Well, the first thing to say is we have successfully made it to Berlin, an achievement in its self!
Amsterdam was everything that was to be expected & more! Safe to say we got more than we bargained for, what with us being completely oblivious to the fact that it was 'Gay Pride' weekend in Dam!
We arrived at the Hans Brinker Hostel with very little incident. Our flight was originally delayed but with a strong tail wind behind us, we actually arrived on time. After catching the train from the Airport to Central Station, we then used my trusty directions to seek out a tram to take us to the Brinker.
After checking in and grabbing a pint at the bar, we realised we were on to something good. Our room was typical of Hostel accomodation (I would have imagined!), bog standard bunks with little or no space to move, but, it would more than suffice for the next 3 nights. The bar area was spacious and more importantly, Heineken on tap as standard!
We then set off to do a little bit of exploring, visiting a few Cafes watching some street dancing. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we were ready to hit the hay.
Friday started off with a free breky, which didnt quite live up to expectation as rather than the full English that we were both hoping for, we ended up with a combo of bread, preserves and meat. Still, me and Max loaded up for the day and set about tracking down the Van Gogh Museum by foot.
After a 15 minute walk, we arrived at the Museum to explore the work of the great Van Gogh. I have to be honest, I am and never will be a great Art lover, but I think I speak for us both when I say that we were genuinely enthralled in the man behind the paintings. What most shocked was the fact that he died at the age of 37, and only painted for a period of 10 years before his premature death. The array of paintings were vast, and it took us around 3 hours to see all 4 floors (including a quick beer interval!).
After the Museum visit, we attempted to head back to the Hostel, but after attempting to seek out a shop for food, ended up lost. This would prove to be a running trend, but added to the experience as it meant that we got to explore, which after all, is what this trip is all about!
We eventually sought a route back to the hostel where we retreated for a couple of hours. After resting was complete, we met Max's friend Tim, who actually lives in Dam for a drink before strolling back in the late hours to the Brinker's 'Club'. I say 'Club' as the place was empty, not only Friday, but Saturday as well. We stayed for a drink as the barlady was hot before seeking our more exciting adventures, which included 10 Jager shots for €10 and about 5 pints.
After finally awakening at midday on Saturday, we aroused ourselves and set off by foot to the 'Heineken Experience'. We were both still feeling the effects of the night before, but though Hair of the Dog would be our saving grace! After walking up and down a nearby market for what seemed like days, we finally settled on a rather interesting conception of a 'Meatball' sandwich (you really needed to see it for it to be understood, and I only have an hour on the meter here so I won't waste my breath!)
Anyway, we eventually made it into the 'Brewry' and after going through the motions with the boring history part, sat down for our free beer! To be fair, what came before that was actually very interesting, and the '4D beer experience' certainly tested our stomach's!
Saturday evening was a fairly low-key affair as we prepared for an early start the next day to leave for Berlin, but Max did find time to return to see the lovely ladies of the night just one final time!
Sunday morning, and up before 8 to get some food down us before the walk to Central Station. We were fairly sceptical of the train times given to us at the station (there seemed to be some sort of conspiracy in Dam where by if directions were asked for, you would inevitably be sent packing in the complete opposite direction!) but we hopped on the train as instructed and after one change at nearby Hilversum, sat down with a few beers for the long-haul 6-hour trip to Berlin.
We arrived in Berlin ahead of schedule and had a decent amount of time to explore last night before heading out with a group of fellow Brits who are travelling anti-clockwise around Europe.
As i type, Max is just in the process of waking from the dead, so as you can imagine, a few too many jars were sunken!
Right, time up for now, but we will be in touch again soon!
Thanks for reading.
Steve & Max