Swin's diary 2009 Day one 17th June

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Swin's diary 2009 Day one 17th June

Postby Swin » Wed Jun 17, 9:54 pm

Great to be back in Amsterdam on visit 51 (I think)
Just in from the Cafe de Klos via the Gollem and I decided to make it just a brief report on day 1 as I am knackered and hoping for an early start tomorrow.
No problem this year about getting to the airport (Mrs Swin's very sexy mate gave me a lift and is meeting me at 2200 next Monday on my return!) or about getting to CS in time for the last Opstapper / Stop Go (the flight was an hour later so I missed it by miles not just the customary 5 minutes.)
Found a taxi driver willing to go to the Prinsengracht / Looiersgracht corner (for a change) then he charged me 15 euros! Anyway it saved what seems to be a longer walk every year as the years go by - over 40 years now since my first visit.
Wandered down to the Hoppe via 3 of the 9 streets as usual - not too many changes I'm pleased to say but a few empty shops although they seem to be outnumbered by new cafe bars and hideously expensive clothes shops.
Cafe de Klos as busy and as excellent as usual but noticeably more expensive I thought. Gollem too as superb as ever but its my first trip since the smoking ban and it was a pain, lots of people (including me) having to push their way out for a smoke in the alleyway but not allowed to take the beer outside with them as they have no terrace (what a farce) not a problem at the Hoppe of course so no real change involved there.
Apart from that the grass on the roof of the houseboat outside the hotel is longer than ever and the Westerkerk tower appears to be leaning more than last time (although that might have been the Westvleteren I suppose)
Otherwise its beautiful relatively unchanged Amsterdam, narrowly avoided a bike as soon as I left the hotel (still to get my 'Amsterdam' head on), nearly went arse over tit on one of those great holes in the pavement where some bugger has pulled up some of the bricks and the Prinsengracht looked as picturesque as ever at dusk.
Sadly no odd fellow travellers or local nutters to report yet but its early days.

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Postby Mike » Sun Jun 21, 11:09 pm

Have fun and watch out for those cyclers.

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