More orange people than sex, drugs and canals

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Mar 16, 2011

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Sunday, July 11, 2010

We arrive in Amsterdam to a sea of orange people.  There were people wearing orange t-shirts and anything else orange you could possibly think of.  We arrived on time for the Soccer world cup finals - Netherlands v Spain.  The city was packed with orange supporters and we hopped off the bus dodging all the orange people as we made it to our hostel.  We had to walk to the drop off hostel first to grab a map so there was quite a bit of walking to do.  I stopped with the luggage while Troy went for a walk to find our hotel.  Troy found the Quentin Hotel and we then made our way there at about 6.30pm.  Yeah we made it, its hot and muggy so shower time.  Our room is tiny, hot and stuffy.  

We walked into the madness after spending a bit of time relaxing.  Oh my god, Amsterdam is going nuts.... its INSANE!!!  I am so glad we wore sneakers because there was broken glass everywhere and it the game hasn’t started.  We walked museumpleim where its a big open area where it was so jammed packed with people.  So glad neither of us wore orange or we could of easily lost each other so we sort of stand out wearing blue and purple.  We were amongst the crowd trying to get a view of the big screen.  It was impossible, we were squeezed in the crowd like sardines and it wasn’t too pleasant as we tried to make our way through the massive crowd.  No matter where we tried to go we couldn’t see the screen so we decided maybe go back to our hotel and watch it.  We walked back the opposite direction and as we were walking home we walked past several cafes that TV screens and were packed with people.  So we joined them, we didn’t go home and we spent the game watching it on a screen at a very crowded cafe with millions of Dutch supporters and about 4 Spanish supporters who we were standing next to. Just quietly we are going for Spain.  

This city is nuts, its going off, saying its insane is an understatement.  There is millions of broken bottles and rubbish everywhere and of course drinking and smoking that funny stuff you know that you buy here in a ‘coffee shop’.  A number of times we heard the song play “We are the champions” and I thought well guys not yet your not, a bit early to tell but they were obviously convinced they will win.  Well Mary was getting bored with the game, its such a high scoring game NOT and reminds me why I don’t like soccer. We walked back to our hotel just before the game finished and Troy watched the final bit on the TV at our hotel.  Troy came back to our room and said Spain has won, finally someone has scored I thought.  From what I could tell from our hotel room it now sounds like a quieter city now.  

12TH JULY 2010 - We walked to the office where we start our bike tour.  The city is very quiet today and rubbish and broken glass bottles everywhere. We grabbed breakfast on the way, Mary had a pizza and Troy had a doughnut.  We found Mike’s Bikes and started our bike tour at 11am.  This bike tour lasts for 4 hours.  We started off on our bikes and the weather was fine.  Not long into it started raining which stopped and started all day. We rode around town and stopped several times to be given a history lesson.  Amsterdam is great for bike riding as its all flat and only “speed humps” you get are going over canals.  We stopped at a windmill and had some photos taken.  There aren’t many left in the Netherlands so we only saw one.  We then stopped at a cheese and clog factory.  We were given a demonstration on cheese and clog making.  We sampled some cheese and then we had a drink and got back on our pushies again.  Mary realised that she has been here before many years ago whilst on a tour.  Funny how you remember some things.  

We rode past a few white tail deer (look like Bambi) and they were gorgeous.  We saw some beautiful countryside out here and rode back into town through some parks and house boats.  

We got back in about 4pm and went and had some late lunch.  We stopped at the Bulldog for some burgers.  On our way home we stopped at a “coffee shop” and checked out the price list.  “Coffee shops” here sell you drugs, woopy weed and there is quite a selection.  Just to give you an idea 12 euro for 1 gram of woopy weed.  I still haven’t seen a hash cookie but later was told you can get them in souvenir shops.   

We went back to our room to get out of our wet clothes.  We went to Anne Frank’s house.  There was a big line up here so we waited in the pouring rain. Luckily a kind lady shared her brolly with us.  We got in soaking wet and went through the house.  Must say Anne Frank and her family would of lived a very sad life been locked in their house in hiding for a number of years. The diary of Anne Frank would be a very sad read. We walked through the multi-story house which didn’t have any original furniture, just some photos and empty rooms.  It did have a bookcase but that is about it.  We saw the original diaries of Anne Frank.  She wanted to be a journalist so she wrote her diary and short stories which we could see.  

We finished here and then headed to the famous red light district.  When in Amsterdam you gotta do these things.  We went into the Sex Museum (only 4 euro) and it had some ‘interesting’ things to see.  You could even take photos here so WARNING:  there may be some photos posted on our blog that NOT all will find JUST funny like we did but hey its OUR blog and this is one thing we did see OK and its part of what Amsterdam is about so don’t shoot me because it is what it is.  DO NOT look at photos if you think you may get offended.  We saw lots of photos at this museum starting from as early as the 1800‘s and some funny objects, cakes and statues.    

We then walked back into the Red Light District.  A place full of “coffee shops”, sex shops, prostitutes, restaurants and cafes and the oldest part of Amsterdam.  We walked around here for several hours exploring the many shops and so many cafes had the same food, large pizzas, variety of waffles, cakes and pastries.  

Window shopping here is different and INTERESTING and definitely not a bit boring for boys with lots of ‘pretty‘ things hanging in the windows, lots of sex shops and woopy weed aromas drifting from the coffee shops.  You don’t really need to buy anything just breathe it in. 

We had dinner at a restaurant which was ok, Troy had spare ribs and I had calamari which was rather oily.  We know the Netherlands aren’t known for their culinary delights.  After dinner we walked around the district and we saw heaps of red lights above windows which had pretty and some not so pretty girls on display ready and eager for action. Walking around here there were lots of happy boys and lots of bleary eyed people having fun checking out the girls, eating and drinking and lining up to see a show.  Seriously, the girls shouldn’t of bothered wearing what they had on because what they had on wasn’t much at all so I say why friggin bother hey just take it all off.. In a brochure it says that it costs about 50 euro for 15 minutes and it won’t be the most romantic experience you have ever had SO its sounds like production line ha ha!  We saw quite a bit of the red light district plus a bit MORE. My bet never happened!  We walked home dodging broken glass and dodgy drunks but hey you gotta come here when in Amsterdam. 

We had a very INTERESTING day today, did lots of Dutch things, bike ride, cheese tasting, clog demo, sex museum and explored the red light district. Its not very often you would get to do all this in one day.  Amsterdam is cool.   

13 JULY 2010 - After a lazy morning spent in bed and really didn’t feel like doing much we went out for lunch, ribs for Troy, chicken for me.  We decided to go on a canal cruise but we ended up picking the wrong day to do it.  We saw stacks of orange t-shirts again today gathering around the canals.  We have a canal directly in front of our hotel and people were starting to gather around waiting for the Dutch soccer boys to come home from South Africa. We were told that they would only do the parade if they won but plans changed.  We walked around town for a while exploring more shops and sights, found the flower market and then made our way back to our hotel to watch the parade.  There was orange everywhere, people honking horns, yelling, drinking and basically have a great time.  The canals were jam packed with people trying to get a good spot to see the soccer team.  About 4pm they went past our hotel and the crowd went crazy.  There were stacks of boats on the canals playing loud music, singing and dancing and drinking, it was full on crazy.  Police boats everywhere trying to control the traffic jam of boats and everyone was having a great time.  When it was over the crowds headed over to the museumpleim where the Dutch team were heading.  Lots of people everywhere and heaps of bottles and rubbish everywhere, feel sorry for the street cleaners big job again.

We went for a walk amongst the crowd and then stopped and had a icecream at the Australian shop.  We weren’t sure where in Australia this icecream and chocolate came from and the guy in the shop didn’t know either....Mmmm!

Well past few days in Amsterdam have been crazy, Dutch know how to party hard.  An interesting city with lots of lovely canals.  There is more to Amsterdam than just the sex trade and drugs, its a pretty city and people are friendly and speak very good English as majority of them are bi-lingual and are proud of it.  Our last night here before we head into Berlin, Germany.   

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