Amsterdam - sex, drugs and bicycles!

Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
Trip End Nov 20, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Sunday, June 27, 2010

After my last post I have had a day exploring Amsterdam. Initially I just rode round a pretty amazing experience in it's self, it's a massive jumble of canals and streets and within minutes you have no idea where you are. Although it's an interesting city there are two reasons people really come here, the main reason is the coffee shops the second is the red light district. There are coffee shops everywhere and they are normally easily spotted by the neon signs and rasta colours. I took some pictures but can't really put them up due to the interesting language used, let's just say that you wouldn't get away with it in the UK! For those of you that don't know how it works you are not allowed to smoke cigarettes in public. You can however smoke pot inside and outside coffee shops but (in true Dutch fashion) as long as there is no tobacco because otherwise you would be breaking the no smoking in public rule. Obviously you are not allowed to smoke pot in public however my favourite sight of the day was seeing an old dude riding around on a moped at 10 mph with a spliff (and I'm honestly not joking) it was a foot long an an inch in diameter, there was a massive trail of smoke and it was pretty obvious there was no tobacco in there! I actually saw him again about 3 hours later and it was only about half an inch shorter god knows what he must have looked like if he finished it!

The good thing about travelling whilst the world cup is on is that you get to watch games with people from all over the world. My first night In Amsterdam was spent watching the America game with some American girls it's was quite good watching how they went from not caring to
getting more and more animated as the game went to extra time. I had forgotten the next day when i was exploring Amsterdam that the England game was on (shows how much I care about football). Once I realised I stopped from time to time to check the score through shop windows (most had it on!)  occasionally there was a big shout, I eagerly made my way over only to find Germany had scored yet another goal. If I'm honest I'm glad we were knocked out and especially by Germany hopefully now people will shut up about football realising how rubbish we are and will start talking about the main sporting event of the year, one which we stand a good chance in.... No not Wimbledon, Le Tour De France!!

Amsterdam is pretty cool however having been to some other Dutch towns first it is not that Dutch at all. There are tourists everywhere (many of them annoying Americans) most of whom are on bikes but don't have a clue where they are going all pretty annoying. A trip to Amsterdam would not be complete without visiting the red light district. I met a couple of sound New Zealanders and we decided to go and checkout what all the hype was about. Firstly it's worth pointing out that the red light district is nowhere near as seedy as it sounds (most hostels and hotels even offer tours and a lot of the people wandering round are tourists. There is much less nudity that you might imagine from hearing about it (unfortunately, wink wink). It looks really cool all lit up on either side of canal and down little alleyways, there are little red lanterns outside some buildings (from the older times) the more modern take however is to have red neon lights round each door. The women are unbelievably attractive (not like the scary women you get lurking around back home, I have to point out I used to live in the red light district in Manchester which is how I know, it's not what you were thinking) and most should probably have modelling contracts. They stand behind the doors of their little rooms and try and persuade you to come in. A note for anyone thinking of going, they are very persuasive and very attractive so if you don't wanna get carried away probably best to leave your money at home or be skint like me. There are also lots other things peepshows, lap dancing clubs and shops selling everything imaginable (and some things you really wouldn't want to imagine). It's a pretty unique experience and definitely worth checking out if you visit Amsterdam!

Key Facts
Distance covered - Approx 520 km (323 miles)
Countries visited - 2
Currencies used - 2
Max speed - 60.4 km
Longest day - 147.5 km
Punctures - 0
Things broken / worn out (given my luck in the recent past this could increase rapidly) - 0
Different beers tried - 6
Languages spoken (well attempted) - 2
Proper mountains climbed - 0
Ferry Crossings - 1
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Bony on

Red Light District is a lifetime experience!
But, to be sure to have a unforgettable time, you should check out this The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

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