Amsterdam Coffee...

Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Monday, November 22, 2010

So where do I start for Amsterdam!  Well for one the trip was WAY too short >_<  So many things that I've missed!  That being said, what a city!  The perpetual smell of weed aside...seriously, it's everywhere XD, the city is quite pretty with some amazing museums and sights that I've unfortunately missed out =(  Anne Frank's house, the Van Gough Museum, The Royal Museum, the Palace.  Ah well, it just means that Amsterdam will be in the books for Europe take 2! =P

So, Friday morning and meeting up with Miquel, Yee-Ling and Lee to take the now quite frequent 1.5 hr bus trip to Skavsta Airport.  Just the beginning of a VERY long day of sitting.  1hr 40mins on the flight to Eindhoven followed by another 2 hrs on a bus to Amsterdam.  So much wasted time!!  By the time we arrived in Amsterdam, it was close to 6 and completely dark, guess it's still better than getting dark at 3:30 in Stockholm eh?  Anyways, got to our hostel and and had a happy reunion with Manuel and a sleepy but dreamily happy looking Janis....hmmmmmmmm...very suspicious...=P

That night was a lot of fun, Italian dinner followed by a tour of the red light district.  Luckily/Unluckily depending on what kind of person you are haha, most of the girls were already at work so there were a lot of empty windows, Friday night is party night right?  But what I did see was quite revealing....maybe a bit too revealing haha.  Sooooo yes, women displaying themselves in windows illuminated by red lights, check.  On a side note, the red light district is actually quite pretty, nice canals, streets buzzing with people and the many many coloured neon's only when you start looking at the signs and into the windows that you realise that this place probably isn't the best for photos back home =P. 

To continue our Amsterdam experience, we then proceeded to find a coffee shop...only to be hit by the bane of travelling in big groups...indecision!  XD  Fortunately it turned out to be quite fun wandering the streets of Amsterdam at night: the Dam Square with a very funky and cool light show (check video), the LGBT friendly district and Winterland (complete with ice-skating rink!).  We also discovered that Amsterdam is littered with portable urinals...guess it stops all the drunk tourists the peeing in the canals =P.  So after a good hour or more of walking we finally made it to the coffee shop!  Abraxas!  That place has good tea and good Amsterdam coffee AND brownies!  mmmm, yummy =P.  Yes yes, I tried them haha...I'm not exactly 100% proud of it but you know, it's Amsterdam!  No out of body experiences or crazy flying colours hahaha, but I did seem to like looking into that candle a LOT more than I should =P  The words "ribs" should also not invoke a full 5 minutes of belly aching laughter but hey, who am I to say XD.  Oh and when we went for our midnight snack, it felt like I was swallowing little packets of warmness haha, that's about as close as I can describe the feeling.  But anyways, enough of incriminating evidence =P, all I know is that night, I sank into bed (literally) and slept like a baby =).  So, going to an Amsterdam Coffee shop, check

The next day we headed out to try and see some of the city by day and my goodness the whole place feels like an entirely different place.  No more harsh lights lighting up the entire town like a christmas tree, instead, there's all these wonderful Dutch houses and canals with their fancy gables and leaning walls.  I think the houses in Amsterdam are one of my favourites, they all match so nicely it really makes the city feel unchanged since the golden age of the Dutch empire.  But what I really love how all the houses they all lean haphazardly in all kinds of directions making them seem like they'll fall over at any minute.  While that's probably not a good thing, it makes walking down the streets that much more interesting.  Anywho, since we couldn't find our original walking tour, we decided to take a canal tour instead check.  I really wish they cleaned those windows better haha, but it was really nice either way to see Amsterdam's canals and we learnt quite a bit about the city too.  The growth of the city and the expansion of the canal belt, the taxes on the house widths (hence the narrow houses) and even Anne Frank's house. 

Rushed on after that to our walking tour...but not before a stop at a WHA...??  Belgian fries store???  Why not! =P  So, walking tour was cool, was taken to churches, told about the red light district and coffee shops, for the Dutch, if it doesn't harm anyone, is out of sight and is good for business, then it's ok =P  They are a very tolerant people haha.  We were also told about the Amsterdam houses and their contraptions for moving furniture since the stairways were too narrow.  If you look at the pictures, you'll see that most houses have a girder and and a hook that the people use as a crane for hoisting up things.  Cool eh?  After the tour, we decided to try and see the Van Gough museum, only to arrive about 45 mins before closing time...*sigh* no point in that then.  On the bright side, we did get to check out the apparently famous: I AMsterdam sign! check =D

At night we went walking around again checking out the Amsterdam night life while Lee, Janis and Manuel had a little trip of own (geddit? haha)  Dinner at Burger King, checking out Dampkring and a few of the bars around town.  I don't know if Bavarians drink the beer Bavaria but I liked it! =D

So all in all, Amsterdam is a really cool place with something for everyone.  Museums, beautiful sights, a rich history, a happening night life and of course all the things that you can only do in Amsterdam =P, all in one marvellous 17th century city package!  Did I mention they have a China town with BBQ pork!!  And so many bikes!!  Oh it's bike heaven with perfectly flat roads and so many other cyclists that you actually may have to head check when swerving.  The other thing that I really liked about Amsterdam is how alive it feels...maybe it's the Jamaican flags or the multitudes of lights or the seemingly millions of bikes scooting around everywhere or the surprisingly modern architecture surrounding the outskirts but it's a city where things are HAPPENING.  Ahhh...must come back here for a better taste ;)
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saNdra on

ZOMG! those lights/canal picture amazing!
and wow. all those checkpoints! eek about the women in windows one though =P

i hear Amsterdam is where all the free drugs are. LOL did you get that atmosphere around you?

chunhin on

hehe, thanks Sandra! Courtesy of my current favourite thing =P And the free drugs!? haha, no no, but they're around and a lot more easy to find, you don't see stores with bright "Magic Mushrooms" neon signs anywhere else XD

saNdra on

wahh!! &gt;&lt;"

oh i got facebook LOOOL. im thinking of getting this travel blog. you make it look so ace hahaha

chunhin on

haha you finally succumb!! you were one of the last people I knew who didn't have facebook XD....I shall mourn your loss, then add you =D

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