Chiqui's Amsterdam Adventure

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

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Chiqui
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Chiqui's Amsterdam Adventure

Postby Chiqui » Sat May 29, 4:55 pm

Amsterdam at first sight
As my train approached Centraal Station, I could feel the tightness in my throat. 6 months I have waited to see this place. Every thing written in the forum is true about the station….it is CRAZY. I had no problem finding my bearings though and getting out and finding the taxi line. When I was in the comfort of my hotel room, I looked out the window and just watched in wonder at the wonderful canal view, so many people walking or biking, the city so vibrant and alive.

Biggest shock
I made a few local calls contacting some friends from the Channels chat room. Only made one long distance call for a short duration. So imagine my shock when I got dinged 35 euros for calls made from my hotel room! This is sure one thing that was never mentioned in the forum.

Bikes
I can’t believe my eyes, so many bikes in one city. The best sight would have to be the woman in a mini skirt, cell phone in one hand, the other hand steering the bike…I was amazed!
Walking along the canal I see one of the bikes, its front wheel bent out of shape and I’m thinking…now how did that person ride that! I see super old, trashy bikes with locks more expensive than the bike and I can’t help but laugh.
I was on the tram once heading back to the CS when the driver ran over a bike. Gave me a heart attack! Here I am having visions of road kill, a bloodbath. We were all told to get off the bus. As I walked out I tried to brace myself for the worse. All I saw was this bike with the front wheel completely underneath the wheel of the tram. The rider was just standing there all nonchalant about the whole episode. Only in Amsterdam!

Canals
IMHO, the canals of Amsterdam is what gives the place its charm. I just loved taking a canal boat cruise. Looking at the buildings from that vantage point…magic.

Coffee Shops
I haven’t smoked in a very, very loooooooooooong time but when in Rome…errrr, Amsterdam.
De Kuil – Nice, classy joint. Only took 3 puffs of a weak strain…made me sleepy. The company was exceptional though. Thank you Stems for being my guardian angel on my first try in ages.
Dolphins – License revoked so only had drinks here. The ambiance is great though, love the murals.
Old Church – Nothing spectacular about the place other than it being in the RLD. Second try smoking…BANG! I was flying high from the red wine at supper time. The weed made me mellow, not that anything is wrong with that.
Rookies – Visited here my first night in Amsterdam. I had wine as I didn’t want to get stoned on my first night. Nice atmosphere.

Day trip
Although it’s towards the end of the season, Keukenhof is still a wonderful place to visit. Can’t say I’ve been to Amsterdam and say I didn’t go to Keukenhof!
For anyone considering a day trip, I highly recommend visiting Haarlem. Such a short trip by train and you’re there. The shopping here is better than Amsterdam. Got to see the St Bavo and Frans Hals museum. It was a beautiful sunny day and I got to sit outside and people watch while I had a wonderful lunch with red wine. Life couldn’t be better!

Dutch people
Ok, so I’m short, just 5’ tall. So I only have one thing to say about Nederlanders…very tall, skyscraper tall, did I mention tall? With that said, I must say they are an attractive bunch of people.

English spoken
So why did I bother learning some dutch words? Everyone I had contact with can speak English. EVERYONE! Bravo to Nederlanders for being multilingual.

Free Concert
Free…I love that word. And boy did I ever get a treat watching the free concert at the Concertgebouw! If you are there on a Wednesday, make a point of going to it. The acoustics in the place was phenomenal.

Internet Access
I am impressed with how many places you can go to for internet access. Reasonable prices as well.

Meeting Channelites
Thank you Bear and your better half Jane, Kees, Stems and Winnie for meeting me. You have made my Amsterdam experience from just being great to THE BEST!

Most fun
Partying at the Bourbon Street Blues Club on jam session night. All the performers who went on stage were superb! Danced most of the night, which I love to do. Thanks Kees for inviting me to the club. You play a mean keyboard! Thanks Stems for coming with me. Next time I'm going to try harder to get you to dance!

Motorcycle ride
Thank you Kees for taking me for a ride on your bike through the streets of Amsterdam. You are like a cab driver on a bike! I haven’t been on a motorcycle since I was a teenager and being on one in Amsterdam was a rush.

Museums
Only got a chance to see the Van Gogh Museum. The open edition art prints does not do justice to the original works. Try to see museums when you’re not sleepy though. I’m sure I would have appreciated the place a lot more if I was wide awake.

Negotiating stairs.
One word…STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!
Let’s not call them stairs anymore. Ladders, now that’s a better word!

Restaurants
The choice of places to eat is just phenomenal. It’s like eating in a different country every day. I did go to Italy after leaving Amsterdam. No more Italian food for awhile after 11 days of eating it.

