24 October 2010

Amsterdam: A month overdue

I just realized that I never got around to posting photos from my brief tour of Amsterdam. Since it's Sunday and nothing is open in France, I figured now is a better time than any to share my pictures with you! You can read the recap of how I made it there, here Basically, my head was basically spinning when I got there after I panicked in-flight in realizing that I had no plans for my stay in Amsterdam, as I wasn't completely sure if when I'd actually get there. In case you're as confused as I was, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, also called Holland, and people from there speak Dutch.

After checking in at The Flying Pig Hostel, eating a second  breakfast, and freshening up a bit, I took off on foot with a map and my camera in tow. Most of the day was spent aimlessly wandering around the city. My map was basically useless or rather, I was useless at reading it. I'd look at the streets on the map and then look up at the street signs but the Dutch was much too much for my jet-lagged brain to handle. And I couldn't figure out which way was north to save my life. I quickly figured out that everyone there speaks English really well but was too stubborn to ask for help determined to figure it out on my own.

As I didn't really know where I was going, I also don't really know what I saw. I walked past Anne Frank's house, Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum, some guys in costume that you had to pay to take a picture of. I strolled through the Red Light District and places in between. I was on my feet for hours before I got hungry. Although I was starving, it took me an hour to figure out what I wanted. As soon as I'd start to look at the menu in the window, the restaurant owner would come to the door, share his recommendations, and then I'd decide that I didn't want that type of food. After wandering up and down the street, I decided on a delicious falafel wrap and a Diet Coke, which totally hit the spot. I didn't end up eating until nearly 8:00 - about 11 hours after I'd last eaten. 

After dinner, I walked around a little bit more but decided that I needed to get off my feet. I went back to the hostel and hung out in the lobby for a while, chatting with a guy from Toronto and talking to two Scots playing pool. The Swiss guys also staying in my room invited me to smoke with them but I declined. They were shocked to hear that I came to Amsterdam but don't smoke pot. I tried to stay up as long as I could to help with jet lag, but I passed out at 10:00pm. I'd say that's pretty good, considering I left Seattle at 12:45pm, landed in Amsterdam at 7:35am and walked around ALL day long. In my room in the hostel, a 10-person room, the following quote was painted on the wall: "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us." I find this a quite appropriate way to start off my journey.  
Anne Frank Haus

Anne Frank 1929-1945
The view from Anne Frank Haus
One of the many bridges over canals, this is close by to the Red Light District

Yep, those are all condoms. 
Red Light District

I promise I won't take this long posting my adventures in Stockholm, Sweden! 

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