What happens in Amsterdam…


Plans to hang out by the canals were derailed yesterday thanks to unfortunate bad weather. Almost as soon as we’d taken the above photo, the heavens opened, forcing us to surrender to it. I am naturally used to rain and cloud, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to see on the continent.

Still, we soon managed to blitz through the day, starting with a visit to the Heineken Experience. This is more than just a brewery; it’s kind of trippy. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it was actually alright considering I’m not a fan of beer – and if you are, free beers are included in the entry price.

Next we took a walk across Amsterdam, stopping by the flower market. These stalls are super pretty and almost like a world of their own, and it’s incredible how many places you can buy seeds and other gardening related products and souvenirs. The goods are nice, but it’s the way it’s done out that’s so attractive. It’s not somewhere you stay for long, but it’s worth a look.

Dutch mini pancakes were on the menu for our mid-afternoon calorie fix, before our little group parted ways as some went to another museum and the others (including me) went (surprise!) to a pub instead.

The night saw the whole crew heading out for a last group meal, and then it was on to a sex show in the Red Light District. This place is fairly bizarre but it’s cultural so it’s ok. I can’t figure out whether I liked the sex show or not – barring the most incredible pole dancer who had as many straight girls entranced as boys. It was entertaining though, with plush seats, alcohol served to where you are sitting and members of our group periodically joining the acts on stage that required volunteers. It sounds unappealing paying to watch people have sex, but providing you can handle seeing literally everything, it’s certainly a unique experience, especially seeing how into it the girls on stage get.

From there our next stop was naturally a bar/club, where everyone got either drunk or high and partied into the early hours emblazoned with flourecent face paint.

It was a great end to this whirlwind festival visit to Amsterdam – until this morning when getting up to catch the early coach came around.

From my first impression, Amsterdam seems like a cool place, and there is a lot to it that serve different purposes depending on the kind of traveller you are. It would be better going in good weather, as unfortunately the rain and wind got in the way of chilling outside and taking lots of pretty pictures, but if you’re visiting the continent, booking a day or two there would be totally worth it.

My second foreign adventure of the year and my second ever Contiki trip is officially complete. Good times!

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