Monday, December 11, 2006

Amsterdam

Ok, the sad news is that I am also back home now, suffering through the rain of a Vancouver winter. On the flight home I was lucky enough to have a 7hr layover in Amsterdam. I had never been to Amsterdam and it was a sunny morning so I jumped on the train for the 15 minute ride into the centre. I spent about 4 and a half hours wandering around. Wow, it is quite a beautiful city. I remember wondering when I had left Europe because it was obvious that I was back in it. The style is very much different from Eastern Europe and the numerous canals flowing through town make it so pretty. I just wandered aimlessly taking lots of photos. In a way it reminded me more of Stockholm than anywhere else. Most be all the water.....
I don't know what the population is but I do know that on a saturday morning in December there is nobody out on the streets and you can feel like you own the whole city. I also haven't seen that many bicycles since China. There are tons of them and everyone, young and old seem to be riding. I think it's great, but like Vancouver, I think the weather can't be any fun to ride in most of the time. The stones on the sidewalks are covered in a thin green layer, meaning they get way too much rain. I had no information with me so I have no idea what there is to do in Amsterdam apart from all the art museums and the red light district. Maybe that is it. As it is, most of the people I talk to that have been there were too stoned to care. The red light district is super famous of course and I was surprised to find that it wasn't labelled on any city maps. It took me a while to find it actually and when I got there there wasn't much going on. 10am on a saturday is a time best avoided. The one or two "girls" on display were not of the best quality and I am now traumatized. It is a really strange place, with all the shops and the like because it is obviously a legit place of business for them but at the same time it is such a famous tourist attraction that there are old couples and families walking around inside the area. Just seems like an odd mix.
As I said before, I am now in Vancouver again. Can't say I missed the city or the weather. Don't worry, I will be back travelling again at the end of the month so keep checking in, this story is far from over.
Ammon

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