Amsterdam Part 1...the red light district

Amsterdam Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 12 › view all entries
The fast train from Paris to Amsterdam was lovely....it sped through France, the Belgium and Holland only making about 5 stops.  John was immediately impressed by how flat Holland was....a phrase he repeated several times over the next few days much to the amusement of me and his relatives!

We just had this night in Amsterdam before heading out the Texel the next day to visit John's relatives, so we headed out to dinner and to wander around the red light district taking in some of the sights. 

We were heading towards a cafe that I had found in the lonely planet but struggled to find it and instead wandered into the gay part of the red light district....finding a lovely pub called the "Angel of Amsterdam" which was full of hot buffed guys.  I think John realised what it felt like to be a girl when he was the one being checked out by all the guys in the pub! lol.

We ended up having Chinese for dinner because we wandered into Chinatown and couldn't find anything to eat that was dutch...it was all Italian, French, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese...but it was a really nice break from all the ham and cheese in Spain and France.  There was a typical group of English lads there on a bucks night....with the poor groom (who was 6 foot tall and reasonably built) being made to wear a very very pink, pink panther suit....their night was on the way to getting very messy!

So we wandered back to a bar that we went in earlier to ask if they served to food to have a drink and ordered a couple and sat down.  John took a couple of sips and then looked around and realised that there were only groups of guys and girls together and that we were still in a gay bar!  Although it was very cool....the oldest gay bar in Amsterdam and perhaps the world...in operation for 80 years by members of the same family.  The owner/barmaid brought over a book and showed us the entry for that bar, check it out at www.cafetmandje.nl

The bar itself was very cool with loads of memorabilia from the last 80 years, posters on the wall and things hanging from the roof like ties and shirts and the wall has these little fold down tables that you could grab a chair or stool and sit next to like a booth or (I suppose when the bar is busy) fold up and use the space for standing room.  We had quite a few beers/red wines and were very merry when we left several hours later.  With me insisting that I knew where we I was going and John letting me walk completely around in a circle back to where we starting before leading me back to out hotel...quite amusing in retrospect but at the time i was furious!

On the way home we saw the sights of Amsterdam....all the girls in the windows.  If you haven't seen it before it really is a sight to behold...especially with the fluoro lights on and all the girls with their underwear lit up.  That is the thing i love about travelling (not the actual girls) but seeing what is different in different places and something which is totally unacceptable in Australia could be totally acceptable somewhere else and vice versa.  It really broadens the horizon and puts somethings that we put up with in Australia into perspective and can also make you appreciate what we do have back home.

Next stop....Texel.


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Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou