Finally! My Amsterdam Entry!
Sorry I haven't posted this yet - I haven't had any time. I've been trying to get caught up on sleep and homework and I realized that I've been neglecting my blog. This past weekend (Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon) Adam, Steve, Laura Allison and I went to Amsterdam. I loved Amsterdam - it was an incredible city. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. We arrived in the city around 4 and went to our hostel, The Flying Pig Uptown (The boys stayed in the flying pig downtown for 2 nights because of booking issues but we all stayed together saturday night at Uptown.) After checking/settling in we went down to the boy's hostel and went out to dinner - tomato soup, frites (french fries) and wine. Delicious and just what we needed - it was a bit expensive however, a problem we would continue to encounter. We then set off exploring and walked ALL over Amsterdam. We weren't really headed anywhere in particular we just ran around and looked at all the neighborhoods and visited lots of cool clothing/shoe stores. We walked through the red light district which was an interesting experience. Amsterdam was interesting in part because of the fact that there are so many things that are allowed there that we think of as illegal in other parts of the world, drugs and prostitution being the two main ones. Smoking marijuana is as normal as smoking a cigarette in Amsterdam. I was amazed at the range of people we encountered in coffee shops (the name for shops that sell and allow you to smoke 'grass' as the locals refer to it). A lot of the time we went into coffee shops just to see what they looked like because a lot of them were really pretty. Anyway. We returned to our hostel around 12:30 and went to bed preparing ourselves for an early day on Friday morning.
Friday morning we woke up around 8, went and got breakfast in the hostel (I made a sandwich for lunch too which saved me about €12) and then met the boys at their hostel. We walked over to the Anne Frank House (got really lost) and took a fantastic self guided tour. The Anne Frank House was really cool - they did a really nice job preserving it and making sure that it was respectful and not touristy at all. The only thing I was disappointed by was the fact that the diary was a copy because they were preserving the original. We then went to the most expensive lunch place ever where the food was supposedly incredible (the roommates were satisfied) but I just ate my sandwich which was DELICIOUS. We then went to Electric Lady Land which I explained in my photo album of the Amsterdam trip. I opted out of the €5 tour and instead wandered around on my own which was so worth it. We then split up with the boys and went back to our hostel. I took a much needed shower and then we all napped for half an hour. We then went to a cheap Pizza restaurant and Allison bought the three of us dinner. It was very nice. We walked to the Van Gogh Museum which is open late on friday nights and met up with the boys there. I really enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum, it was set up really well and they had a really large selection of his work. We then went back to the hostel and had a drink at the bar in the basement. We then decided to go out to a bar and we found one called Pirate Bar. It was basically a crappy, college student dance club but we had a really fun time.
Saturday was a rather slow day. We had to check out of our room on the 4th floor and into a room in the basement because we were moving to be with Adam and Steve who were joining us at the flying pig uptown. The boys wanted to go to a giant playground outside the city they had heard about and the girls wanted to shop. Allison wasn't feeling too well and we were all exhausted after walking around for 2 days straight so we cut the shopping pretty short - good because none of us had money to spend either. We hung out at the hostel until 4 when we met the boys at the Rijksmuseum but we didn't really meet them due to a missed connection - and not having cell phones there was nothing we could do. So the three of us girls went back to the hostel and read our books for a while. It was actually really nice. We then got "toasti's" from the bar (grilled cheese sandwiches that are very popular here) and sat at a table and talked. We were joined by about 6 Australian guys and one guy from California. They insisted that we celebrate Australia day with them and so we all had a few drinks. We then decided to go out since it was a saturday night and visit a dance club called "the escape." I was skeptical because it was €15 to get in but it ended up being really fun.
Sunday we checked out of our hostel at 11 and got on a train and a bus back to our castle where we have spent the last two days resting and reading and going to class. I'm about to go do a wash so I have clothes to take to Venice. We leave for Venice tomorrow night and return Sunday at midnight.
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