Amsterdam, oh baby!

It’s true, the city really is layed out like the levels of hell. And that is a very fitting description of Amsterdam. We got back Monday night, and it’s taken me at least this long to recover and process the weekend to the point where I’m ready to talk about it. Let’s just say it was intense. This is going to be the extremely abreviated, PG-13 version of the weekend. giant clog
Saturday was a pretty crappy day, weather wise and we had to hike around in the rain when we arrived in the afternoon and find a hotel/youth hostel that could accomodate the 6 of us. Though we didn’t really know what we were doing at the time we lucked out and ended up on the outskirts of the red light district. After seeing the area at night that was a far better location than the first hotel we stopped at. After a strange chicken lunch next door to a bunch of hookers on the afternoon shift we went to yes, the Sex Museum. (Most of this trip was dictated by the 4 guys with us, as you can tell.) That was definately the most bizzare museum I’ve ever been to. But hey, how many cities have a sex museum? You should note, however, that we missed our opportunity that afternoon to make it to the prostitution information center before it closed. What a shame. The late afternoon and evening were spent checking out many of Amsterdam’s “coffee shops” and bars.
We went into an Irish pub with some big dude who claimed to be the bouncer and sat next to a table full of very drunk British men who ended up hitting on and harrassing this deaf woman trying to sell little trinkets. Apparently they had made a stop at the sex museum’s gift shop, or the equivalent, and they proceded to demonstrate some of their purchases.
Walking back and forth to different coffee shops we spent quite a bit of time in the heart of the Red Light district on a Saturday night which is really the definition of insanity. better part of the RLD at night Even on a rainy night with biting cold the streets were packed with thousands of loaded people walking up and down, or just standing and gawking at the girls in the windows. The streets along the canals actually almost glow red in the dark from so many lighted windows.
The next morning we started the day off with a visit to the Torture Museum. This was the most wasted 5 euros I’ve ever spent, though Justin would disagree. It’s not really a museum at all, but some hole in the wall that some man calls a museum because it is filled with lousy pictures and a few medieval torture devices and it takes about 10 minutes to walk through the entire thing. Then began my weekend’s diet of fast food and pizza. I’m usually not at all a fan of fast food, but after an extremely disturbing meal at a sketchy Chinese restaurant the night before that I just stared at in disgust I didn’t trust anything else and Burger King and KFC never sounded so good. fast food has sunk to a new low

The afternoon continued with a visit to the Heineken Experience, a well designed self-guided tour through the former Heineken brewery. The tour includes 3 beers at bars stationed along the way and they send you on your way with your very own Heineken glass. We continued on to the Anne Frank House where part of the group took the tour, but I opted to head back because I was getting fed up with walking and concentrating. I’m already regretting the decision, but I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it all that much. Sunday night started off harmlessly enough but due to more intense recreational activities on most of our parts, ended in a downward spiral that no one intended to reach. It was definately the low point of the weekend for me, but I’ve got to say that a couple of people in our group added entertainment and comic relief to an otherwise somewhat negative evening.
Monday morning we spent some time at the impressive Van Gogh Museum. Then it was a late lunch and one last stop at a coffee shop before heading to the train station. I don’t remember the name of that place, but I wish we had found it much earlier. Monday afternoon was probably not the best representation of the atmosphere on a normal night, but the guy working there was awesome and had all sorts of advice for us. Luckily he happened to be correct in his advice and he didn’t land us in a world of trouble.
I definately crashed not long after getting home that night. It’ll be a while before I’m ready to brave Amsterdam again, and there are things I would do differently if I’m ever back there. It’s impossible to describe that city in a way that does it justice. I recommend that everyone visit and judge it for yourself. Really though, it’s just insane…
water runs through every part of Amsterdam

One thought on “Amsterdam, oh baby!

  1. hey,
    great write up, thank you for sharing this with us, this has givin me a great heads up on what to do and what not to do, only wish i could hear the rest of the storey as this was on PG rated haha, i’m off to amsterdam tomorow and my hostel is at the end of the red light districk, i was loking fawrd to taking photo’s but now i might be very secret about it.
    Daniel Renkema, Melbourne, Australia

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