Leaving England for the Dutch TT

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Prins Hendrik Amsterdam
Read my review - 2/5 stars

Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday 20.06.2011 - we rode out of Whitby in glorious sunshine and headed the 65 miles south to Hull where we would board our ferry, The Spirit of Rotterdam for the overnight voyage to the Hook of Holland.

We parked the P-D in the Princes Quays shopping centre in downtown Hull and killed several hours before we rode out to the ferry embarkation point. We expected to queue and then wait several hours before being called forward to embark as this has been the way so far on our ferry trips. Not this time! We sailed through (excuse the pun) and went straight onto the ferry and up to our cabin.

We forgot that Holland is one hour ahead of the UK so when the piped wake up message came through at 5 am it was a rude shock to say the least. We disembarked as last bike off the ferry which proved a blessing because we didn't have any pressure from guys behind us wanting to get on their way. 

We covered the 100 odd kilometres (back to km from miles) from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in quick time on the freeway with one stop. We found that Holland is now the home of the Dialeks! Dr WHO obviously got rid of them from Britain!

In no time we were parking the P-D on the footpath right in front of the Prins Hendrik Hotel, smack in the middle of Amsterdam. Greg spoke to a local scooter rider who said it was OK to park on the footpath with other scooters & push bikes, they weren't proud! Cheeky bugger! Europe has this approved footpath parking for scooters and motorbikes down pat. Wish we did!

We set off on foot to wander around Amsterdam having last visited here nearly 30 years ago when backpacking around the world. We could remember little of the place for two reasons. Firstly it was so long ago and secondly, we were badly hungover at the time! But that's another story.

We decided to visit Anne FRANK's house which proved very worthwhile. As you would recall The Diary of Anne FRANK  became an international bestseller when published in 1948 and won on Academy Award for Shelley WINTERS in 1959 when made into a movie. As Jews, 14 year old Anne, her mother, father and older sister plus 4 others hid from the Nazis from 1942 in an Amsterdam house to avoid persecution before being betrayed in 1944 and sent to various concentration camps. All perished except Anne's father Otto FRANK, who after the war located Anne's diary and had it published. He died at age 91 in 1980.

We then walked through the red light district of Amsterdam where the ladys of the night sit in a window displaying their assets and offering their services. You can view before you buy so to speak. Only trouble was, it wasn't night! We didn't expect to see anyone in daylight hours; how wrong can you be? There were dozens of females, and possibly a few males dressed as females, all working and available at the right price!

Amsterdam is also famous as the cannabis capital of the world where the 'wacky weed' is legally sold including all utensils and bongs to go with it. Cannabis cafes proliferate and you can get high just by walking down the street! You can even buy ready made cannabis cigarettes that look like the real deal tobacco ones.

Much to our surprise Amsterdam was very dirty with rubbish on the streets and in the canals. It seemed to us the place was full of prostitutes and perverts and the tourists who came to watch the former. Not our cup of tea.

Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the North due to its plethora of canals. We decided to take a canal ride and find out for ourselves. Kerrie found out. Greg slept!

As we were walking down a street after our canal ride Greg thought he recognised a tall, young good looking blonde girl who disppeared into the throng before he could get a second look. Kerrie told him to get a grip. A few minutes later we walked around the block and then walked straight into Lauren OVERELL, who had passed through Coomera Police Station as a first year constable last year and was now attached permanently to Surfers Paradise Police Station. Lauren and her friend were backpacking around Europe. The world is indeed a very small place!  

After bidding Lauren farewell and safe travelling, we had a coffee and retired to our hotel, exhausted after such a busy day.
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Christopher on

Hi Swankyank aka Howard sorry I wont see you as I will be in Canada now in Ireland (no not Belfast where the touble is but beautiful Galway Bay (actually it is Salthill Bay but doesnt have that same ring to it I guess)

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