Been a little while since one of these so this may be a bit long. Internet in my Frankfurt hostel was non-existent and there was no time in Amsterdam to get one out but with this brilliant hostel internet (Grand hostel, Berlin) I want to get back to one entry a day.
So let me trace my memory back to Thursday night when I last signed out. That evening was fairly quiet, I went and got some dinner, some weed and a pint and then strolled around. I was in a bit of an unsociable mood and wasn't keen on spending too much money on having a mental night so just ended up going back to my room at around midnight.
Around 2hrs sleep and then all my room mates come in from their night out. This might seem annoying, but it wasn't and I actually found out they're a really cool bunch of lads. They were apologetic but I genuinely didn't mind. They're in Amsterdam on a holiday. I fully understand and in a way, want, them to be mashed at 2am. I found out that night that all 9 other people in that room knew each other and all came from a small village in Scotland. I ended up going out with them on the Friday night but first the day...
...woke up and got some breakfast - "American breakfast" which is scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast, bacon and sausages. The only thing I had left on my checklist was to visit the Amsterdam ArenA (Ajax's home stadium) so I got the Metro to the stadium and had a wonder around the outside, the megastore and some local (fairly large) department stores. These shops would be great for us in England, everything you need or want under one or two roofs. Brilliant if you lived nearby and they were actually pretty nice to just walk around.
The stadium itself was what I expected. One picturesque main stand but the rest is just a great white wall with Ajax's colours on it. Basically the same for every stadium, the best bit is inside. I did walk around further out and came across what seemed to be Ajax's supporters club. Just a small alley with lots of graffetti, and (what during a matchday would be) supporters bars and hotdog/burger stands. The graffetti was all pro-Ajax but was quite hooligan orientated aswell with things like "Ajax ultras" written. Got some cool photos but if I'd been taking pictures on a matchday, I'd probably get my head kicked in.
The rest of the day saw me head back to central Amsterdam, check out the Vondelpark and Leidseplein areas of Amsterdam. The former is a large park with lots of cyclists, joggers and groups of people smoking. A Amsterdam version of New York's Central Park. The latter area is full of bars and restraunts. Here I saw some chess games being played, one of which the board was painted on the ground and had large chess pieces.
The evening saw me go out with all the Scottish guys in my room. Had a really great night, I think, but I can't blog about it as I can't remember it! How it should be.
Next morning I woke up still drunk and slightly hungover and only just made my train to Frankfurt. Here I had a little run in with a "police officer". Asking, just me, to give him my passport and train ticket for him to check. For many reasons I didn't think the guy was genuine. I thought he was a scam. I'd heard stories of people pretending they're police officers on trains when they're not and conning people off something. He was asking me if I had any drugs on me and a sniffer dog was coming through the train. Just because I'm young, have a backpack and a cap on - that makes me a drugs trafficker apparently. In the end the situation sorted itself, I got my passport back and he went on his way as did I but to this day I do not know if he was genuine or not. If he was (or if he wasn't in fact) he was a complete crank and just strengthened by hatred for some police. Too much power. They shouldn't be able to just stop people like that. They're there to protect us and that, in my opinion, should be where there power ends.
I got to Frankfurt and easily found my hostel and checked in (I've realised best thing to do in finding a hostel, get a map of the city in the train station and then you're sorted if you have an address saved on your phone). Had a stroll around the main city sights. Some if it is really beautiful with a nice river, bridges, cathedrals and squares full of traditional German restraunts and pubs. One shopping centre had a lookout section where you could see the skyline so I did that. The rest of the city is full of skyscrappers and not much to do. I had a early night but I did walk around the Red Light District at around 7pm, seemed quite dodgy and unfriendly compared to Amsterdam.
On to today and I arrived in Berlin around 4pm after a 4 hour train journey. Already I feel like I am going to have a great time here. Even the train station is a sight by itself! In order to get to my hostel I had around a 30 minute walk which included me passing the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. This place is so impressive and humbling. I could feel the history of it so clearly - unlike anything else I've experienced. I can't wait to explore it properly.
My hostel is without doubt the best I've been at so far. It's rooms are huge, great security system, brilliant internet facilities and the staff are great! It's just a shame that the toilets/showers are down the corridor and the actual hostel location is slightly away from the "best" sights. But for only around €20 a night, this is without doubt the best.