Amsterdam: The New Venice

I’ve been unaware – rather ignorantly, I think, considering Amsterdam is a ferry ride away from Newcastle – that it was so riddled with canals. It’s stunning, the train station is even built out onto the canal. Tonight, being a tad slow to get started this morning after staying up all night with our Dutch friend, we bought a really tasty meal and cocktail at this tucked away little cafe. I love the hundreds of little secrets hidden away in Amsterdam. And you can walk from one to another, unlike London! I had, unusually, goat’s cheese, honey, apple and mustard…odd combination but actually really tasty! And a really well made mojito. My other half had chicken tortellini and caipirinha. The service was friendly and we had a table overlooking the street which was good for people watching…always a fun sport in Amsterdam, it would seem.

Although it’s pretty fun in Streatham. In the taxi on the way to the train station, we spotted a 6 foot tall man in the shortest skirt I have ever seen on anyone, a boob tube and high heels. It was freezing cold and 10 am. He had a hairy stomach and hairy legs, no tights. I’ve yet to see anyone quite that…erm…eccentrically dressed over here, although I could have been looking in the wrong places. Despite inadvertently finding ourselves in a gay bar – a fact discovered by the female porn plastering the lady’s toilets and the ‘gay map’ – intriguing.

Any way I digress. After our dinner we made our way onto a canal boat ride to see the Light Festival. The queues were long and it was a bit disorganised at first, but once on it was lovely with a commentary and all the lights reflected in the dark water, as well as passing all the bridges and some of the most interesting canal side buildings. It was very romantic, and showed me a lesser known side of ‘dam I think. It’s know for the sex and the drugs, not so much for the romantic canals and fascinating architecture.

The buildings are all very narrow due to the high population in Amsterdam when they were built…people were given a very narrow parcel of land, meaning they could not build wide – but they could build up, hence the tall skinny houses we see today. Basically the Kate Moss of architecture.

From here we went for rather a long walk that also took in the red light district…it was surreal to see the prostitutes rubbing their breasts and beckoning men to them. Occasionally a bloke would come out from behind one of the doors, looking far too bloody pleased with himself – one was even fastening his belt. Classy. It was very crowded and you could almost feel the testosterone in the air, I feel its a place to see if you visit…but I didn’t really want to hang around.

Any how today is New Year’s. Party tiiiime! Have a fun one guys.

Oh, and also, I can’t put the pictures on right now – can’t get them on my laptop! But I shall rectify this when I get home!

2 thoughts on “Amsterdam: The New Venice”

  1. I went to Amsterdam many, many years ago. I loved the canal boat rides – we had a great guide, who translated everything she said into 6 different languages – very impressive. The red light district, not so much. I thought it was all pretty gross, but I tend to view the sex trade that way. And I kept nearly being run over by bicyclists, who often had the right of way over pedestrians. Enjoyed meandering through the little neighborhoods of tiny houses, though.

    Have a happy new year!

    1. Oh wow, 6 languages is pretty amazing. No, I didn’t like it either, I found it quite intimidating and seedy, but in some ways I feel its somewhere I had to see if I was gonna visit Amsterdam! I do share your views on the sex trade however.
      You too, I hope you have lots of fun!

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