Published: July 18th 2012July 17th 2012
We arrived in Amsterdam early on Sunday morning. Our google map walking directions lead us to believe that our hotel was only about a half hour walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station so we hoped that we would be able to check in early or drop our bags and come back to check in later. After getting lost about 10 times, 2 hours later, we arrived at our hotel completely spent from lugging around our big backpacks on the less than 3 hours of sleep that we had got on the plane. Our hotel is in a cute old canal house but with that comes classic old steep narrow staircases, and of course our hotel room was on the top floor! So after several flights of stairs up to our room I was more than happy to take my bags off and collapse onto the bed for a few minutes.
In the excitement of being in a new place and wanting to get out exploring, we dropped our stuff in our room and hit the town. First stop, food! We found a cheese place that had a million samples so we walked around and ate way too much cheese then went
across the street to a pizzeria and had delicious giant pizzas. Day one and we are already fattening up.
After walking around and taking pictures of the canals, etc, we stopped off at a supermarket to get some Milka chocolate and a cheap bottle of wine before heading back to the hotel to pack in early. Day one lessons learnt: remember to check the bicycle lane after crossing the street.., Google walking maps are not always accurate....
The next day we were up bright and early to start the day. This trip is a lot different from most of our backpacking trips, we headed down to BUFFET BREAKFAST of a delicious variety of food and then had HOT showers, and even BLOW DRYED my hair with the supplied dryer. Luxury! After popping a couple acupuncture needles in before heading out for the day, I realized that I forgot my little glass jar that I normally dispose of the needles in. Wondering what I was going to do with them, I remembered that there was an acupuncture institute a couple of houses down that had caught my eye the previous day. So we headed down the street and happened
to show up right when they were opening. They were super nice and helpful!
After, we walked the 3km to Anne Frank Huis. The line was long when we got there and it ended up taking us about an hour to get in. Binnson did his best to embarrass me as much as possible while we waited in line by shouting out randomly, "So who's this Anne Frank chick?", etc etc - as I'm sure you can imagine the things he could say. I looked around and away and pretended to not know him and threatened to leave him in Amsterdam, lol.
Once we had finished there, we were greeted with an unpleasant surprise, RAIN! Lots of it. We ran down the street to a nearby Pannekoek bakery. There we proceeded to have the best Dutch pannekoeks ever. SO GOOD. The rain had only gotten worse as we tried to wait it out so Binnson ran down the street and bought a rip off tulip umbrella from a souvenir store that was a squishy fit for the two of us. We headed back to Centraal and were able to buy Eurail passes and our night train to Germany.
Due to some scheduling, we are taking the train on Wednesday night. Because we had only booked our hotel for 2 nights, we attempted to get our room for another night but unfortunately they were booked up. We booked a new hotel and prepared to move the next day.
Today, after Binnson destroyed the buffet breakfast for a second morning, we checked out and set out to find our new hotel. We took the tram this time (which is ridiculously convieient), and found ourselves in a shabby corner in the middle of nowhere. The hotel looked bad at first but the staff was super nice and let us store our bags until check in. We hopped back on the tram and set out for a new adventure. After walking around the city for literally 12 hours, we had covered some serious ground. That ground included the Dam square, about 15 laps too many of the Red light district, Waterlooplein market, and much more. We got lost in the winding canal roads and side streets about a million times somehow always ending up at either the Coffee Company or Moulin Rouge. It was bizarre. The red light district was hilarious.
It brings me to a side story, one day Binns and I were at the Farmers Market in Calgary eating a Simple Simon pie when a girl walked down the aisle we were sitting in wearing a dress that showed off her "assets" quite nicely. While we were eating and she was shopping around our isle, a man (with his wife and children) suddenly rammed hard into our table as he was completely distracted by this lady's giant breasts. It was one of the funniest things ever. All day in the Red Light District we witnessed men "pulling a Farmer's market". Randomly running into people, parked bikes, and tripping over sidewalks while checking out the half nude ladies in the windows. So funny. Again, we ate an inexcusable amount of food including kebabs (I had falafel :-)), pie and mash, Dutch ice cream, and the largest bag of vlaamse frites smothered in sauce that I have ever seen.
When we finally got back to our hotel and checked in, we were pleasantly surprised that despite the terrible expedia reviews, and shabby neighbourhood, the hotel is actually really nice and like... a real hotel! Haha. Now to get some sleep
before our last day in Amsterdam. Tomorrow night we head to Munich on the night train!
There are more photos below