Lets just say I found this a city that attacks you from all angles. It has all sorts of interests, for all sorts of people. When you think of Amsterdam, you straight away start to picture clogs, tulips, cheese, windmills, canals, all alongside the history, arts & museums. Of course not forgetting the plagues of the city now, Drugs, Sex, Rock & Roll.
Well, picturing it is almost what we ended up doing as we stood at the wrong flight/gate and nearly didn’t make the trip! I’m talking full-blown movie clip, running through the airport, coats hanging off, scarves flying everywhere, cases clipping other people’s ankles as we separated large groups of people by running through them shouting ‘sorry’ and causing chaos. This was the start of a very funny trip.
Float My Boat.
We stayed on a house boat on one of the famous canals, ‘Prinsengracht’ . It was expensive to stay here for the weekend but it was a great experience. We had a bathroom, kitchen & living area with all furnishings and 2 rooms to sleep opposite ends of the boat. The prinsengracht canal is the most picturesque, lined by shady trees and funky house boats.
The two people who rented it to us were very helpful before we even left for Amsterdam. They emailed us a step by step guide from when we stepped off the plane. Lets face it, they must have gotten the vibes that we were 4 stooges….. they were completely right!
One Way, or Another.
Our first night out in the city was not what we had planned. We had trouble with our tickets to the ice bar so we had to wait until the next day to get in.
We went into the centre for a walk, we then went to wagamamas for some food. We decided over dinner that we’d head to the red light district afterwards, seen as we missed out on what we were supposed to be doing (ice bar) .
Of course we came out of the restaurant just walking along like we are some kind of locals knowing exactly where we are going. WE DIDNT. Who thought the ‘centre’ of somewhere was so hard to find. Only us! Actually , Siri had problems with where we were too. We had wandered off that far from the city that we were lost for over an hour, we wandered away from lights and life. When its night-time its a complete different place. We had a taxi company stay on the phone to us until they found us.
It was freezing cold and the night was starting to fall apart. We were all numb and the red light district was the now the last place we wanted to be. It was just one of those ‘get me to my boat’ until I thaw out.
I forgot to mention here also, is it any surprising we were lost when one of the people in charge of directions uses the term ‘Going round in Squares’ . haha!
Not naming names.
What are you Tuking about?
Ah yes, the tuk tuk city tour. We thoroughly enjoyed this, we made a bit of craic with it and our driver was lovely! We couldn’t get lost and we were able to catch our bearings of the city for later.
A lot of people laughed at us when we explained that we were going on a tuk tuk tour. We still went ahead with it and its as basic as it sounds.
We travelled around the city with our tour guide who talked us through the different museums we passed, we even got to take a peek at the charming hidden church (On’s Lieve Heer Op Solder- meaning ‘Our Lord In The Attic) which is situated in the red light district. We went down along some of the famous canals such as herengracht, keizersgracht & the single (medieval city moat). Again, lots of boats, bikes and bridges. I found the roads crazy! I was amused by the crazy free spirited citizen cyclists. (that’s a mouthful)
Red Light on the Red Light
The Red Light District is pretty much what you see is what you get. It has rows of Cheesy sex shops,sex shows, cafes & popular window-shopping all in lit up streets with strange social street gatherings amongst all kinds of people. I’m pretty sure I call bullshit on how the ‘secrets’ of the RLD are those of open books. I wont say much more on this as my personal opinion is cause for arguments.
Fight for our rights, to party.
We managed to sort our ticket situation and get into the ice bar on the Saturday afternoon. This is where drink took over the trip and we were no longer mature enough for itineraries. Too honest? Never! Yes we drank our body weight in alcohol & of course there was a specials on shots….. Enough said.
This is the place where we met lots of people who fell into the trap just like us. We were all on the same boat. (not literally!) We all joined tables, by the end of the craic and table joining, our group went from 4 to 14. It was like we all travelled together and the session was truly going. I would like to add that we couldn’t have met nicer people, then we were all pegged out on the street haha! Nothing outrageous happened, simply for spending too long in the bar and having too much fun. We had become a group in itself and we were taking up seats etc….that’s what we were told and I’m sticking to it!
We just moved on, now that we knew where the centre was!
I am saddened that we missed out on the Christmas markets & ice-skating in the city as we were a couple of weeks too early. However, the craic was had and the sights were seen. My favourite part of the trip was meeting other tourists, it made for a great weekend.
My favourite quote from the weekend was ‘How do I wake up from this’
Ex Oh (xo)