Yikes! Dikes! Day 5

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Jun 24, 2009

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We woke up early today to catch our train to Amsterdam. The train was similar to those that I have used in Europe in the past. It was really nice to see the small towns and villages as we passed through the north of France and Belgium. It has only reaffirmed my desire to spend a longer amount of time in a foreign country outside the major cities. I have also been considering having a townhouse in two places when I have a family - maybe one in the US and in the suburbs of Paris...ahhh dreams...

We arrived in Amsterdam and walked to the hostel. I had a map printed and was "confidently" leading the way when we were met by a overly gracious local "guide" who led us to our hostel while telling us about the city, etc. Of course this was a homeless man preying on tourists but my companions didn't recognize this and engaged him. When we got to the hostel and he asked for money for his unsolicited "service" my friends "didn't have any" so I was left to pay for their mistake. Such is life I suppose...

We stayed at The Bulldog. It was much nicer than any hostel I had ever stayed in before. They had a nice bar/lounge and free wifi. (Apparently it was rated one of the best hostels in the world in 2005...who knew) We shared a room with about 10 other people, and luckily it wasn't bad...no major snorers in the bunch. After settling in we went for a late lunch and walked around checking out the sights. The guys got some space cake which turned out to be a serious tourist trap (surprise surprise...). It seemed like all we saw were "coffee shops" and sex shops. I wonder how this city functions...we did see a nice flower market but most of the area where we were was pervaded with the small of smoke. It is interesting that the "coffee shops" allow the smoking of weed but not tobacco. We had a quick dinner near the hostel and hung out in the lounge and went to bed.
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