Well my Amsterdam day started yesterday at 7:20 p.m. when I left Brussels. It was an interesting trip to my next location.

It started out well enough, I got my train, had a comfortable seat and promptly went to sleep for my 3 hr ride to Amsterdam. After about 2 hours we arrived at a station, I hear the announcer, and look out the window and see a sign that says Amsterdam Central. I gather up Percy and Bo and get off the train.

I exit the station reading my directions to my hostel, and go to the metro machine to get a ticket.  I look at the street name that was given me, to get my ticket.  I can’t find it.  So I walk around the station looking for someone to ask.  In the mean time I buy some french fries, and a pepsi.  After going back to the machine I decided to just try and buy a ticket from the tram driver. 

At the stop I look for tram #5 (per my directions).  I see 3, 4, 6 – no 5.  So I ask a girl standing at the stop.  We look at a map together and she ask me where I’m going.  I look at this map and it doesn’t look familar.  (I have studied the maps of all the cities I was going to, and I know what it’s SUPPOSE to look like).  So, I say. . . this doesn’t look familar, there are canals going like this and sort of in a semi-circle.  The girl looks at me and asks “”You’re going to Amsterdam?” I say “yes”, she says, “This is Rotterdam, you need to get back on the train!”   Sooooo feeling stupid, I head back to the tracks.  So instead of arriving at 10:00 p.m. now I don’t get there til 11:30 p.m.

I arrive in Amsterdam, and the city is jumping.  Lights are on everywhere, and the streets outside the station are bustling.  I find my #5 tram, get on and follow my directions looking for the stop.  This whole town is alive, like it’s mardi gras.  Outdoor tables are full, people are walking, standing, riding bikes and having a great time on Saturday night. (And NO, I wasn’t in the Red Light District)!   So, I see a stop Lieden – something, and it looks like the one on my directions, I get off.  I walk around in this beehive of activity.  I ask a food vendor if I am near the Van Gough Musem (which is where my hostel is), he says yeah, and points around the corner.  I’m relieved and start walking. 

Well, I walk around this square of activity in a circle, admiring the night life, and looking for my hostel.  After I make 1 circle I think maybe I got off too early (since I don’t see the museum or the hostel) so I head back to the tram stop. I’ve burned almost an hour here.

I get back on the #5, ask the driver if it goes to the Museum District stop? “Yes, get on””.  He assists me on where to get off. I get off and there is a Concert Hall in front of me, just like my directions say.  The next step is “opposite the concert hall, in the street on the right hand side. . .”  Well to make a long story short, I went across the street in 3 out of 4 directions walking til I figured, it can’t be this far.  My back is killing me, Percy has gotten real heavy, I can’t find this place, and I’m getting a little worried.  There is only 1 more street and it’s next to, not opposite,  the concert hall, and low and behold, There It Is!  So, I go in and say,  I have a reservation.”  He can’t find it, I give him the reservations number, he says it’s for tomorrow night and they are full.

Long story short again. . .  Someone who was suppose to be there at 2:00 p.m. had not shown up yet (It’s 1:00 a.m.), so he gave me his bed.  For a whopping $65 (compared to the $21 euros, I’m paying tomorrow).  I’m angry, but I figure, you can pay it or sleep in the street – so I paid it under disress! ! ! ! !”   Then I find out that my room is on the 3rd floor.  So I look up, and begin to climb this steep, narrow, slightly winding staircase.  There are 21 stairs in each flight.  I climb 3 floors for a total 62 stairs.  Percy, after 3 hours of walking around is killing me and these 61 stairs are the icing on the cake. . .almost.  I get in the room, (my roommates are still out), turn on the light, and I have the top bunk. 😦   OMG!

This was the UGLY . . . But, I figured,  I’m on vacation, and it is too short to be mad.  Plus I have had great luck and saved much money with my couch surfing buddies so “Get over It!

Well if you read this far, you´ve made it to my daily updates, and the Good.  

TAKING YOU WITH ME

Amsterdam:      65° and raining at 10:30 a.m.

Current time  1:25 a.m. Monday   East Coast:  7:25 p.m.  Sunday   Phoenix  4:25 p.m.  Sunday

Picture of the Day

I started the day by taking a free 3 hour guided walking tour of Amsterdam

Person of the Day

After the walking tour, I went to the Anne Frank House.  This was very moving, especially after reading the book and seeing the movie.    SCAVENGER HUNT Item

Meal of the Day

All U Can Eat Ribs

I found a Sports Bar –  Just by luck!  It was so crowded there was no place to sit, and it had 2 floors.  So, I was standing along the wall, in the bar, and asked the man sitting next to me alone, if he minded sharing the table.  he said no,  and a great evening started.

Drink of the Day –  Red Bull & Vodka

Me today

NOW, for the B A D

After leaving the Anne Frank House, I looked at my map and tried to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my evening.  So, I figured now was the time to try out Amsterdam´s famous Coffee Houses.  So, I picked one, that looked harmless, went inside and grabbed an 

information sheet off the wall.   It read, There are different strengths of Amsterdam Coffee, so ask the coffeeshop staff for information.  If you don´t know how strong it is, take a sip and then wait a few minutes before continuing.  So, I did just that.  My friendly coffee shop attendee, asked if I done it before  I said not recently, and that I wanted something mild.  He suggested I get a pre-rolled joint & I agreed  (since I never learned how to roll), and he pointed to the menu, (Yes, a Menu), and pointed to a Thai brand.  I gave him $3.50 and he gave me my “coffee” along with a  box of matches.  I went into a corner seat , and while looking out the window, at the people going by, I sipped my coffee, and read a magazine. 

Feeling pretty good, and stable, I left and walked around the city for a while.  Then hopped on the #5 headed back toward home for the night, and in search of something to eat.  I found the Sports Bar, Met Dick, and we proceeded to watch NFL football.  By the end of the evening, we had watched 2 1/2 games, I’d had 4 red bulls & vodka, smoked some more, I mean drank some more Coffee, right in the sports bar, it was wild, and Dick picked up the check, (another Scavenger Hunt item) and gave me $20 euros, to remember him by and spend on my trip.

A great upside to my hostel overprice, and extremely cuts the cost of Amsterdam for the day.  I know this was a long one, but it was a full day!  One more day in Amsterdam – tomorrow night off to Bern, Switzerland!

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