Trip Report 2003

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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Bohannon
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Trip Report 2003

Postby Bohannon » Thu Oct 23, 4:13 pm

Getting there:
Every good trip for me starts off with a nasty 8-10 hour plane ride. I have done this enough times to know that the best flight is the one you sleep through. Crap, on my way to the gate and no book to read. This is a major problem for me. I dash into the "put your hands up and pay" shop near the gate and grab a Clive Cussler, usually a good easy read. Not until I get on the plane do I realize that I have already read this one, arrrghh! One of my buddies who is on the same flight trades with me... I just couldn't generate any interest in a book about military academy life. Oh well, I know enough that most of life's problems can be solved with medication. I have some zzzzzzxanax for after "dinner". Do they ever serve anything other than rubber chicken or soft pasta? I usually ask for a vegetarian, kosher or Asian meal because you stand a better chance of getting something edible; I forgot.
Arrive at Schiphol in a light drizzle at 11:30. We all take a moment to "hit the fly" then grab some €s and head for the cabstand. I never take a cab but as there are three of us to share the cost and we are staying in a house in the Jordaan (lots of schlepping) we go for it. 10€ each including tip and we are delivered to Lauriergracht 9. By the way, I noticed something that may be cultural... when I pronounce Lauriergracht I put the accent on the "Laur". It seems to me that Americans tend to accent the first syllable. In Holland it is usually the second or third (I could be wrong, just an observation). It is pronounced "LaurIERhawkct" or something like that, LOL. Tom, the owner was there to meet us, an exchange of € and keys, a few simple instructions and the house was ours.

The House:
Citymundo #405. This house was built in the 17th century. It is a typical canal house. There was a print on the wall of a 19th century painting of this very house and several of its neighbors by George Heindrick Brettineir (sic). It was a few steps down to the front door. The ground floor consists of a large dining room (with a piano no less) and a kitchen across the back. Because of the few steps down when you look out the double windows on this ground floor you feel like you are getting your feet wet in the canal, which is about 12' away. It had almost everything that we needed. A boom box for sounds, a dishwasher, oven/range and refrigerator, no washer and dryer though. Up the typically steep steps to the first floor where there is a bedroom in the back (mine) which has a utility closet with a sink in it, a "toilet" (let me explain here; the house is listed by Citymundo as three bedrooms and one bath but both the first and second floors have a 3'X3'6" box containing just a commode. Trust me, don't bother bring anything to read unless you can paste it to the door and don't get up to fast or you might knock yourself out on said door.) Anyhow, back to the first floor.... the front was a large living room with plants, two leather sofas, various cabinets and a TV. The view was spectacular. So cool to sit in that room, either on the couch or on the window ledge, and watch people, cars and boats pass by a few feet below. It was a very quiet street; more boat traffic than cars! The second floor contained another "toilet" a main bedroom with two beds and a spacious bathroom. The only complaint here is that the shower didn't work and the shower "thingy" on the bath tub needed some work, oh yeah the total wattage of electric bulbs in that bathroom could not have exceeded 40W (three lights). The top floor had another bedroom with two beds. The four of us were very comfortable there and the house could hold a lot more. There was a closet with a few spare mattresses in it.

