Thursday, June 30, 2016

Biking through Amsterdam

Hey everyone,

So Amsterdam was my final stop in mainland Europe, and after getting another super early train in Berlin I was off to see this amazing city. The ride itself was really good until just after we crossed the Dutch border. My train car decided to lose all forms of air conditioning, so it was a lot of moving from car to car. But after a six hour ride I was finally in Amsterdam.

Now quick hint for all those would be travelers be sure to know how far your hostel or hotel is from either the airport or the train station. I knew my hostel was a bit out of the way, however I didn't think it was that long of a walk until I was an hour into the walk. Yeah it took me about an hour and a half to walk to the hostel. Yeah needless to say I was dripping with sweat on reception. It was a quick check-in, but for the first time in my life I was actually upgraded to a better room. I went from a 12 person dorm to my own single ensuite room. I was pleasantly surprised on that, and it made my day.

After showering really quick I managed to get one of the best burgers I have managed to find in my time here, and I didn't rate mayo on fries until this place. So if you are ever in Amsterdam I recommend this place called Bret. I was then stuck deciding whether or not to rent a bike or do a bike tour. I rented my bike and it was easily the best money that I spent in Europe. Before you ask I did name my rented bike, and I went with Elizabeth in honor of the queen since she let me stay in her country.

So the next morning came, and I started off hearing news of Britain leaving the EU, and watched as the pound dropped over night. Yeah I lost some money thanks to the Brexit, but what can I do about it. After getting moving I went on a mission for coffee and that mission took me to Espressofabriek, which was one of my favorite cups of coffee I've had. Still really doesn't touch Kaph in Dublin, but it was right behind it. Then I went on a mission to see Anne Frank's house. The queue for the museum was around the block so I didn't go in, but if I go back I will be going inside.

Then I biked around for what seemed liked hours, but just biking around the city was well worth it. My random biking around took me to Vondelpark. If you ever go to Amsterdam you have to see this park, it is breathtaking. I'll post some pictures here, because I don't think I have enough descriptive words to describe it.

After sitting in the park for awhile I went over the MOCO museum where they were having a Banksy and Andy Warhol exhibit. I got to see some Banksy pieces that have not been on exhibit since 2009. But one of the best parts of the exhibit was when they hung Warhol's Campbell's Tomato Soup can next to Banksy Tesco Brand Tomato Soup can. I think that was one of my favorite moments of the exhibit.

From there it was a short walk over to the I Amsterdam Letters. I had to see them, and the place was of course packed. I did get a nice shot of them and of myself in front of them. It was a nice area because the Van Gogh museum was right there as well so the area was full of tourists. I did wanna see those letters, but I couldn't stand the tourists so I left that area really quick.

I got lost in the city again, and was loving every minute of it. I parked the bike in Dom Square and just took in the sights. There just people everywhere and it was amazing. Then I ended up going to see the Amsterdam Sexmuseum. Yeah I learned quick it was a tourist trap, but still was super funny walking around that place.

From there it was close to three, and I knew there was somewhere I needed to be a three. So I hoped on my bike and headed to the Brouwerij't IJ Brewery. Everyone says it's a brewery in one of Amsterdam's last few windmills, but it's not in the windmill. I recommend going to see the brewery and taking the tour. You get a free beer for taking the tour, and it's well worth it since it was some of the best beer that I have had in Europe.

From there I called it a day, and headed back to the hotel since it was a long bike. I got some food along the way, but ultimately went to bed shortly after calling family to let them all know that I was alive. Then it was getting ready for another full day in the city.

So up later than I have been the whole trip. I think it was my body telling me that I need to get some sleep. But today I only wanted to do two things. The Heineken brewery, and the Red Light District. Ok fair warning if you go to the Heineken Brewery, it is going to be way over the top and really is like a off the road tourist trap, but at least you can get two free beers at the end even though they tasted super light.

From there I went over to the Red Light district because I wanted to get back to the hotel early since I had an early flight back to the UK the next morning. I will summarize this district as best as I can. The area is beautiful, and all you can smell is weed. From there you have the reason that some people go to the Red Light district, and they are very assertive trying to get your attention. Because I was a man walking alone, I got a lot of knocking on the glass trying to get my attention. I walked out of there feeling very awkward since we have nothing like that in the states, and that was the first time I had seen that. On the way back I got a quick bite to eat then it was time to pack up for the next leg of my trip.

I left the hotel at like 3 in the morning, and on a train at 3:45 to make my 7:00 flight. Yeah I made it back in one piece but I still have more exploring to do before I leave.

But I am going to leave it here guys since I still have some travel left and then it's back to Plymouth to pack my life away. I want to take some time to enjoy my last few days here so if I go quite that's why. However well i'm doing that, remember stay safe and enjoy the ride.


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