July 15, 2012

Amsterdam


Before I tell you all about my weekend in Amsterdam, let me first tell you about the "I amsterdam" sign. This sign is moved around Amsterdam, but what makes it such a big deal is that you never know where it'll be. It may be in a location for three days or three hours before it's moved, and each location is random and kept secret. We were so lucky to see it. It was in front of the library, which we could see from our hostel. As soon as we checked in, we darted over to the sign, and it's a good thing we did because no more than an hour later it was gone. Talk about lucky!

Claire, Brooke, Kristen, Ashley, Greg, Becca, and I took a night train to Amsterdam on Thursday, and we got there around lunch time on Friday. Despite our exhaustion we still mustered up enough energy to walk around the city and experience all that is Amsterdam. We walked for miles it seemed taking pictures and breathing in the cool Holland air. It was refreshing to get out of Berlin and see another part of Europe. When the sun started to set, we all headed back to our hostel, which was a boat, and relaxed for a few hours before venturing into the infamous Red Light District. We headed for this world known hotspot around 10pm, and oh my goodness... I don't have words to describe what we saw.

Obviously Amsterdam is known for its legal prostitution. I haven't seen so many basically naked women (and transvestites) in one area before in my entire life. It was definitely a culture shock. And let's talk about crowded. Our group could barely walk down the street because the sidewalks were so packed. And I'm pretty sure all of our mouths were open in awe the entire time we were there. Unfortunately, I couldn't get many pictures of the Red Light District. Between the prostitutes who were very anti-photographs and the sea of people on the streets, it was hard to pull out my big Nikon d70 and snap a picture.

Saturday we woke up early in hopes to visit the Anne Frank house, but sadly mother nature was not on our side. When we got to the house on Friday there was a huge line. And when I say huge, I mean it probably would have taken three or fours to actually see the attic. And Saturday it was pouring rain, so we just went to the train station and waited there for our train back to Berlin.

Our boat/hostel that we stayed on while in Amsterdam.

Despite the rain and being horribly underprepared for the weather, I had an amazing time in Amsterdam. We may have only been there for a little over 24 hours, but we did everything we wanted to do. It was a weekend trip to be remembered! And hopefully in the future I'll be able to go back and see the Anne Frank house.

Also, I've decided to break up the Amsterdam trip into two posts. Be sure to check back later for a photo diary of my time in the Netherlands.

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