The Neighborhood:
Hang in there I promise I will get to the ganja and RLD soon, LOL. Our house was a mere four buildings from the confluence of Lauriergracht and Prinsengracht. Five blocks to the right got us to Leidsestraat; three blocks to the left got us to Rozengracht. At first I was worried that we might get tired of long trips for supplies etc. but we soon discovered that we were in a very self-contained neighborhood. Two blocks to the west was Elandsgracht and Johnny Jordanplein (he was a much loved/hated Amsterdam folksinger I think). On this plein there was an A.H., a laundry, a very nice Internet access, cafes, etc. etc. One block further was La Teuterla coffeeshop. Another nice feature was listening to the bells of Westerkerk at night, what a great way to fall asleep! Needless to say we grew very fond of "our" neighborhood. I was usually the early riser (pre noon, lol) and made a habit of doing a little wake 'n bake then taking a cuppa cappa to the bench at Prinsengracht to watch Amsterdam come to life. The sun rising over the old buildings, parents riding their children to school on bicycles and the boats gilding by were greatly enhanced by the peppery smell of leaves turning in the clear crisp autumn air.
We usually walked the three blocks to Rozengracht (once a canal thus "Gracht" not "straat") and hopped a tram for a quick one or two stop ride to Dam Square or Centraal station. A tip for first timers: Get a strippenkart, 6.20€ at any tobacconist (more like a bodega) or at A.H. and use the trams. The blocks are long in Amsterdam and the paving is uneven. You will be doing plenty of walking so use the trams on routes that you frequently travel. Save the feet for something new. On the good news front it appears that you no longer have to worry about how to use the strippenkart as every tram that I took on this trip had on loading at the rear door where there was a booth. Just hand over the kart and tell the conductor where you intend to get off; he or she will stamp it for you. I think that you can also pay with cash but the strippenkarts are a certainty and are easy to get.

Days one and two:
Well a good part of day one was taken up by the arrival. After we got the keys we took off for De Kuil to meet our other buddy who had a later flight from NYC. I gave him pretty explicit instructions on how to get there from Schiphol. Walking into De Kuil made me feel like Norm walking into cheers (physical similarities aside, LOL). Everyone didn't shout "BOhannon!" but it felt like they did. I bought a couple of grams of 420 weed and another gram of 420 skuf and trusted the dealer to vaporize some for us. Needless to say we got immediately wasted on the combination of great weed, a long flight and the exhilaration of being back in Amsterdam. While "Art-Usamak" headed up Damrak to hit an ATM my other buddy and I decided that it would be a great idea to go to the corner of Oudebrugsteeg and Damrak to await the arrival of our fourth member. Of course he made it by us (we were in pretty useless condition) but we found him at the bar in De Kuil a few minutes later. The rest of the first day was spent settling in at the house, buying supplies at A.H. and generally recharging from the travel. We were all slow to rise on Friday. After a "W & B", massive amounts of D. Egberts finest and breakfast it was after noon. We headed out to walk to Leidseplein for our scheduled meeting for the canal boat ride. We arrived around 13:00 and immediately recognized the two people sitting out front as probable "Channelites"; yep it was "Sea" and Kurt. I went inside to let them know that we were here. They knew all about us and said to just wait for our captain who would be there shortly. I purchased a fine Afflingem ale (on tap) in its appropriate glass and proceeded outside to get acquainted. A few moments later Trekkinhil and Bill arrived. We met our captain, not as friendly as the last one we had but a nice young fellow. We followed him over to the south side of Linbaansgracht where the SNBC boats are. He pointed out their "new" covered boat that they are in the process of restoring. Oh, I didn't mention that Sea told us that it had been raining pretty steadily during the previous week but, as I predicted, the sun broke through the clouds just prior to departure and we had azure blue skies for the rest of our visit (thank you weather gods). It was explained to us that the SNBC could not provide "guided tours" but that the captain would answer any questions that we had to the best of his ability. He also explained that they could not charge a fee but a "donation" of about 10€ plus a little something for him would be appreciated. I think that they live in fear of the large canal tour companies. He asked us where we wanted to go and we basically told him (nod to Trekkinhil) "out there somewhere". So we boldly went. I am not sure what we were smoking on the boat but I remember that it was good! I think that a good time was had by all. When we returned Trekkinhil, Bill, Sea and Kurt for various bullshit reasons (lol) all bowed out of the scheduled dinner at Kantil and de Tijger. We repaired to the Rookies for beer smoke and very badly played pool.
After saying our goodbyes my buds and me headed over to K&T a bit earlier than our 19:00 reservation, cancelled that one and were seated right away. The meal was fantastic! The only down note was that Spuistraat; usually one of my favorites was completely torn up. After dinner we headed to the RLD. Hours of aimless walking and gawking ensued (no comments here on any other activities even though the names have been changed to protect the guilty!). Then, Mr. "I've been here lots of times and really know my way around" proceeded to take my party in a direction that was 180º from where we should have been going, northeast instead of southwest, sigh. When I finally figured out where we where (on PrinsHendrikkade to the east of CS) one of our less stoned and more sage members suggested a cab. With my tail firmly tucked 'tween my legs and feeling like a fool I heartily agreed. A few moments later we were home.

