Canals, coffee shops and Looza Juice!
21.10.2012 - 25.10.2012 8 °C
Oh boy we're a bit behind on our entries! Its hard when your moving places every 3-4 days and you don't have a solid internet for a couple of hours to import photos, edit them, then download them to this website one by painful one because our iPad we bought for this specific reason does not support the software needed to upload our photos all at once! Do i sound frustrated yet? haha
Anyways back to Amsterdam!
After spending the weekend in Rotterdam we headed back to Amsterdam for another 5 nights. We stayed in a hostel called the Flying Pig in a 32 bed dorm! It was interesting to say the least! No matter what time of the day it was, at least half of the beds were full of people sleeping off the previous day/nights activities! I swear there were some people that didn't get out of their beds for 24 hours straight! And also at any point the common/ smoking room of the hostel was always packed full! Even one morning at 4:30am when we got up because of all the synchronized snoring going on in our room, again it was full! And I won't even mention the other involuntary noises that come from 32 people sleeping in one room... but you gotta do what you gotta do when accommodations are expensive, and we found it pretty funny for the most part. We did meet some great people while we were there though including two other girls from Saskatchewan -one from Saskatoon and one from Watrous! We spent most of our days just walking around the city, drinking dutch beers from the convenience stores and people watching. Oh we also drank a ton of Looza Juice which are these tiny little bottles of puree fruit juice - the peach and the pear were the best things I've ever drank and of course they give you just enough that its not satisfying and you have to buy one more lol
The central area of the city was like nothing I had ever seen before, no cars, just alley ways filled with a mixture of high-end clothing stores, fast food "chippies" where you can get almost anything you could imagine deep-fried, souvenir shops and of course the famous "coffee shops" that are around every corner. We did take a stroll through the Red-Light district a few times, once because you have to if your there, and the others because they were on our way to something else, and it was interesting and uncomfortable all at once. The term originates from the red lights that were used as signs of brothels. There are areas in many big cities around the world that have these districts some legal like the Netherlands and some illegal but tolerized. Some have even acquired interest beyond sex tourism, and can be known as places of artistic, historic or cultural interest, whether or not they still serve the sex trade. We met a girl in Prague last week that is studying in Amsterdam and she did a Red light district tour and said theres alot more to it than one would think. There are certain streets with certain age groups or they will be catigorized for different reasons. She said the oldest prostitutes still working in the district are twin sisters and they are 85! And the really crazy thing? ... They are booked up two months in advance! Yuck! The girls rent the windows for 8 hours at a time and charge their clients whatever they like, I read that on average one girl will make around €1300 in one shift! Thats $212.00/hr CAD crazy hey!?
One night we took an hour long canal cruise which was amazing, what a great way to see the city! We could see inside all the boats on the canals that people live in and got a bit of a history lesson along the way! I would have done anything to see inside some of the flats there. Many of the buildings used to be warehouses so I can't imagine how big and open some of the homes are there. We also spent a day in Vondel Park - Amsterdams equivalent to New Yorks Central Park, although much, much smaller it was still beautiful, especially during the fall. Unfortunately on our last day, as we were waiting to leave for our flight, all of our photos from the last 5 days accidentally got deleted on our -previously mentioned, useless iPad! Arg! So Jordan ran out quick while I stayed with the bags and snapped as many pictures as he could in the 15 minutes we had left in the city. So we don't have many photos and nor were these the nicest of what we had seen but its all we got! Overall it was an amazing city with a somehow homey and personal feel to it along the canals and a crazy nightlife in the center. I'm sure theres no other city like it in the whole world, I just wish we could have shown you some of the pictures we originally had to show you why!