Amsterdam, the beautiful yet small, European city famous for its historic buildings and museums, is the capital city of The Netherlands.
However, when I visited the notorious city, I saw a side to Amsterdam which was rather different…
I’m not usually one for spontaneous outings, but considering it was my friend’s birthday. I couldn’t say no to his offer to celebrate his birthday in Amsterdam.
It was a £41 coach and ferry trip, and it took around ten hours.
Picked up in Southall (yeah. SOUTHALL.) at midnight on a Saturday morning, and arriving in Dover by 4am to catch the P&O ferry to Calais, was not that bad of a journey. Two hours later, we were in Calais. Then, a further four to five hours later, the coach had driven us to Amsterdam.
Of course for only £41, there was no hotel, and it was basically a day trip – 10 hours in Amsterdam to be precise.
But trust me, for what we did, 10 hours was more than enough…
What struck me first of all, was how similar the roads look to London. For me it was the small alleys and busy roads – rather similar to the ones in Covent Garden and Carnaby Street.
The next thing, would be the AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO RIDE BIKES. I am not lying when I tell you, there was more chance you are hit by a bike than a car.
Seriously speaking, everyone road a bike. It was so weird. And, if bikes weren’t being ridden. They were parked up on the pavement. A whole line of bikes. So surreal.
Anyway, so the people I went with were pretty familiar with Amsterdam having previously visited. Therefore they pretty much knew where they were going – let me rephrase that – they pretty much knew where all the good Coffee Shops to go are.
Oblivious to most things bad, I just assumed the the Coffee Shops were as they sounded. A Coffee Shop. But, according to Amsterdam, that is not necessarily the case. It was more of a sweet shop. Except these sweets, were not the Snickers, Twix Bar, Haribo kind. It was more of a… “do you want Bubble Gum or Honey or Blue Cheese flavoured weed?”
It was literally a sweet shop of different flavours and types of Cannabis. From, smokable weed to pre-rolled weed, to Space Cakes and hash.
Unlike in the UK where buying, supplying and using Cannibis is illegal, the selling of Cannibis is allowed in licensed Coffee Shop. The recreational drug can only be smoked inside the coffee shops and not outside.
Honestly, it was just so surreal.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit the Red Light District, in the evening, and only strolled past in the late afternoon. It was quite the eye-opener (no pun intended..) seeing half naked women parading in windows, inviting the men in…
Other than that, Amsterdam was quite the experience. An experience, that will be repeated…