Today was a very long day of travel. Allison, Julie, Patty, Karen, and I left our flat around 10am to catch the tube to Liverpool. Then, we had to get on the Stanstead Express to Stanstead airport. The flight was with Easy Jet on a cute little plane, and it took only 40 minutes! I had more legroom on this flight than I did on the way to London, which was nice. I looked out the window for awhile and saw the British coast, and then we were above the clouds, and then I saw the flat, green fields of Holland. From Shipnol we had to take a train to Centraal Station and then a tram to our hostel, which was a ten minute walk from the tram stop. Finally, at 5pm, we had arrived! We stayed at the Stayokay hostel, right on the edge of Vondelpark. Vondelpark is a large, beautiful park, but it's popular in the summer, and it was unfortunately too cold to enjoy on this trip. Our hostel was in an old chalet, and everytime I walked up to it I felt like I was about to enter a ski lodge and then hit the slopes. We were able to buy discount tickets and postcards, the staff was very friendly, and there was also a bar and cafe and free breakfast! Not bad for 20 euro a night. I highly recommend this hostel. We were starving at this point, so after getting settled we hopped on the tram and got off a few stops away. We went to an adorable Italian restaurant for pizza. The service here was wonderful too, and it wasn't expensive! Then, we went to the Red Light District. My parents told me not to go here, so of course it was the first place I went. It's really not a dangerous place...on a Saturday night it's crawling with tourists and young people. I wouldn't recommend going down side alleys or the outskirts of the district, though. I won't go into detail, but there are all kinds of shows and women in red lit windows wearing little clothing. It's unreal because you won't see this anywhere else in the world...well you may, but it wouldn't be the same. It's not anywhere I wanted to stay after seeing it, so we walked around the corner and stopped in a little cafe. A group of boys started to walk in, but then they left and said "we wanted to sit with you girls, but there is no room." So we got up and left with them. They were 6 Isralei boys on holiday...Edan, Haveed, Hulie, Thom, and I don't remember the others. We walked around talking with them for awhile, and then we found a quiet bar with a big table in back. We sat there talking and playing a card game called Idiot, which was actually a lot of fun. Then, we got on the tram and went to Leidsplein (Leid-shh-pline, the only dutch word I picked up) which was actually our tram stop for the hostel. Leidsplein is a lively square with several bars and the comedy act Boom! Chicago...a small touristy area. We walked around (it was hard finding a place big enough for ten people) and then ended up at the Bulldog bar. I had read in my guide book that this was a cheap bar, which was a complete lie, unless you're getting the cheapest beer. We sat upstairs and I talked to Haveed for the most part. In Israel, they have to serve three years in the army before going to college. He is in his last year, and works as a photographer for the army. I guess I was imagining crawling around in camoflague, but I suppose it makes sense that there are all kinds of jobs one could do in the army. He plans on working as a photographer/journalist, and since I was the photo editor on the high school staff, we talked for awhile about our common interest. It was late at this point, and I was incredibly tired, so we walked back to our hostel from the Bulldog and went to sleep.