Next: The arrival of Otis from Utrecht.

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hank
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Postby hank » Thu Oct 23, 4:50 pm

Sounds like a great start to Amsterdam, the Citymundo apt sounds great. Looking forward to the next installment, thanks for sharing, i really enjoyed it.

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Postby ScoobieSnack » Thu Oct 23, 4:58 pm

Great Read Bo, makes me look forward to our Trip in Jan even more

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Postby LaTristesseDurera » Thu Oct 23, 5:18 pm

Sounds like an extremely promising start... I'm glad you went to Kantjil and De Tiger, as you probably remember, I was lukewarm about it, but I'd like to know what you and your friends thought. Did everyone think it was fantastic? Perhaps if I didn't come from a city with a multitude of Asian restaurants, but I found it a bit too 'generic Asian' as opposed to being uniquely Indonesian.
There did seem to be a lot of local (Dutch) people there, but that's really not as good a sign as people might think. After all, a Chinese tourist in NY looking for a good restaurant might see Denny's or Applebee's and think 'This must be a great American restaurant, it's full of Americans.'
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loved the boat!

Postby sea » Thu Oct 23, 5:44 pm

Great report, BO! Looking forward to many future installments.

Just wanted to say again that the boat ride was a blast! It was our last day in Amsterdam (that's why we skipped out on dinner--we'd left all our souvenir shopping, etc., till the last minute. Lame, I know), and it was the perfect way to spend it. Even the weather was (relatively) great!

As for what we smoked on the boat, we brought along (and finished) a few grams of super silver haze and NL5 Mist haze, both from Greenhouse, and some snow white from Chocolata. I know there was much more than that consumed, tho... Good thing there's lots of pix to refresh my memory.


Sea

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Bohannon
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Postby Bohannon » Thu Oct 23, 5:47 pm

I thouroughly enjoyed the food at K & T but I will say that I took the tribe to another place that I have been several times before and they all agreed that they liked it better. I can never remember the name, I even took a card this time but lost it. The name is something like "Sarandati". If you walk past the Park Hotel on Stadhouderskade it will be just a few doors down, right actross from the canal boat launch. The decor is very Indonesian as is the music. They serve the food on a metal heated tray in the center of the table in small diamond shaped dishes arranged like a flower. A very nice experience.
Pax

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Postby foxiehaha » Thu Oct 23, 6:47 pm

Mmmmm great! I really enjoyed that Bo, takes me back to the summer. I'm glad the weather was okay for you, the Gods were looking down and smiling. Looking forward to more.

Love Foxie.x

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Postby moe. » Thu Oct 23, 6:59 pm

A show of hands for everyone that wants to rent that Citymundo place after that awesome description of it and the neighborhood. How much did that place go for a night anyway?

I did the same thing on my 2nd trip over, it had been 4 years but I felt I knew my way around well enough and first night there after cruising the RLD for a while I started back to Leidseplein only to end up a couple miles to the east on Stadhauserskade, at least there was noone to give me any crap about it as that was a solo trip.

Nice read Bo, looking forward to the rest.

moe.

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Postby Bohannon » Thu Oct 23, 8:51 pm

The cost for four worked out to about 45€ per night per person. Half of the least I have ever paid prior for a hotel room the size of a refrigerator box!
Pax

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Postby LaTristesseDurera » Fri Oct 24, 1:28 am

Did you go to Coffeeshop Johnny (on Elandsgracht probably the closest one to you, apart from maybe Paradox) or Flower Power (on Rozengracht)?
Those are two hidden gems that I discovered on recent trips.

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Postby Bon Bon Billy » Fri Oct 24, 9:11 am

Thanks for the report and I'm looking forward to the next installments. I'm getting fired up for my own venture in 43 days.

