Mid April Trip

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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

debord7
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Mid April Trip

Postby debord7 » Fri Apr 20, 4:35 pm

I was lucky enough to go to Amsterdam for the second time last week (13-15th of April) with my girlfriend.Seeing as I enjoy lurking on here and reading other peoples experiences I thought I would share a few of my own.
First off- getting there.Is it me or do KLM suck?It took over an hour for me to retrieve my luggage when we got there and when I got back to England they lost half the planes luggage.My bag was delivered the next day.A couple of months ago I flew with a budget airline (Air Berlin) to Helsinki.KLM could really learn some lessons from them about simple efficiency.Anyway at least the railways are good.I can still remember the excited feeling I had walking from the dark of central station to the bright sunshine of Amsterdam.
The weather for the whole trip was fantastic.Last year I went in March and it was freezing,so much so that it was close to being grey and unpleasant-I get enough of that in England!Anyway Ams really comes alive in good weather.Lots of the cafes and bars have outside seating and its perfect for exploring the canals or Vondelpark.My friend recommended that I go to Lost bar and although I didnt go in they have a seating area right in the window.Imagine sitting in the window display of a shop with the windows open ,smoking.
We stayed at Hotel Bellevue which although not smoker friendly is in a great location opposite Central Station and very close to the street with Barneys,Pink Floyd on etc.

We did the Rijksmuseun,Anne Frank and Van Gogh last time so this trip was going to be about chilling out.First Stop- Grey Area.Im sure that that place is shrinking.There were though a number of seats available,which I hear is a rarity.Probably because it was too nice a day to be sitting in there.We got some Annunaki and something ending in lope (I think it was Cannalope) from the friendly dutch budtender and walked down the street to Foodism.Its a nice cafe with good food - i had a veggie special pannini .It was very nice but it took ages to come and I was getting very tempted to go get a takeway from the sushi place opposite while I was waiting.We decided to go to Amnesia round the corner to start smoking.I had heard a lot of good things about the place but I wasnt feeling it on this occasion.The lady serving was very stoned-which is to be expected I suppose but offputting.Its like being served by a drunk person in a pub.I ordered a gram of morrocan hash and rolled up.Its probably not very strong hash but as I dont smoke at home it hit me HARD!My girlfriend was fine but the heat and dark atmosphere in the shop made me wanna leave quickly.We made an exit through the side door only to be looked at by two attractive ladies sitting in their underwear in the kamers opposite.I didnt know there is a red light disrict there and mixed with the hash it made for a surreal view.We walked down the gracht and sat stoned on a bench enjoying the view and the sun.It was quite funny sitting stoned on a bench with lots of people going past on canal tours taking pictures and staring.I dont know why but a lot of people on those trips looked very bored.Anyway after half an hour of meditating by the canal we got some unusual pizza things from a nearby bakery and went back to the hotel for a siesta.That night we went over to Zeedijk to a restuarant we went to last year Nam Kee.Very good Chinese food and the portions are massive so you are set up for a night of drinking/toking etc.We then went for the obligitory walk around the red light district.Id probably never use the services myself but I almost feel sorry for the girls and genuine punters who have to put up with lots of tourists wondering around slowly, gawping (lol).Once we had walked around for half an hour it began to lose my interest and we decided to go back to the area near the hotel for a smoke.We tried going in the Rokerij near The Doors but the seating was too uncomfortable so we walked around the corner to Siberie.Everyone has their favourite shops and Im pretty certain that this is going to be one of mine.Friendly staff,well lit comfortable seating and lots of cool magazines and art to check out.We tried the annunaki which was great.Mindful of my earlier experience I only had a small amout but it was a very serene high.We retreated to our hotel feeling great.

The next day we got up early and went to the Albert Cuypstraat market.We also went here last year and although I dont think there is anything worth buying its worth going for the bustling but relaxed atmosphere.We stopped for breakfast at this pseudo french crepe place and it was lovely.The decor is amusing (someone had cut typically french pictures out of magazines and stuck them on the wall) but the crepes were good.We then walked up to the Heineken Brewery.We thought about going in but 11 euro seems likes a lot to pay to be advertised to.Also my girlfriend doesnt drink so I would have had the six drinks to myself.I wouldnt mind normally but I can get a Heineken at home.
We decided to get out of Amsterdam and go to Haarlem.If you havent been its well worth a visit.The church at the grote market is worth the train fare alone.We sat on the market square drinking Westmalle triples watching people buy chips and mayo from a stall opposite.It was very busy though and I soon got tired of walking the many shops with my girlfriend.We walked back up to near the train station and stopped in at the Willie Wortels there.I had gone there for the nepalese temple ball having never had it before.Its very thin and black and oily and i wasnt sure if the method I had been told to use of rolling up little sausages of it was gonna work.It did and its a great smoke.The shop itself (once you get past the odd turnstile) is comfortable I loved the train style seats.
We left at what have been rush hour in England and I was dreading being stoned on a packed train.Luckily it was quiet and the other passengers looked the like the kind of people who probably indulged too so we relaxed and let the scenery drift by.

That night we went to the Rembrandtplein area which is in my opinion probably one of the most boring/touristy parts of ams.It has none of the madness of the rld or the beauty of the jordaan but we did get a nice Wok to Walk takeaway.We finished the night sitting outside The Doors.A young couple rode past with the girl sitting on the back of the bicycle."How romantic" exclaimed my girlfriend.I have to admit it was very romantic but I was secretly thinking how annoying I find the bicycles in amsterdam.

We spent our last day walking (so much so we could probably have done with a bicycle) around the shopping areas.Magna plaza is very dull btw + it struck me as very odd the nearby albert heijns doesnt take credit cards.We walked further west and made it to La Tertulia.Unfortunately it was closed but that area is gorgeous and it was nice to go out that way.
Sadly we picked up our bags from the hotel and made our way to Schipol ready for our flight home.
Overall it was a great trip-Haarlem is well worth a visit and Amsterdam really blooms in hot weather.I spent more money than I intended but that always happens on holiday.I will definetly be back next year or sooner if I can afford it.I would love to go futher west and I have never explored any of the areas in the east around the Zoo so I look forward to doing that.Whatever smoke I didnt finish I put in three seperate envelopes.The hash was easy as it just went in greeting cards but the weed stunk no matter how many layers.I had preprinted labels at home and bought the stamps from the tobacco desk at the albert heijns.I didnt expect any of the packages to get through to England but Im pleased to say they all did.

Birdman

Re: Mid April Trip

Postby Birdman » Fri Apr 20, 5:11 pm

debord7 wrote:Is it me or do KLM suck?


maybe it just sucks from England. It's always been great from NYC!


debord7 wrote:I have to admit it was very romantic but I was secretly thinking how annoying I find the bicycles in amsterdam.


Would you rather they were in cars/autos?

Good report. You should try riding a bicycle next time!

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Postby johnyjoe » Fri Apr 20, 5:26 pm

Great report....KLM is great from the US....
I concur about so many of your observations, especially about Rembrandtplein...yuk!


For your next trip you MUST rent a bike for the duration. You will then truly experience what it is like to be a part of the city as opposed to something foreign.

debord7
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Postby debord7 » Fri Apr 20, 5:32 pm

Its probably whoever handles the baggage at Schipol Im annoyed with.How can you forget to put half of a planes luggage on?

And as regards the bikes- I didnt mean it in a nasty way.Cycling is a healthy,environmentaly friendly way to get around.I just think there should be some more guidelines for the riders or at least more consideration shown to pedestrians.You see the cyclists riding on the pavements (sidewalk) and going over red lights.

This makes me sound like an old man I know.

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Postby Xanten » Fri Apr 20, 9:50 pm

Enjoyed reading your report ,Siberie a favorite of ours as well ...When KLM arrives from many North American Cities its often early AM , and Schipol is a breeze ...never a wait for luggage (well so far) ,would be maddening to wait for luggage for an hour ...so close yet so far ....

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Postby theguest » Thu Jul 05, 5:22 pm

nice report mate, I can sometimes get a bit para with the toking too, luckily several hundred later it rarely happens to me.
btw, did you address the envelopes to yourself and all got through? That's quite impressive 3/3!

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Postby hank » Fri Jul 06, 2:52 am

Sounds like a good visit, I'll be checking out La Tertulia myself in a couple of months. Thanks for the time, good read.


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