Day 28 - Who Is Charlie?

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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We awoke early, gathered our things quickly and left the hostel without any regret. After a quick breakfast stop, we made it to the station just in time to board the train to Amsterdam. We wished we could have been earlier as the whole train was full and we were forced to sit in the bicycle carriage.

After a fairly nice train journey, we arrived in Amsterdam, and a new chapter had begun. Amsterdam immediately felt different to anywhere we had been. The place was buzzing with many different people of various races. Having travelled mostly in eastern Europe, Amsterdam was by far the most culturally diverse stop of our trip.

Today was Sunday and the city looked like it was in the middle of a harmonious hangover from the previous night. As we attempted to find accommodation for the next 2 nights, we found groups of travellers sprawled around hotel receptions and hostel common rooms. We finally found somewhere to stay, only for 1 night however, and made ourselves at home. Niki, Dave's girlfriend, was joining us on Tuesday and had kindly reserved a room for us. We had arrived early in Amsterdam though, and had to sit tight in slightly expensive accommodation until then.

We decided on a little walk around the city to ease us into Amsterdam, which was nice as we ducked in and out of the little streets and followed the canals. This got our appetite up and we headed for dinner at Wok and Go noodle shop, which was kinda like a Chinese fast food outlet, and was surprisingly nice. Fed and watered, we continued our walk which took us to the red light district. This place is a must see. The main stretch consists of 2 sides of a street, split in half by a canal. The buildings on either side play host to a variety of live shows, shops and of course, windows. To my surprise, some of the women offering their services in these windows were beautiful. Almost supermodel material. I had expected them to be a good deal less attractive and more, well, dirty looking!

We were informed that the red light district was safe and well policed but we didn't stay overly long as every 10 yards we were asked if we would like drugs. It seemed that drugs were probably far more readily available here than sex was! We were constantly harassed by rather large groups of African gentlemen asking if we wanted any Charlie. We wondered if the less streetwise patrons on the red light district would wonder who this Charlie fellow was.

A long day was ended with some MTV and world cup discussions back at the hostel, as we had plans to get up early the next day.
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photo by: pearcetoyou