Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amsterdam a city of beauty, hen/stag parties, and adventures

 So my second trip to Amsterdam was filled with lots of fun, getting lost, and discovering some secret ability I have. This time I went with Emma and stayed for a whole weekend. No one dayers for me this time!
Why hello Amsterdam, again.

However, we did start off with getting lost trying to find out hostel. I forgot to print off the directions and since our hostel was a boat it didn’t have an accurate address, Google Maps wasn’t much help either. Yes we slept and stayed on a boat. It was so cool. I had that lovely song about being on a boat in my head the whole time. I even played it for Emma, who wanted to kill me by the end of the weekend because I sang it that often.  We got lost for 2 hours trying to find this damn place, before we found WiFi to get the directions off the website. Two hours of carrying our luggage, okay my luggage. We did find a nice little bar that was filled with locals, not WiFi, and we had some drinks, beer and tea. Walking past the hostel twice without knowing it, luckily Vapianos, a nice little Italian style place there and in Germany, had WiFi and we found it! The boat was nice. We were worried since we were paying so much, but it was worth every euro.  
Just had to.
We got to fall asleep to the gentle sway of the boat. Emma felt like she was in a coffin, she got bottom bunk.  The receptionist left at 8 or 10 every night and left us with the bar, trusting people would pay in the little bowl in the fridge.  It was super awesome; minus hearing people come and go since the walls were thin. It was funny watching us get on and off the hostel since we weren’t too sure on the ramp we had to use. All in all it was an awesome one of a kind stay.
After we were all situated in our room, we went to go have some fun exploring this beautiful city. First we started off with a canal tour, but almost fell asleep during it since we had been up since 4 am. I did see some things that I didn’t see the time before. Emma was just wide-eyed, because this was her first time. Once the tour was done we just walked around the main area looking for a place to grab food and wait for night to come. As night fell we sat in a spot and just people watched for a bit. It was funny to guess who was high, who wasn’t, and who was drunk and we were pretty good at it for the most part. We talked about home and got to know each other better, since watching Dr. Who and Sherlock doesn’t already do that.
When we were bored of sitting around and observing the general population we headed towards the Red Light District. We went early, mostly because we are old frail women. Emma found our stroll past the bars, window girls, and sex shops funny, because my face was red and I didn’t know if I should look or just keep walking past. It was an interesting and fun time. We, once again, learned a little bit about each other’s culture. We saw a woman buy condoms and the owner just looked at her, asked if that was all, and she walked out. She didn’t even ask for them he knew! It was funny. He tried to talk her into buying something else too saying how pretty she was and how those two guys were going to have fun. On our way back to the boat we saw two police officers on horses charging through the crowd and you know something serious is going down if they call in the Calvary, Emma’s words not mine. The rest of that night was pretty ordinary and quiet. I was a good student and took my quiz on time and Emma got ready for bed.
Cats and children just hanging off the balcony.
The next day we met my friend Thijs and boy was that some good fun. We met him at the train station after getting lost trying to find the meeting point, but he got lost too so it was all good. From there we went to an open air museum and I finally got to see some windmills! Oh, and we visited a clog museum and store. Clogs are not comfortable! That is all I can say to that one. The museum was cool, because it was so quaint. I am trying to think of a way to explain it other than think old cottage with little canals running through it. Once we were done there we went back to Amsterdam. We went and explored the Jordaan district. There we found a market and walked down. I saw some ham just chillin’ in the open air and I freaked out a bit. This market was a huge novelty for me and for the others since they got to see my reaction to it all. Right off this little market was a small bar. Thijs found it for us, since Emma and I would never have thought to go down this other little side street. What made this bar special was that it was seriously just people who lived in that area, no English. It was so much fun and I have never heard so much accordion music, ever.
Our hostel was by a boat named Gandalf!
Now it is after this bar that we find my, apparently, hidden talent. We decided to go for a walk after our second drink at this bar and nothing serious happened. Just talked and enjoyed the scenery. However, after a good 45 minutes of walking Thijs mentions that we should go to another bar. We didn’t know what direction to go and I happen to see this small black sign four blocks away as the sun was setting in an already cloudy day, because I thought it said Guinness. Well I was correct and Emma was shocked. I was the only one with glasses! She said that had to be a talent. I don’t know if I should be proud of this talent or disgusted. Either way, we all had another drink and enjoyed the rest of our time together, because Thijs was going to see his sister after this beer.
Just relaxing on a random couch.
On the way back to the boat Emma and I bought a fifth of Malibu and a liter of coke, you can guess what we did that night. We thought a night in would be more fun than trying to see everything and being cranky in the morning. Plus, we were going to see the Anne Frank House the next morning.
The Anne Frank House was amazing. I didn’t want to go the first time, but I am glad I went with Emma. We got in line at about 9:30 am and exited the house at about 11:30. Luckily, we got there when we did because the line was wrapping around the church that was by the museum! If any one goes to Amsterdam I recommend going there. I haven’t read her diary, but the house was just awe inspiring.
After the museum we didn’t do much. Just walked around and enjoyed our last two hours in Amsterdam. I do have to say that it was a trip well spent. I think Amsterdam is one of the prettiest cities in the world. The next post will be by either Emily or me, we don’t know yet, but it will be a good one. I meet up with Emily in Freiburg in a few days and that is going to be a blast! Off to finish packing or sleep, whatever one comes first!


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