Schiphol Airport
Now this is one well planned/designed airport. Signs are clearly marked. Had no problems finding the lockers to store my luggage. The location of the ticket office and train spoors were so easy to find. It is huge though. My return trip back from Rome to Vancouver I had 1 ½ hours in between. Thought that was plenty of time. Not so! It’s one hell of a walk from section C to section F and I just barely had time to make a bathroom stop, buy booze at the duty free, and clear customs.

Walking and getting lost
Every one who said this was a very compact city and is accessible by foot is right on the money. I just loved walking the streets, looking into shops, looking at the buildings and sights, and most of all, people watch. It was even fun getting lost and finding my way back to where I was originally going to go. Watch out for them dog poop though! I do have to say, because of the forum, I didn’t get run over by one bike during the whole trip…not even a close call!

Walking at Night
The trams stop after a certain time. Good thing they do so I could experience walking the city at night. Watching the dark waters of the canals glisten from the lights. Another magical moment.

Weather
The weather was ok, at least it didn’t rain. Only one sunny day when I went to Haarlem. But the weather was never a factor. Amsterdam is a wonderful place no matter what.

I can see why so many people fall in love with the place, for whatever their reasons. Didn’t get to see everything on my list, and it was a short list…so Amsterdam…I’LL BE BACK!!!

Thank you to everyone who has been so helpful to me in preparing for this trip!

Chiqui

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Postby a bollocks » Sat May 29, 5:06 pm

GO Cheeky! Go Cheeky!


Wonderful trip report. Try getting stoneder and the bikes will come AT YOU! LOLOL.

I am sooo glad you had a great time. Amsterdam offers sooo much more than just smoke. uuuuhhhhhhhhh... I cain't think of any right now.. but THEY'RE THERE! I assure you.



Thanks for your excellent scribings!


WOOT! (ok a double WOOT-WOOP!) for my lil' 5-ft Cheeky

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Excellent report

Postby StemsnSeeds » Sat May 29, 7:55 pm

So glad you had a great time, Chiqui, but I must warn you that getting Stems to dance is no easy task without a 12 pack handy... :-)

Great report, thanks for the post.

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Postby sweek » Sat May 29, 7:58 pm

Very nice... too bad you didn't know that calling from your hotel room would be expensive... I do think it has been mentioned before, somewhere at least... I found this to be true in any country really.

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Postby DutchBarbie2000 » Mon May 31, 2:30 am

Loved the report and so glad you had an awesome time!!!!

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Postby BlueBerry » Mon May 31, 2:47 am

Great Report Chiqui,, glad you made it back safe.


I'm sure we'll catch up soon in the chat,,


BlueBerry

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Postby moe. » Tue Jun 01, 8:30 pm

Chiqui, I really enjoyed reading your report. Very concise, no beating around the bush. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, too bad you didn't get to see the Amsterdam Historical Museum, I found it to be much more interesting than the art museums, don't get me wrong though I enjoyed them too.

moe.

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Simply Well Put.

Postby LastHamlet » Fri Jun 04, 8:40 pm

Very good Report Chiqui, very good indeed.
It seems that good friends and fellow Channelites do make the adventure a world better.
Glad to see there were no Bike rundowns... Well, other than the one that got run over, at least you didn't.
I have had such a thing happen and it is quite a trip.
Enjoyed the read and so glad it turned out well.
Best Regards,
LH

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Postby Otis » Sat Jun 05, 1:03 am

Nice report Chiqui, brought back a lot of memories for me.

Otis

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Postby Mrs Bean » Mon Jun 07, 3:44 pm

Yay, Chiqui!!

I'm so glad to hear what a wonderful time you had in Amsterdam! Always nice to read a report of "first times" -- good stuff.

Thanks!

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Postby viking » Mon Jun 07, 5:43 pm

Glad to hear you loved Amsterdam as much as we
all do, Chiqui. It's a wonderful city, isn't it?
And so is Haarlem!

Chiqui wrote:Free…I love that word. And boy did I ever get a treat watching the free concert at the Concertgebouw! If you are there on a Wednesday, make a point of going to it. The acoustics in the place was phenomenal.


Also glad to hear someone besides me went to the Concertgebouw:)
I always check out their free Wednesday afternoon concert schedule
as well as attend as many evening performances as meet my musical
tastes. "Phenomenal" is the word for the acoustics there, isn't it?
I have sat all over inside that hall and am always amazed how great
the sound is.

And speaking of free concerts, St. Bavo's in Haarlem has free organ
concerts on Tuesday evenings. (At least they had them a few years
back when I attended one.)

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Postby Silver Jet » Tue Jun 08, 1:50 pm

Another enjoyable trip report, nicely written. Good to hear you enjoyed your first time in Amsterdam.

brandx

Postby brandx » Fri Jul 02, 3:46 am

X
Last edited by brandx on Wed Oct 03, 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby hank » Fri Jul 02, 8:25 pm

Thanks Chiqui that was a very enjoyable trip report. The first time experiences are very memorable indeed. Walking around late at night alone is pretty trippy, fun though.

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Postby stiffoak571 » Tue Jul 06, 12:21 pm

great report -lights and canals - never manage to get the picture that really captures that sensation - as for walking around at night I do that on my own in a way I never would in London - still think of A'dam as a village where everyone knows everyone else and if they don't then they do after a few beers/smokes etc hence less trouble.

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Postby Michelle » Wed Jul 21, 3:53 am

Lovely report, Chiqui :-) Thanks so much for sharing, girl! Many of your observations made me chuckle with delight, they really brought memories right back :-)

Oh, and by the way..
I HAVE NOT GIVEN UP ON BULLYING YOU INTO SHOWING UP IN APRIL 2005 !! In fact, i am quite sure i can get a more than decent group of buggers together here, to really kick yer butt. You can run but you can't hide! ;-D

Cheerio, gal.
Michelle

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Postby Chiqui » Wed Jul 21, 7:50 am

Who knows what the future will bring Michelle. Never say never. If I'm not able to make it, then for sure I will be looking forward to everyone's trip report, especially yours. Love your wit.

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Thanks Chiqui

Postby Maid Marian » Fri Jul 23, 12:49 pm

Great report Chiqui. I know what you mean about the whole place. I happened to get hit by a bicycle one of my first days there. It probably saved my life tho, as from then on, I was a lot more cautious.

I am starting on my trip report this week. There's so much to write about, it's difficult to begin.

Stems & Seeds is a delightful person indeed. We spent many laughter filled moments with him.

Peace, MM

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Postby londonmod » Fri Jul 23, 1:01 pm

What a fantastic report.
Very clear indeed.

One thing. Where di yu stay ??
I like to hear about what Hotels are like.

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Postby Chiqui » Tue Jul 27, 7:56 am

To Maid Marian:
OUCH!
Read a lot of warnings on this forum about getting run over by bikes so I made sure I paid attention all the time.
Looking forward to your trip reports.

To Londonmod:
I stayed at Hotel Brouwer on Singel.
Advantages:Very central, close to everything. Great view of the canal. Included breakfast was plentiful but lacked variety. By the fifth day I was sick of the food. Friendly owners and staff. Very helpful with any touristy question. The hotel room is very minimalist but comfortable. Price is great for what you get.

Disadvantages:Reception/Eating area appeared a good size on their website. Was quite puny in reality. Be prepared for the street noise. The hotel room and bathroom were quite clean upon arrival. Subsequent days, I noticed the bathroom wasn't cleaned as well as it should. Temperature control for the shower was a challenge to regulate.

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Postby Dogbreath » Wed Jul 28, 1:02 pm

Nice report. Enjoyed reading from a perspective and eyes of a first time visitor.

Dogbreath :-)

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meeting Chiqui

Postby Kees » Sat Aug 14, 8:17 pm

Dearest Chiqui, l finally figured out how the forum works and registered, great reading your report of your visit and would like to repeat here in the forum that it was great meeting and hanging out with you here in Amsterdam, you and yours are always welcome! xxx

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Re: meeting Chiqui

Postby a bollocks » Sat Aug 14, 8:56 pm

Kees wrote:Dearest Chiqui, l finally figured out how the forum works and registered, great reading your report of your visit and would like to repeat here in the forum that it was great meeting and hanging out with you here in Amsterdam, you and yours are always welcome! xxx


oh and welcome kees.

yeesh.


WOOT!

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Re: meeting Chiqui

Postby Chiqui » Mon Aug 23, 7:45 am

Kees wrote:Dearest Chiqui, l finally figured out how the forum works and registered, great reading your report of your visit and would like to repeat here in the forum that it was great meeting and hanging out with you here in Amsterdam, you and yours are always welcome! xxx


Good thing Kees because I'm sending my kid your way next month! I'm sure he'll have a blast hanging out with you.

Thanks again buddy.

Birdman

Postby Birdman » Tue Jul 11, 8:54 pm

Kees?

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Postby Bohannon » Tue Jul 11, 8:57 pm

Birdman wrote:Kees?


"Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:17 pm Post subject: meeting Chiqui"

Kees left the channels over a year ago after an altercation with a regular in the chat...over Michelle, lol

paXXX

Birdman

Postby Birdman » Tue Jul 11, 9:05 pm

so that's from August 2004?

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Postby oracle » Wed Jul 12, 1:13 pm

Congrats. on a wicked report Ch. Nice one.....


Best,

.oracle.


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