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Published: August 8th 2010
Only after I booked my flight for Spain I realised than on my return I will have a stopover of 12 hours in Schiphol airpoirt.
So I've start checking the forecast (which wasn't very joyful), the easiest way from the airpoirt to the city and a few boat trips offers.
My KLM flight landed around 9 AM and as I going towards the tickets machines I've realised I am not the only one who was feeling lost: the machines work only with card, no cash option, the menu was confusing and although it was in front of my eyes, I couldn't see the tickets office. Finally I spot the big queue, decide to buy a ticket for normal train which cost me around 7,5 euro roundtrip and less than 20 minutes later I was in Amsterdam Central station.
I have to admit that I came with the thought of getting one of the boat trips for 1 hour, walk a bit around the station and come back to the airpoirt as soon as possible. Finding my way out of the station I was instanly mesmerised by the city, the landscape and the buzz. Started walking on of the streets, taking hundred
Where pigs fly
Visit the coffee shop across the street & after a while you'll see them with your own eyes for sure :))
of pictures to the buildings around, checking the discounted sales and getting hypnotised by the whole atmosphere. It turned out to be very easy to get downtown on foot to Madame Tussaud's museum, History museums, spectacular churches, all the way to Flower market and Vondel park
I had a map from the airpoirt but I just decided to follow my instincts walking without any precise destination so after 3 hours I woke up in front of Food plaza, a place where everyone eats their lunch in our case on the supermarket's stairs, feeding the doves. Although is a crowded city, with narrow streets, bicyclists and trams coming from all sides, everyone seems very relaxed, minding their own business and knowing exactly what they are doing. White, black, yellow, mixed raced, straight, bi or gay, tourists, woking people, all manage to mix together in a city where almost everything is legal or permitted, without anybody crossing the other person's boundries. Maybe is in their culture or education, or maybe the whole city is under the influence of the weed flavour which was very noticeble as I was passing by the innumerable coffee shops.
Regardless of the reason, I just fell in
Gay parade preparations
I was there 2 days before the happening
love with Amsterdam and promises myself I will have to come back andexplore the city from point to point.
On my way back to the train station, behind some colourful buildings I noticed the dome of a very interesting church so I've started exploring the labyrinth of streets till I reach my destination. After taking plenty of pictures, I realised I don't actually know my way back and wondered where could I be. Didn't had the time to finish my thought when I saw girl on very big platforms, wearing thongs and a short top, running after a guy who had a professional camera in his hands. She was screaming and throwing her shoes at him, asking him to delete the pictures he took but the guy didn't even bothered to listen to her. Only then I open my eyes wide and noticed all the women in the window shops... I was in the Red Light District. I had plenty of chances to take some pictures but since it was very late and had to rush to the airpoirt, I didn't want to get into any conflicts with the ladies.
Another funny thing happened while I was taking some pictures
New Church - across the street from Madame Tussaud's museum
of the church, when behind me I saw this metal round box, which in my inexpert eyes seemed like a weird phone booth, where you could see the person inside from knees down and chest up. One guy happened to walk in just when I was staring at the box and while I turned my back I heard a noise which sounded like someone is peeing... only one meter away from me... I walked away shocked and woke up with guy in in front of me now, asking me if am interested in taking him a few pics while he is in there. I managed to smile and reply: U wish!!!
That was the point when I decided is time for me to go straight to airport and leave the sightseeing for another occasion when I will have more time and some friends around.
In the end, I spent a beautiful sunny day in Amsterdam, saw more than I planned to, never even imagined I could enjoy the place so much and even if I was by myself I didn't feel alone for a second!
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