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Postby Bohannon » Fri Oct 24, 4:04 pm

LTD, I didn't notice Coffeeshop Johnny in spite of the number of times I walked that street. Somehow that doesn't surprise me. I have to tell you that hanging in coffeeshops is not my main reason for visiting Holland. After a few purchases and the "sample bags" that Otis brought us from Utrecht we had plenty to smoke. We did a lot of smoking at "home" and usually visited coffeeshops to 1) see a place that people have mentioned a lot or 2) rest our tired dogs or 3) to meet up with people. I also noticed but did not stop at a small shop called "Bilbo" (I think) on Hazenstraat, one block from our house. Visiting this shop, along with lots of other stuff, are among the things that I didn't get to on this trip.
Pax

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Postby LaTristesseDurera » Fri Oct 24, 5:01 pm

BOhannon wrote:LTD, I didn't notice Coffeeshop Johnny in spite of the number of times I walked that street. Somehow that doesn't surprise me. I have to tell you that hanging in coffeeshops is not my main reason for visiting Holland. After a few purchases and the "sample bags" that Otis brought us from Utrecht we had plenty to smoke. We did a lot of smoking at "home" and usually visited coffeeshops to 1) see a place that people have mentioned a lot or 2) rest our tired dogs or 3) to meet up with people. I also noticed but did not stop at a small shop called "Bilbo" (I think) on Hazenstraat, one block from our house. Visiting this shop, along with lots of other stuff, are among the things that I didn't get to on this trip.
Pax


Coffeeshop Johnny, as the name implies, is right at the Johnny Jordaanplein. If you were to look at the face of the statue of Johnny Jordaan then turn 90 degrees to the right, you would see it.
I have never 'hung there' myself, but I found it was a great place for cheap purchaes of very good wares, especially when it was one of the closest to our hotel (The Pulitzer). I should add that most of my coffeeshop recommendations are not for a place to 'hang,' more the quality of the purchases.

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Nice, real nice...

Postby LastHamlet » Fri Oct 24, 5:52 pm

Dam Nice report Bo. Nice apartment (I agree with Moe, dam nice neighborhood) (My hand is up...)
Hey, You even met several channelites.
Wow, I only got the rubber pasta and the soft chicken on the plane, I am jealous.. I sure would have like that rubber chicken...
Killer Report BO... Way to go... Lot better than what I had, and a better speller to boot...

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Postby Bohannon » Fri Oct 24, 6:02 pm

Thanks LH but a better speller feller I am not! Two words: "spell check" LOL
Pax

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Postby TrekknHil » Fri Oct 24, 8:33 pm

You totally left out our meeting on your first day...your first 3 vaporizer bags...DeKuill...ringing a bell????

I hate being forgetable :(

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Postby Bohannon » Fri Oct 24, 10:42 pm

Seee... I told you that stuff knocked me out, LOL Sorry I disremembered that, who else was there? I guess that's why they call t "dope" LOL.

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Postby TrekknHil » Sat Oct 25, 10:07 am

It was just me and Bill. I can understand "disremembering" Bill but, me? Come on! Dope huh? LOL...those vap bags and the 420 haze will get ya!

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Postby running wild » Sat Oct 25, 1:12 pm

Thanks for the awesome trip report. And... I've done several of those heading east, west, south or north when I should have done a 180. In the end it's the awe shit and back track. It works if I keep in a straight line. If I start turning at this block and that then it's like spin the wheel and walk 40 paces. Glad you all had fun and hope to meet up with you and the rest in A'dam if the future. Running Wild

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Postby Old Hippie Dave » Thu Dec 22, 5:35 pm

NOW..................thisis wat icallgood writeing........keep up thegoodwork
Last edited by Old Hippie Dave on Thu Dec 22, 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bohannon
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Postby Bohannon » Thu Dec 22, 6:03 pm

Old Hippie Dave wrote:NOW..................this is wat i call good writeing........keep up the good work


Bumpin DA!!!

PaXXX


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