Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 06, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, August 7, 2010


Well Amsterdam was not bad... Alright
I'm lying, it was f$@&'n awesome! For a lack of better words.

I've been to Vegas, which was pretty
wild, but the things that go on in Amsterdam and that are allowed, is
just incredible. People always say how amazing it is, and that it'll
be the best part of your trip, but you don't really know how much
until you actually experience it first hand.

It goes beyond the usual pot smoking
and red light district ideas that are always brought up when you
mention the place. The people there are extremely laid back,
friendly, and helpful. The city is unbelievably gorgeous, like no
place I've seen before. The history there really makes the past a
reality in a way that I've never felt before.

Parkes and I stayed there for three
nights, which ended up being more than enough, however I'd love to go
back at some point. We partied pretty hard from start to finish, so
it was a welcome break to see the beaches of Nice a few days after.

Our first there, as most of you know by
now, Parkes didn't make it too far, and was out by midnight, but
thankfully we met a great guy, Martin, from London within 30 minutes
of getting to the hostel, so I had a new partner in crime to test out
the waters in downtown Amsterdam. After a couple of crazy stories ,
a lost coat with a passport inside, his not mine, and “Madame
Peepee”, we finished it off with a beer in the basement and called
it a night.

Day 2 turned out to be even better than
the first, which was pretty easy for Parkes, as we rented a couple of
bikes and rode around the city and through Vondell Parke, which was
pretty incredible. Biking alongside the canals and through the city
streets, and this massive park in the middle of a big city, was
tonnes of fun and a great way to see the sites. Bikes in Amsterdam
is one of the best ways to get around, so there were a lot of people
doing the same thing, and it was easy to do because of all the bike
paths, man if Ottawa was organized like that, I'd definitely buy a
bike and use that as my main mode of transportation!

We shared our room with two guys from
Chile, Martin and Ilan, and an Australian, Ryan, so we met up with
them that night at the bar downstairs, and went off to the Anne Frank
house. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures inside, as it was
forbidden to take any, but I won't need any because it's a place I'll
never forget. The air was even different inside, and I think
everyone is our group got chills of sorts just being in there, and
trying to imagine what it must of been like living like that.

She wished to be able to play outside
with her friends and enjoy the sun, had to be still during the day so
the workers downstairs wouldn't become suspicious of someone living
upstairs. They couldn't use the bathroom until nightime, and the
windows always had to be closed. I couldn't imagine having to live
that. Made me appreciate the freedom we have now. Seeing the actual
diary was some pretty powerful stuff.

After the tour, we went back to the
hostel and had a few beers, and ventured out into the city, and the
Red Light district. We snapped quite a few pics, but had to put the
camera away for the red light district as it's extremely frowned upon
to take pictures down there. I must say, it's a wild, wild place!
We were definitely just window shoppers that night, but I couldn't
believe that what goes on is actually legal somewhere in this
world!!! What an eye opener, but a great experience.

Day three we did some site seeing and
checked out Vondell Park a little more with Ilan and Martin,
attempted to get into the Heineken brewery tour but we were
unsuccessful because it was closed. The guys left that night for
Berlin, so Parkes and I returned to the hostel only to find Martin
from London sitting there having a beer. I thought for sure he was
gone back to London because we hadn't seen him since the first night,
but that's when he told me his passport was in the jacket he lost,
which we didn't know at the time, so he had spent the prior day
retracing his steps. He went to the police station to file a report,
and luckily someone had dropped it off there, but without his jacket,
I'm sure he didn't care! So we had a few beers at the hostel, caught
up with our past day, and hit the town.

The following day we got up and took
the train to Brussels to regroup and relax, which was the perfect
town, because not too much was going on there.

All in all, Amsterdam is definitely top
2 cities I've been to, and it won't be the last time I go there!
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