16.01.2008 - 21.01.2008
Apologies for the delay in getting this blog up but have had a fun few days in Amsterdam. Having arrived late last week and late at night, I went back to Phil's place, a Dutch mate who spent a year in Australia where we just relaxed.
The next couple of days were taken up going to see a couple of business partners and one customer so I didn't get much chance to see the city until Friday afternoon.
By this time Phil had finished work so we went out with a couple of his colleagues to their local stomping ground for a few beers. It was good spending some time not doing the standard touristy things as David was set to join us on Saturday afternoon. However that changed late at night when we decided to walk through the Redlight District. The streets were very narrow and filled with windows with red lights at the top and near naked women standing in them offering their "services". Phil was saying it used to be much bigger but they've made it smaller in recent times.
Being in Amsterdam, we had to hit a coffee shop which was very surreal as you walk up to the counter and presented with a menu of the different marijuana you can buy. As they say when in Amsterdam do as the Amsterdamers so we had a joint and walked passed Dam Square and Phil showed me a few other sites of the city.
David joined us the next day and again went to a few pubs, different nightspots, back to the Redlight District and to another coffee shop. We stopped off at a typical Amsterdam take away place, called Febo which has these vending machines which dispense deep fried food and hamburgers.
The next morning we spent most of it doing some souvenir shopping and walking around the city centre. I should add that the whole time I was there it was raining, not pouring but more than spitting, enough to be a mild nuissance, it wasnt' until today when I left that there was blue skies. We caught up with Phil and his girlfriend Sofia and decided to head to the coffee shop made famous by Oceans 12. We stayed there for a little while as it was a good atmosphere and were playing some classic Pink Floyd.
David left us the next night so Phil, Sofia and I decided to get some dinner and just relax for a quiet night at home which was good after a couple of big nights. That leads me to Paris where it's about 6:45pm on Tuesday (4:45am in Melbourne). I'm just about to hit the streets and have a look around.
The other thing I should note about Amsterdam before signing off is the sheer number of bikes. What they say is true! Everywhere you go there are bikes everywhere and no matter what the weather is like, people generally get around by riding. The other thing is the trams, it's a city much like Melbourne with trams running everywhere. In fact, they use the exact same trams as us.
Anyway, that's enough for now. See everyone in a little over a week