Europe Express: Bike ride by canals of Amsterdam

Pyramid in front of the Amsterdam sign. Photo// Eva Johnson
Pyramid in front of the Amsterdam sign. Photo// Eva Johnson

Day 9 – 10 AMSTERDAM

From the land of meat, beer and smoking (Germany), to Amsterdam. The city of drugs and sex.

I knew from the beginning that Amsterdam was not a city that would cater to my overly-conservative and introverted ways.

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2016-06-18 17.54.59Arriving late afternoon, we found ourselves in a large hostel that had no tolerance for drinking or smoking. To my surprise.

In the evening we enjoyed an 11 euro steak dinner. Then, I opted out of the sex show and decided to explore the city instead. At night time, it’s like a very calm, yet raging street party.

No one over the age of 35, and despite the amount of people, I didn’t feel threatened nor did I see anyone off their face drunk. For the most part, people were very mellow and social… For obvious reasons.

Very weird, considering I’m used to seeing girls throwing-up on the curb, aggressive young men and rowdy, intimidating groups of people on Saturday nights.

2016-06-18 21.19.52After an early-morning breakfast of meat sandwiches and coffee (tea was hard to come by), we went for a beautiful bike ride through Amsterdam.

This was the Amsterdam I had always imagined; sunny, relaxed and calm Sunday mornings along the canals.

Everyone rides bikes in Amsterdam. You have the right of way in most situations, and pedestrians are apologetic, while drivers are extremely courteous. We rode through a public park where having sex is totally legal, thanks to the rules made by the hippies of the 1960s.

We then rode by Anne Frank’s house, where we were told the queue can be miles long and wrap around the buildings. It was eerie looking at the building I had read about in Anne Frank’s infamous diary.

The buildings in Amsterdam are very interesting. 2016-06-19 10.05.27They are built with the face of the buildings tilting forward, with hooks attached to the peek. Back in the day, this was used to winch products up into the windows of the buildings, delivered from boats in the canals, I assume. Today, they are used to winch furniture into the homes.

That day we went to the Heineken factory where we were given so much free beer, I had to start refusing it!

It would be an interesting place if you were genuinely passionate about beer, and Heineken in particular. Otherwise, the free beer would be the main draw-card here2016-06-19 12.36.08.

 

We had a beautiful cruise down the canal with a wonderful dinner. Everyone on the coach tour was there, and it was amazing!

Photo courtesy// Georgia Morris
Photo// Georgia Morris

As it was my birthday tomorrow, a few of us went out for a couple of cocktails. They made me feel so special! A wonderful 23rd birthday in Amsterdam!

Despite the rouge hue, we are not in the red light district.
Despite the rouge hue, we are not in the red light district. Photo// Eva Johnson

Overall, Amsterdam was not my favourite city – and I knew it wouldn’t be, to be fair. But I thoroughly enjoyed Amsterdam by day. It is a beautiful place to bike-ride through during the summer, for sure.2016-06-19 11.00.52

If  you’re into the nightlife, however, the red light district is a real place, and you really can buy weed everywhere. Weirdly, I thought it wouldn’t be as extroverted as I had heard in regards to drugs and sex.

But it definitely is. It’s right there. In your face.

PS: I found horses!! Lots of horses.

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