Amsterdam...Holland....Netherlands & Canadians!

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where to start? I had such an amazing time in Holland...or is it the Netherlands?
After dropping my stuff off at the hostel on Saturday I went for a long walk around Amsterdam with my camera. I took picture after picture of buildings as they are all so unique. Add in all the waterways and it makes for some awesome pictures. After a few hours of that I returned to my room, dropped off my camera and stuff and went back out to "experience" the Amsterdam nightlife. It was a Saturday night. I consider what I saw in the bar district and in the Red Light District "tame" considering my other life experiences. Mardi Gras in New Orleans last February was a lot more "extreme" considering what society considers "normal" behaviour. All that hype about Amsterdam!
I returned to my room and met my roommates. They were chatting on their computer to Erika's mom back Calgary! Rich and Erika left Calgary a couple of weeks ago for a year or so, round the world tour. We chatted until way past 1 am about our lives. Actually, I think I did most of the talking about my life. We quickly found out that we all believe in the Law of Attraction. Erika did start having doubts a few days back and all she needed was to meet me to remind her that this "Law" really does work. How else do you explain us meeting this far away from home? Rich was reading this book who's author's last name is Fiset. Now talk about coincidences...or NOT!
On Sunday I decided to go visit some museums since I had already taken a lot of pictures and walked around a lot of Amsterdam streets. I headed in the general direction of the Van Gogh Museum and then noticed that there was a Film Museum nearby...but first, a stop for lunch. After lunch I head towards the Film Museum...but first, a detour through a park. I am here to experience the local life. What do the locals do on a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon? Well? Pretty well the same things I've noticed in all the cities I've been in throughout my travels, and back home.
After wandering around the park for a while I went to find the film museum...and it was closed. Oh well! Next stop...the house Anne Frank lived in. I zigged and I zagged and finally arrived there...and there was a long line-up. No need to go inside and see an empty room. Off I the train station. What do Europeans do a lot of? Well? Travel by train! Since I'm travelling by motorcycle I don't get to see much of train stations. What else do Europeans do a lot of? Travel by bike! I saw a lot of bikes at the train station. And I mean a lot of bikes. The pictures I took barely shows the number of bikes parked at the train station. Imagine a 3 story parkade for bikes...full!
That was something that you can't get away from in Amsterdam. Bikes. There must be a million bikes in this city. And yes, I still find the women on bikes sexy. I could sit at a cafe all day and watch bikes zoom by. Now that would keep me entertained more than sitting in a bar in the Red Light District and watch drunk old guys get turned down by prostitutes or see a bunch of male teenagers high-five one of their buddies who just lost his virginity to a prostitute in Amsterdam. Yes, I am definitely different from the "normal" or "average" person.
But by now you must have realized that. I do see life from a different perspective.
I returned to my room shortly before supper and met up with Rich and Erika. We decided to head out for supper. We walked a while then found a nice bar and sat outside. Rich and Erika said it was their best meal in a long time. As we were ordering dessert I told them that I was buying. Their company and conversation was worth every penny I spent. After supper Rich wanted to see the Red Light District at night. As I had just "stumbled" on the area last night, I wasn't 100% sure where it was. They said there was actually 2 districts. In our wanderings we ended up in places I still hadn't seen, plus the 2 Red Light Districts. We chatted some more about life and the Law of Attraction. I still did most of the talking with all my various "experience" stories. It was another late night.
Today I took a drive out to the country, north east of Amsterdam. The weather was crappy went I left and I even had some rain. Then it cleared up and it was beautiful out. I had left my GPS on shortest distance to certain towns. This brought me through the most amazing countryside and towns. Words cannot describe what I did see and so I will let the pictures do the talking.
I have so many stories I could relate during my stop but this would end up being a 10 page entry. I could talk about meeting Kate who was in Copenhagen for 2 months studying design and is heading back to the U of Oregon to finish her Architecture degree. Or I can mention that I don't pay for parking during my travels (there's no place to put the tag on my motorcycle) and I might end up with numerous parking tickets when I get home. Rich and Erika were "floored" by seeing a motorcycle with Alberta license plates in Europe that they just had to take pictures. I could also mention that I "supposedly" illegally drove up a bike path to take pictures of a lighthouse. Though the sign I saw did say "scooters" were allowed. A local had to tell me this after I had followed her for a couple of kilometres. It's not like she could have told me sooner that I didn't belong there.
Enjoy the pictures.
Think It! Feel It! Live It!
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