The flight to Amsterdam last week was easy-breezy. It’s for this reason that my boyfriend and I said we will definitely be going back more than once. As soon as we arrived, we fell in love. We loved the bikes, the public transport, the leaves and pumpkins all around, the misshapen buildings, the walkways, and more.
The hotel, once we navigated the public transport and found it, was beautiful. Autumn leaves clung to the front, there was a giant pair of clogs in the entrance, and the receptionists were delightful. The room itself was a perfect size, had a good TV, and the bathroom was luxurious.
Anyone who has been to Amsterdam should say the same thing: there are bikes everywhere. Cycling through the city is an integral part of living. They have set bicycle lanes on every road and path. They even have traffic lights specifically for the bikes! They also love scooters.
What was wonderful and crazy was the bike parking spaces, bike racks all around, bikes chained to the rails on bridges, bikes being pulled out of the canal, and bikes being ridden onto their ferries!
Sadly, we didn’t ride the bikes ourselves. We had the opportunity to, but we did chicken out a bit. But we have every intention of going back, and then we will have to board a bike and experience Amsterdam from that point of view.
Not everyone goes to Amsterdam for the…high, but we did partake. We don’t smoke, so we had the edibles. On the first night, we tried space cakes. I have to say, it is both so cool and so strange that they have “coffee shops” which is purely for the selling of marijuana!
Anyway, the cakes actually tasted nice. We did get frustrated, though, because they took a long time to kick in. I think it was at least 2 hours before we felt any effects, and even then it wasn’t obvious. But once it did kick in, I was giggling for ages about things that really weren’t that funny! I was zoned into the TV, dry-eyed and absent-minded.
The next two tries after that were not as good though, sadly. And the lollies didn’t work, either. But we did get mad munchies, urging us to order Uber Eats for Dunkin Doughnuts! *dribble*
Day Two, we visited the Van Gogh museum and the Erotica museum – yes, two very different museums! This was one thing that I loved about Amsterdam: it’s just so odd! Everything that is taboo everywhere else is not taboo at all in their city. They have a museum for everything, too: bags and purses museum, cats museum, museum of prostitution, sex museum, erotica museum, Believe It or Not museum, Weed museum, oh and Van Gogh, MOCO and Rijks museum… Great artwork met by the strange and sexual – makes sense!
the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum was a fun, silly start to our museum exploration, and the Prostitution museum was our favourite. There was so much to learn, and getting an inside view of this work is truly…intriguing.
I Amsterdam sign
As we learned in the Prostitution museum, there are 290 red light windows in Amsterdam where sex workers work. When we first saw a sex worker standing in a window, it completely took us by surprise. We just turned a corner, and there she was swaying in front of us! I was taken aback but smiled none the less to show her I was OK with what she was doing.
After this, we saw many of them. They ranged from tall to short, old to young, pretty to not-so, and natural to cosmetically enhanced. Some people may find it weird that I was so OK doing this with my boyfriend – where he was obviously looking at semi-naked women who offered sex – but it was fine. I wasn’t thinking about Patrick at all, actually. I was thinking about these women. Were they OK? Was this a choice? Was it worth it for the money? Did they have normal lives despite doing a taboo job? How did they cope with being gawped at my strangers all day? Why do this?
But as a quirky “coffee shop” worker said, “you can do whatever you want, this is Amsterdam!”
Read part two here: Amsterdam Trip Part Two: New Sights