Amsterdam

Red lights, Canals, Clogs, Bicycles and Buds

We flew to Amsterdam early Sunday morning. You can get into town from the airport via train. We had already booked accommodation at this rad hostel called The Flying Pig. They have queensize bunks which is great! They were so comfy and so roomy after normally snuggling together on a single bunk bed!
After dropping our backpacks off at the hostel we decided to explore on foot in the freezing (but for a little while sunny) conditions. Stopping at a nice ‘normal’ coffee shop to warm up was really nice as it was right next to this bridge and it was all sunny and people where riding past on their bikes. The dutch always serve a bit of ginger cake or ginger biscuit with coffee. After warming our bellies we headed to Anne Frank’s House, the top of a warehouse where they did during the holocaust from 1942-44. Her father choose not to refurbish the place, but left it bare, the same way they left it after the soldiers cleared everything out. There are photos and models showing where everything used to be. Towards the end of the tour you read stories and see photos of the Jews being captured and killed. It is all very sad.
After such a intense experience, we were ready for the Heineken experience!! The world of Heineken….discover the art of brewing beer…learn about the legendary Heineken family and see how exciting beer can be!!! And you get 2 free beers. We bottled our own personalized bottle with Em and Chris in Amsterdam printed on it. All around amsterdam you will find coffee shops, Argentinian steak houses and Indian restaurants. We decided to have a steak for dinner. You would think beer is cheap there, but it’s not! In fact nothing is cheap in Amsterdamn, except the weed (and maybe the women, we’re not sure!!). I think we paid about 6 euros for less than a pint of tap beer!
After dinner we went for a walk around the red light district, where we were staying. It is such a spin out. There a streets lined with semi-naked girls in what looks like a shop window front. Sometimes they are kind of below the ground so you’re looking down onto them and sometimes they’re up high like a show. They have a little door at the front where people can go in and negotiate a rate then they just the pull the curtains! There are all sorts of women in these windows, some are beautiful and young, others are really old, or really fat or really ugly! Something for everyone!!
It would have been wrong to go to Amsterdamn with out getting high…so we picked a coffee shop called The Blues Brothers where it was quite and we could sit up stairs by the window. We bought a pre-rolled joint for 3.50 euros. You can also buy weed by the gram and there is a menu listing all the varieties and they effect. The same goes for hash and mushrooms. Well we didn’t even finish 1 joint before we were giggling like school girls!! It was a good time 🙂
We were up early the next morning to get our included breakfast toast, cereal and crappy coffee! We walked down town past pretty flower markets that line the canal, and gardens and stuff, until we got to the Van Gogh museum. It is still so amazing to see artworks in real life, after seeing them in books and postcards your whole life. You are not allowed to take photos in there, but we got a cheeky couple! It is layed out really well, with the paintings sorted out and described according to his life story. We had a pretty chilled day, just walking around and taking it all in. That night we got the bus to Berlin.