I Amsterdam

Jun 16, 2011 6 Comments by

Alright the great and mighty Amsterdam. After spending days beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what to do with my week before Midsummer on Gotland, I finally settled on Amsterdam. True it cost a little more to get here than Copenhagen but I’ve always wanted to go. So I did. Hoped a flight from Gothenburg to Berlin and then a flight to Amsterdam.

Since I bought a ticket on uber cheap EasyJet (when will I learn?) I had to pick up my baggage once I arrived in Berlin and then re-check-in to fly to Amsterdam. Retarded! But I didn’t end up in Moscow so it’s all good.

Arriving here in A-Town was pretty straightforward. Hop a train to Amsterdam Central Station, find the ticket office for the trams, find the trams either #1,#2 or #5, get off at the square (no I can’t tell you the name since I still can’t remember it), follow the signs to the hostel. See? Easy peasy! And whoa man. This hostel is MASSIVE! I picked it based on it’s good reviews and fairly cheap bed prices. Mind I said fairly cheap, I miss the days of my own room for 4 dollars. But this place? It’s like living in the dorms all over again. I’m in building C, yes building. There are 4 of them. I have no idea what they bought up or converted to get this kind of space in the capital.

They have a HUGE lounge area, bar, restaurant, and they even provide breakfast. It totally feels like breakfast at MO Hall. It closes at 10am, so come 9:30 the line is out the door with hungover peeps trying to grab some eggs and bagels before they close down. Hilarious!

I spent the first day just wandering around town to get the lay of the land. And I’m so glad my mother isn’t on this trip with me because she would never get home. It’s worse than Venice! At least there you could count on the signs back to St. Marks. Here? Not so much. Even with the map AND compass there would be times when I had no idea where I was. Plenty of times when I checked my direction and found I was going in the exact opposite direction than I thought. Oops. But by the end of the day I pretty much had my way figured out. Using the main landmarks of Central Station and Dam Square I could mostly always know where I was.

First stop of the day was the infamous I Amsterdam sign. I had to ask the girls in my hostel where it was, but totally worth it! It’s the ultimate shot and I had to get it. After that it was time to wander through the Red Light District. Now I know it was daytime and everything, but those girls were just a little sad. One of them was eating a Big Mac! While sitting in her window! Not very sexy.

I stopped by to see the big cathedral next to the district (maybe they need to go to church right after) and found they were housing the World Press Photo 2011. It was really cool to look at all these professional photos displayed in this old church. Such a juxtaposition of cultures.

Plus after you got to wander around the church to check it out.

I loved this guy!

After that the two american girls from my dorm (who had just graduated from college and made me feel like a old geezer) went out to grab dinner. They had heard of this amazing italian place on the “gay street”. Do you know how funny it is to keep asking people where the “gay street” is? Freakin fantastical! The looks we got were priceless but actually everyone knew exactly what we were talking about.

I think we found the place they were talking about, and it was damn tasty. And cheap! a huge plate of amazing pasta along with 3 glasses of wine cost us about $15. And that’s a damn good price for here. And to finish the night off we had ice cream at a Ben and Jerry’s Parlor. Yummy!

My fav photo from the days trek:

Or possibly this one:

 

 

Destinations

About the author

One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.

6 Responses to “I Amsterdam”

  1. Mom says:

    Is Heather saying that her mother “couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag”???

  2. Drew says:

    See, Venice prepared you for ridiculous cities.

    Also, you got to experience German transit again! It is truly the greatest thing ever.

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