The hordes of tourists, the smell of the canal water upon which we floated in our hostel, the houses standing four stories tall, the smoke drifting out from cigarettes, beers being sipped, music playing as a festival took place around us, Dutch people dancing in red, white and blue as they weaved through the crowds.
It might only be an hour from London, but Amsterdam is completely different to the city Lauren and I call home, everything from the vibe, the people, and the amazing atmosphere. It was my first time in Amsterdam, Lauren and I booked up a weekend trip to go visit Marjan and Patrick (who you might remember from my tales of Nicaragua) two months after our return home, we had planned for 32 hours of immersing ourselves into Dutch culture, and to be honest, I couldn’t wait!
Meeting up with Marjan early in the day we explored the city, wandering past the canals, over bridges as we caught up on our past adventures together, laughing at embarrassing stories and catching up under the hot European sun. As visitors to the city Marjan took us round to see beautiful old buildings, squares where people drank and smoked. We ended up in the tourist hotspot of Rembrandt Square for a drink and something to eat, as we watched the world buzz around us, it was great spending time with Margin, but there was someone else who was due to join our party, the ever hilarious, Patrick who was due to meet us at our adorable canal boat hostel for beer on the deck.
Our hostel, although out of Central Amsterdam was only a short walk out of the centre, we met up with Patrick in no time, it was so good to have part of the Casa-crew back together again, sitting on the dock of the boat we all caught up on what happened once we all dispersed from Casa De Olas, sharing somewhat hilarious tales of travels past.
A few hours passed before we decided to hit the streets of Amsterdam again, this time, Patrick was to show us the Red Light District and various other spots that we missed; we walked past the high-rise townhouses as Patrick and Marjan gave us a brief history of their city, with some somewhat fake fun facts thrown in for good measure. We got to the Red Light District as we weaved through alleyways past girls in windows smoking, doing their make-up and pouting at passers-by, the feeling of seeing women behind glass was horrible, like a vending machine full of girls. But, it is what it is, we moved on from there pretty sharpish and headed off into the city.
The night closed in on us as we started a bar crawl around the local areas of Amsterdam, we were joined by a friend of Patricks as beers flowed in various bars as we started to stumble over beautiful bridges, “look, a photo opportunity” Patrick said at every bridge as we made our way to another bar, it was a round trip that brought us back to Rembrandt Square where we headed to a bar before saying farewell to Patrick and his friend.
Our night was just getting started; Marjan and I were ready to dance as Lauren (who was suffering with a kidney infection – but still walked around the city all day and night – she’s a trooper) headed off back to our hostel.
Marjan and I decided to hit the clubs, the last time we danced together was for Eli’s birthday and had been one of the best nights out I’ve ever had, I couldn’t wait to hit the clubs with her again. We headed into one (I forget the name) at about midnight, it felt like we were only in there for a few hours before we made our way over to the second club of the night, of which, it felt like we were only in for ten minutes.
In both places, shots were downed, beers flowed easily as we danced non-stop, the music in the first club was typical cheesy Dutch music (I’m taking Marjan’s word on that because I didn’t understand a single song!), the second club which was larger catered for a much more tourist audience, it was your basic club music which you hear on any night out. Honestly, it felt like we had only been dancing and drinking for a few hours, however, when we left that second club we were caught with the rising sun. Marjan and I had danced ourselves through the night and into the next day.
I don’t remember much from the walk home, nor do I remember much from the night, but luckily for myself (and you) I didn’t forget that I had a blog post to write, so I took photos of the sunrise over Amsterdam on my way back to the hostel. I got back to the hostel about 7am, to find Lauren already awake and worrying (rightly, sorry about that Loz) about where I was, I mumbled something, before I collapsed onto my bed for a whole three hours sleep before check-out the next day.
Sunrise in Amsterdam
I had lost seven hours of my weekend that night to Amsterdam; but it was a lot of fun.
Coming up next, an actual blog post about Amsterdam, the city, not my shenanigans within the city.