I have just got back from what I can only describe as a very eye opening experience in Amsterdam. I spent four days with three friends exploring the very beautiful capital of the Netherlands and it was one of the best trips I have been on so far! The weather was perfect too which always makes me very happy!
Me and my m8s chillaxing
Just look how pretty it is!!! Now, that single bike in the picture is very deceiving, the place is in fact full of bikes!! Now I am all for riding bikes and being environmentally friendly but thank god I took out travel insurance because there were several near-miss bicycle collisions over the time I was there. The constant fear of being hit by a cyclist was actually quite unnerving.
The buildings were absolutely awesome! Each one was unique but the one thing they had in common was that they were all wonky. If you looked up it seemed as if they were about to collapse down on top of you.
During the trip we visited a few museums and attractions including the Sex museum (let’s face it, it had to be done), the Cheese museum, Madame Tussauds and the Red Light Secrets museum. They were all interesting however my favourite was definitely the Cheese museum as I sampled pretty much my body weight in cheese! You can definitely see I was enjoying myself way too much. We actually had to run away in the end because we’d spent ages in there but none of us had actually bought any cheese!
Some of the other sights we saw were the ‘I Amsterdam‘ sign which was insanely busy, a visit to the incredible Ice Bar, Anne Frank’s house and Vondelpark which was a lovely place to relax. It’s the sort of city where although it’s always buzzing and thriving there are plenty of areas to just sit and people watch (good for nosey people like me haha)
Now to the interesting bit. Obviously Amsterdam is known for it’s more taboo lifestyle. Our hotel was located right on the Red Light District and very close to all the action. It was incredibly fascinating to see women displaying themselves to the passersby and we definitely saw our fair share as there seemed to be hundreds of windows. They looked similar to this:
Understandably pictures were not to be taken of the women working in the area, however they were there both day and night advertising themselves. I couldn’t help but feel very uncomfortable about the whole thing, the women clearly did not want to be there and it was a very male-dominated environment. The Red Light Secrets museum also gave a lot of insightful information into the situation and was great at showing both sides of the story – both the apparent need for legal prostitution but also the danger and mistreatment within it. However, I do think it is all personal judgement and people should make up their own mind about the situation
Now the other interesting bit! The ‘coffee shops’ (haha), they were everywhere!!! We decided to visit the oldest and most famous one called The Bulldog.
Whilst visiting the Bulldog I may have eaten some cake (it was very tasty cake actually, worryingly tasty), and may have had a slight experience of the effects of Cannabis. All I can say is I was very giggly and suddenly became very paranoid that my friends were going to tickle my feet. Quite an odd reaction I think haha. Still unsure about whether it should be legalised here but it was worth the try.
Overall Amsterdam is an incredibly scenic city with lots to keep you entertained both day and night! It is definitely worth the visit to see such a contrasting lifestyle but please don’t go too hard on the cake. I also deeply regret not going to the Cat museum.
I’ll finish with a picture of me with E.T. and just to clarify I am the one on the bike. Bloody bikes.