Friday, 22 June 2012

"Amsterdam Yes I Know I AM"

And our Euro trip has officially begun! After two and a half months of working our butts off and living like Jews we were finally able to save up enough money to start our European adventure. First stop: Amsterdam! And No, (Yes, I know what you’re thinking) their lawless culture is not the only reason why we wanted to go there! There is so much more to Amsterdam, not only is it dirt cheap to travel there but it is home to historic architecture, thousands of bicycles, famous artists, tranquil canals, CHEESE, beer and, well, interesting window displays! Haha!

After watching Euro Trip numerous times I took some tips into consideration for Amsterdam, stay away from places like Club Wandersexxx, even if they offer you a free T-shirt, don’t act high after consuming brownies (they might not contain Hash) and always keep my travel wallet within sight. With that in mind I was ready for the long 10 hour bus drive and 2 hour Ferry ride that layed ahead.

We arrived early Sunday morning, checked in and took a stroll around central Amsterdam. The architecture is similar to the Old Dutch style houses in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Except the top of these buildings slant outwards and are separated by dingy cobble walk alley ways. There are large fat cats roaming the streets, one can expect that, where there is cheese there are mice and where there are mice there are cats!

The hostel we stayed in is called Aivengo, we stayed in an all girls dorm on the 5th floor, besides the 1000 stairs we had to climb our room was amazing, stunning view, loads of space, very central and really tidy. After a long Sunday nap we decided to hit the Dutch Supporters Club to watch the Portugal vs. Netherlands game. They take soccer very seriously in Holland, the streets are decorated in oranje streamers and soccer balls, and the pub was filled with Dutch supporters sporting orange gear. They weren’t too impressed when we shouted for Portugal’s victory. We ended off our night with a visit to a coffee shop (for coffee haha) and the best burger I have ever eaten from a little place called Burger Bar!

Day two: We decided to get to know the area a little better so we went on a lovely walk to the canals followed by a visit to the Anne Frank Museum where we got to see the rooms the Frank family hid in during the war. We then headed back home to get ready for the night, a night my mom wouldn’t approve of! We took a stroll down the Red Light District; it was interesting to say the least. Seeing men come out of the red lit rooms and she-males flaunting their bits was definitely the funniest.

Day Three (and this is where shit gets interesting): We decided to join the masses and hire a yellow bike. Thinking it would be a breeze, we got on our bicycle and hit the streets. Yeah not as easy as I thought, dealing with advanced cyclists who don’t even need to hold the handle bars, trams, cars that travel from the opposite direction, pedestrians, motorbikes and no cycling zones made for a slow start. While the others cycling skills were up to scratch besides Adriana’s bike bump into a park car, yes parked, I was left cycling at snail’s pace and waiting for it to be completely safe before crossing the road. Our mission for the day was to cycle to the I AMSTERDAMN sign, our hopeless navigational skills made for a long ride across canals where we stumbled upon a gem called Rembrant Square, a guitarist kept bystanders entertained, we used this opportunity to stop for some ice-cream. With no place to lock up our bikes we decided to lock it all together around a tree. End result, hilarious! We finally found the I AMSTERDAMN sign after asking people to point us in the right direction every 10 minutes or so. During the evening we met up with a friend, who took us to the popular party area Leidseplein, as it was a Tuesday all the popular clubs were closed but we had a fun night at one of the pubs none the less.


Day four (last day in Amsterdam): The girls woke up with a broken butt from cycling, me...well, I have a butt of steel. Bianca and I woke up earlier than the others so we headed to central to eat and look at souvenir shops. On our way back we stopped at the Bulldog... drove our bicycles back (I tried, but kept falling over so decided to walk it) then we went on a quest to Kaasland to get a free muffin/croissant but the owner directed us to his brothers shop who was running the special (only to find out that his bothers shop doesn’t exist) but waffles with Nutella and cherries was the perfect substitution. 

Our plan for the day was to do a canal bike ride, but after being caught up in our waffle eating frenzy we only had 1 hour until closing time otherwise we would lose our deposit we put down to hire the canal bikes. We decided to take the risk, Adriana and I teamed up and Bianca and Nikita were on the opposing side. I voted Adriana as steer Captain of the ship as every time I took the reins we kept bumping into the parked boats on the side of the canal, yes parked again! Nikita and Bianca decided to take over the canal by cruising in the middle instead of abiding by the stick to the right rule which was hilarious when they tried to steer out of the way of oncoming boats. The views were stunning until we realised we were lost, travelling all the way to a dead end, we had to ask people in their boats how to get to the final destination, all of them giving us a different answer. Smart Nikita finally figured out the map and we got back to the canal bike hire right in time.

Our last night in Amsterdam was pretty chilled, as we had to get up early in the morning so we just strolled around taking in the little time we had left in the vibrant city. There were three things I didn’t experience: the taste of Dutch cheese, Van Gough’s artwork, the sex museum and the windmills. A little disappointed, but now I have a reason to go back again! 

My menu for the holiday:
Mc Donald’s Big Mac
Crepe with Nutella and banana
A pizza from Pasta Bar
2x M&M Mc Flurry
Burger King Cheese Burger Meal
Waffle with Nutella and cherries
3x Burger Bar Burgers
(Fat I know)

I can’t wait until our next trip, did someone say Barcelonnnna!!! This post is dedicated to all of those who thought we wouldn’t make it past the first month, as Nikita always says “Suck on my chocolate salty balls, put it in your mouth and suck ‘em” hahaha!

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