My sis and I just finished a quick trip to Amsterdam. We took the Eurostar from London to Brussells, then an intercity train to Amsterdam. We arrived in Amsterdam a bit after 4pm to a wet and cool evening. We checked into the Ink Hotel in Amsterdam which is just amazing. A really cool hotel with a news print theme. The hotel was a Newspaper Printhouse in a previous life, and the funky theming of the hotel and it’s fantastic location makes it a top choice for Amsterdam – highly recommend!
We ventured out to check out the Red Light District and the girls in the windows. Wow. Just Wow. There are 300 windows in Amsterdam and the girls just sit in their Window until a customer comes along. They negotiate a price, and she then puts her curtain down, and takes her customer to the room behind the window to provide her services. The women do not want photos taken, but the pic below (thanks google) sum up the scene well. Marijuana. Everywhere. “Coffee Shops” that have hash and joint menus are separated by sex shops with unimaginable equipment that made my mind boggle, gear shops that sell hash cookies and all sorts of bongs and other smoking equipment, and then souvenir shops that sell cannibus ice cream and all sorts of marijuana T-shirts, caps, ashtrays etc. People are smoking joints as they stroll through the streets. Amsterdam by day is an entirely different experience. I love the architecture with the really narrow and high town houses everywhere. Many years ago, taxes were calculated on the width of the house – this probably explains the reasons for the building designs. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and is just a gorgeous city by day.
We hired bikes to explore the city. I was a bit nervous…I have a history of stacking bikes in foreign countries (and at home). My knees are ruined because of my cycling accidents! My plan was to take some great photos, experience the city’s vibe and get lost in the back lanes of the city…..and I did remarkably well. This required me to pull over at any cute looking cafe, order a drink and access the wifi so I could figure out where I was. Terrible way to spend the day. Not.
Dani and I agreed to meet for a late lunch at Cafe De Jaren, which was also incredibly hard work, so we decided we earnt a late afternoon nap so we could enjoy our Candlelight Cheese and Wine Canal Cruise later that evening…..which we did enjoy heartily.
Amsterdam is both wicked and beautiful. I wish I’d had more time to explore. Alas, this morning we packed up to take the Thayls to Paris.
Woe is me.