7/8/2014

I’m glad we got another day in Amsterdam. The first day everyone was so tired that barely anyone truly appreciated the city. The day started off much more relaxing, we didn’t have to meet until 9:30 am. That way we had time to eat early in the hotel. Amsterdam actually has delicious bacon. It tasted so salty, I was rather found of it.

Amsterdam

Once we got to Amsterdam, we had free time to check out an outdoor flea market and wander around the city. The flea market was really interesting to see. I felt that it was a good experience to have. I bought a pair of boots from a vendor. They were only around 30 euro and they were very interesting. As Pierre, my tour director said, “They’re so Amsterdam, ya?”. It was great to buy something abroad because now when someone asks me about my shoes I can share the story of where they came from.

flea market

After the flea market, we still had some time to kill so we decided to go to Bull Dog Cafe. We wanted to see a coffee shop. It was interesting to see how normal it is. To the Dutch, buying marijuana is just like buying a beer. It’s a much different culture than I come from. It was a sight you had to see while in Amsterdam. We sat in the bar side and enjoyed yet another tiny Heineken.

Lunch time we got a bagel sandwich from Bagel and Beans. It was pretty tasty and a local lunch food of choice in Amsterdam.

Bagel and Beans

When we met back with our group it was time for more scandal. We were going to the Red Light District. I have been told about the Red Light District, I thought I knew what to expect. Yet, nothing can prepare you for actually being there. The women were like nude dolls in boxes. They all stood in little clear boxes in windows. It was like window shopping, for women. A concept I can’t quite grasp. However, it was a highlight to see and was very amusing.

After the Red Light District, we had a change of pace and visited the Anne Frank House. I can’t even describe how it felt to be in there. It was chilling. Seeing the rooms that they hid in and hearing all about the tragic moments was overwhelming. I tend to forget that all of this didn’t happen too long ago.

After the museum it was on to the Hard Rock Cafe. While the food was very American, the view from our table made up for the lack of cultural diversity. We had a view overlooking a canal and my chair was situated right next to a Jimi Hendrix guitar. You couldn’t ask for anything better.

Hardrock cafe

Once dinner was over, we headed back to the Bulldog Cafe to enjoy a couple drinks, enjoy the night and interact with some locals. I’m glad we went there even for the short time we were able to. A World Cup match started and the bar went wild. We weren’t able to start for long, but we did get to see all the men in the bar see the national anthem. It was interesting to see locals in their environment enjoying their game.

Amsterdam was beautiful and no one got ran over by a bicycle so it has been a successful trip so far.