Trip Start Apr 07, 2006
Trip End Aug 18, 2006

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Monday, May 8, 2006

After a flying visit to London, I was off to Amsterdam for even a quicker visit. The main reason was to see my great Aunt and her family in Den Haag. Also when I was in South Africa I went through my 1,000 odd photos to purge and select the best ones from each country IŽd been to. And even though IŽd been to Holland 3 or 4 times, I didnt have any decent photos. So I was a true tourist, walking around Amsterdam snapping away. It didnt reach Seville proportions, but I still have a good few photos.

Amsterdam is a great city and quite different to most others IŽve been to. Firstly the legalisation of soft drugs and prostitution has its up and down sides and leaves alot of room for debate. Its the only place in the world IŽve been where you can get stoned just walking around the city and then walk through streets lined with red lights in the windows and men and women (and some you cant really tell what they are) advertising their šmerchandiseš.

On Tuesday I caught the train to Den Haag to meet my family, where we caught up for a few hours and had traditional dutch food - raw herring and then poffertjies (baby pancakes) and coffee. It was great being back in Den Haag to see where my dad and Oma grew up (I had the full tour 10 years ago) so it was a relaxing time.

That night I caught up with an old friend (Marc Visser for all the ex AT&Ters)I worked with in London / Paris and just had a few beers in a few pubs around Amsterdam.

The next morning I took a canal boat tour to get all those touristy snaps of canals and houses that Amsterdam is so famous for. Then it was on to Madrid again to see Tanya and catch up with that much needed R&R I mentioned about 6 weeks ago....
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