Netherlands
 

After a short nap back at the hotel, we headed to an open-air market to piece together a cheap dinner. We got some really yummy aged Gouda cheese (local specialty), a salami, olives, blueberries, tomatoes, bread, Dutch chocolate, and had a feast in our hotel room.  I looked for clothes at the market but decided to wait because I didn’t want to make my bag any heavier.

After dinner Christy, Sam and I packed our bags while Dad went on a Heineken brewery tour.  We had to be up at 5:00 AM to catch the morning train to Bacharach, Germany (our next stop).

Amsterdam will definitely be one of my favorites!

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Bike Accident - Amsterdam, Netherl…
Bike Accident - Amsterdam, Nether…
This is a Cafe not a Pub! - Amster…
This is a Cafe not a Pub! - Amste…
Ali & Sam Along the Canal - Amster…
Ali & Sam Along the Canal - Amste…
Strait-Up Stairs (Acro Hotel) - Am…
Strait-Up Stairs (Acro Hotel) - A…
Sidewalk Chess - Amsterdam, Nether…
Sidewalk Chess - Amsterdam, Nethe…
Hot Food Vending Machine w/Sam - A…
Hot Food Vending Machine w/Sam - …
Bikes and More Bikes - Amsterdam, …
Bikes and More Bikes - Amsterdam,…
Rembrandt Museum - Amsterdam, Neth…
Rembrandt Museum - Amsterdam, Net…
Chocolate Parts! - Amsterdam, Neth…
Chocolate Parts! - Amsterdam, Net…
Christy & Sam Along the Canal - Am…
Christy & Sam Along the Canal - A…
Acro Hotel w/Ali - Amsterdam, Neth…
Acro Hotel w/Ali - Amsterdam, Net…
Amsterdam Nap (Acro Hotel) - Amste…
Amsterdam Nap (Acro Hotel) - Amst…
Hot Food Vending Machine - Amsterd…
Hot Food Vending Machine - Amster…
Hot Food Vending Machine - Amsterd…
Hot Food Vending Machine - Amster…
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou