First time to Amsterdam stories

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First time to Amsterdam stories

Postby bas » Mon Jan 27, 11:03 pm

first times
Posted by patrick on Thursday, 24 October 2002

i arrivied very early and after finding the lockers at central station and then locking my maps inside and walking off, i stumbled around till i found a coffeshop open, it was the paridise off dam square. as i now know not a very good shop but they had some decent pot and a soda water. i got stoned and decided it was time to find the hotel, stepped out the door and almost walked into two police officers comeing the other way down the street. my instant paranoid instinct took over and i fumbled around grabbed my stash and stepped into a large water puddle. long story short, it took me 2 hours to find the hotel, it was only about a 5 minute walk from where i was and when i did find it, i looked the fool cause i could not figure out how to open the door. after asking for a key to inspect the room, i spent 20 minutes walking around the hotel trying to find room 18, i was almost ready to go and tell the manager that there must be a mistake cause i could not find room 18. i did much better this time, i found a hotel, checked in and while sitting in the grey area smoking AK-47, i found myself unable to remember the name of my hotel i had just checked planning for feb. 2003


Such a long time ago
Posted by DedBud on Thursday, 24 October 2002

The first time I really got to visit Amsterdam on my own terms was the Summer of '86. I had been through Amsterdam briefly a few times as a kid while we lived in Germany but I had no idea about how much fun you could really have there. A friend of mine in college had stopped through Amsterdam during the Summer of '85 and got me all stoked for my own visit. I had been planning on a bicycle tour through Ireland with another friend of mine in '86 but when he found out he couldn't get even a few weeks off from work I decided to make it a grander adventure since I was taking the whole summer off. After catching a few Dead shows in Wisconsin and Washington D.C., I flew out of New York to my first stop Amsterdam. Just as I was standing up to get off the plane, a guy behind me asked me why I wasn't in California? I didn't catch his drift right-off but it turns out my tie-dye gave me away as a deadhead and he was too, so he was just joking about us missing the next shows in California. My luggage didn't make the plane (long story about racing around NYC trying to get a passport the day I left) nor did my bike so after the other guy got his luggage we both took the train to Centraal Station and decided to pal around for a while since it was both of our first trips. We had no idea where to go but stumbled into one of the Bulldog's pretty quickly and although we both had heard there were better places, we just wanted to get our first buds and party. After a few hours of partying, we split up and I went to the VVV to find a hotel room. I got a room at a small hotel (Hotel Groenhof?) on the Vondelstraat and called the airline to let them know where to deliver my luggage and bike. I was really budgeting to stay in hostels and camp for most of the 3 months I was planning on spending in Europe but I thought I'd splurge a little bit for the first couple of days here in Amsterdam. I went right back out and continued exploring the city, gettting lost, getting stoned, getting lost, getting stoned, getting laid, getting lost, etc.. It actually turned out to be a good thing that my bike and luggage didn't make it on my flight since I didn't have to lug that stuff around or put the bike together at the airport. When I got back to the hotel the first night, all my stuff was in my room and I could put my bike together at my leisure. The next morning I repacked my luggage and attached the panniers to the racks on the bike and headed downstairs. Then I realized there was no way I was walking that loaded bike down a set of Amsterdam stairs. I took everything off again and made a couple trips down to the street. It didn't take too much riding around before I realized I wasn't sober enough to pedal most of the time so I left the bike at the hotel for the next couple of days. After 2 full days and nights, my agenda had me leaving town and riding towards Copenhagen but I couldn't leave for some reason. I wanted a couple more days but my hotel was booked up. I remembered seeing a row of houseboats behind the Centraal Station that had rooms to rent so I packed up and headed down there. The Dutch Cockney had room, so I splurged on a private room. That just meant I didn't have to share the 4' x 4' x 5' cabin with anyone else. It was a tight fit but it was a cool place to sleep and they had a little cafe on board where we could smoke whatever we wanted to. I spent a couple more days there before I realized that I had spent about 25% of my 3-month budget in 4 days so I better get gone before all my money disappeared. A couple of the same coffeeshops are still there today and some have moved to different locations. All have undergone at least some renovation and expansion. The choices of music is certainly much better now. Back in '86 you had a choice of Bob Marley, UB40, Queen, The Scorpions, or Marillion. Don't even ask for anything else or you'd get thrown out. I left there reluctantly after stashing some supplies in my bike panniers, but I knew I'd be back in a few months for my flight back if I didn't die before then.


first times
Posted by kdog on Thursday, 24 October 2002

It was Feb. 1994 and I just gotten done with school and a friend and i decided we should relive some experieinces from a high school trip 5 years prior. Neither of us had either been to Amsterdam. But after 4 years of college smoking, it was at the top of the list. We were going for 2 Months and had all the standard sights, plus some others, but Adam was at the top of the list by itself.

We flew into Germany where we would be visiting some relatives. We satyed with some cousins and had some fun partying for the weekend. We agreed that we would be going to a cabin in the Alps the following weekend and we would manage to kill some time. They were going to work the next day.

Due to Jet Lag, we were up at 4:30 and walked to the small town train station. I poked my head in on my cousins and said I would see them next weekend...we were off....

We ended up transferring trains in Mannheim. We got some German Deli-treats at the trainstation and a few beers and we were starting to get into party mode.

We rode the train up the Rhine saw the castles and need to transfer again in Koln. We showed up there and the place was Chaos. It was Fasching or Karneval, Mardi Gras, and it was pretty wild. We had a few beers and considered staying but the pull of the coffeshops was too strong....

We got to the Centraal and immediately headed fro the Hotel T'Ancker right by the station. We literally threw our bags on the bed and turned around to head out. So, we are these Coffeeshops we have heard so much about, we said to these word passed out lip we see in neon "Coffeeshop Smokey"...hmmmm, that must be the place....we went in and it looked like more of a bar than any Starbucks. So we gingerly walked up to ask for the menu...that is something I had been wanting to say for years.

we bought our bag and borrowed a bong and took some huge rips. The weed seemed good, but not sensational. We played some pool, drank some beer, smoked some more and figured it was time to head out.

We turned the corner and headed up Voorburgwal, wondering where the whores were at? All of the sudden we heard tapping a tthe window. This rather worn looking woman of the evening was beckoning us. Like the mature, sober guys we were, we burst out laughing, and gave her the toungue between the fingers gesture. We proceeded further and the there were more and more of these windows.

Finally we in the heart of it and there was this carnival barker (step right up!), "Fucking , Sucking, licking, Flicking," of course this caught our attention. So we paused a second, and the barker pounced offering a "special 2-1 student rate". We declined and he accused us of being gay.

Mind you this was all in the time span of one hour. We were getting a hungry so a Shoarama was in order. This became a staple of any future trip to amsterdam for me. We were both getting stimulation overload so we thought a Reggae Coffeshop might be good. We got some hash and smoked that. It didn't quite seem as powerful as good weed but it was nice to mix in a joint.

We then went into a sex shop and started perusing the dirty magazine. I was looking at some standard stuff and my friend calls me over to look at a magazine featuring some animals. Well at first we were nervously giggling watching a woman proposition a donkey, everything progressed to the very end...THE VERY END....if you catch my was the most depraved thing I have ever seen in my life...I almost vomitted....we walk out of the shop and I could not get the images out of my mind. My friend and went this place called the "Smoking Bull" that aeemed to be a American bar replica jamming Guns and Roses...we didn't say a word for a half hour...and I said "dude, I can't stop thinking about the Donkey" He said, "Me too," A couple of guys who thought they had seen it all we shocked by Adams offereings.....


first times
Posted by Banks on Thursday, 24 October 2002

After flying all night, we arrived right on schedule into Schiphol. As a newbie to Europe, I was sort of freaked at seeing all the different language in the signs and advertisements, but luckily I was with a veteran of European travel who assured me that I'd get used to it. We went to the Avis desk, checked in, and went to retrieve our car. First time driving a diesel, and it was excellent. Couldn't believe how responsive the car was. Let the adventure begin... For those of you who have driven in Amsterdam, I believe you will relate. For those who haven't, please give it a try! We get to the city just fine, but now I've got to read a map that has streetnames that make no sense. 22 letters ending in 'straat' that bear no resemblance to English. So I'm trying to look out the windows, it's raining, and the streetsigns are no where to be found! My buddy then tells me they are on the corners of the buildings, like this will make it easier... Okay, now I see them, but they are small, it's raining, and they are NOT THE SAME 22 LETTER WORDS I CAN'T FIGURE OUT ON THE MAP!!! So we go up these little streets and down these little streets, by some chance not hitting all the goddamn bicylists who are whizzing by tinkling their bells at us! Around a corner and almost into a canal!!! Jesus, I was a little tired after the trip, but believe me I'm wide-fucking awake now!!! Hell, I thought he'd been here before!!! I'm barely in Europe, and I'm either going to drown or get arrested! For the next half an hour we keep this up, and finally pull over and ask someone how to get to our hotel. Thank God, we found someone who spoke English!!! Somehow, we do finally get to our hotel, and all is well for now. After a shower and a change into fresh clothes, we are off to see the city. The rain has subsided, and I'm amazed at the beauty of Amsterdam. We walk through a park where the museums are and stop at a bank and get out some funny money. Nice rates of exchange. Weird looking money. Anyway, it's begun to rain again, so up with the umbrellas, jump out of the way of a few trams, and down to the Damrak. At this point, my friend sees a place called the Grasshopper, and says it's time for that first coffeeshop experience. I can't believe my eyes as we walk down into the shop and see all these people enjoying themselves with a smoke, right out there at the tables. It was just like how my buddy had described the place! Well, we make our way over to grab something to smoke, and I'm handed a menu! Pick something!!! We picked out something we knew, Northern Lights, and proceeded to catch a major buzz! Amsterdam, what a town! Well, off to the Red Light District and to find a couple of other coffeeshops he knew of. Well, the adventure begins again! Now I'm stoned big-time, and I have to read a map again! More bicycles, trams, big people, beautiful girls, and I don't know where to begin. Into the Red Light District we go, and what a strange and crazy place this is. Prostitutes in the windows!!! Everything i'd read about seemed to come to life and reach out from the book! Well, we eventually find our way around to a couple of the places my buddy wanted to see and show me, grabbing a few of the crazy strains of bud as we went... AK47, White Widow, Kali Mist, Yellow Cab, Warlock, Silver Haze and Double Bubble to name those I can remember... and smoked some in de Dampkring, Grey Area, and Greenhouse. It continued to rain on and off, but the combination of a few nice beers with some super smoke made the experience exceptionally surreal and enjoyable. I felt a little like I was part of the world. My eyes were opening just a little wider. We walked around the central part of Amsterdam for a couple of hours seeing the canals and taking some pictures. The architecture was incredible, as were the waterways. And surprise, surprise... everyone knows English! Makes you feel kind of foolish here in America when even the clerks in the convenience stores in Amsterdam speak four languages. As we were only to be in Amsterdam for a short period, I unfortunatly didn't get to see any of the museums, but I did get to see enough that I fell in love with this beautiful city, and vowed to come back as soon as I could. I'll be back next month...


Posted by BlueBerry on Thursday, 24 October 2002

Arriving in Schipol for the first time was quite an experience to say the least. First off we couldnt find the ATM in baggage claim even though I knew there was supposed to be one(and know where it is now!) but I was just so confuzed with all the signs and such that I never saw it. Then after departing the customs area I had no idea which way to go or what to do, even though I had planned so much, I was just LOST!! Finally we get down to the trains and make our way to Central Station and again, no idea which way to go the lockers, but eventually we found them. After all the frustration and irritation of that experience we walk out of Central Station and it looks just like I imagined, beautiful and quite amazing. Once we start walking, I realize OHSHIT, I left the map in our suitcase which in now locked up!! DAMN, now what else can go wrong, I dont have the map memorized for God's sake so what are we going to do, where are we going to go first??? definitely a coffeeshop, but I did want it to be one of the ones on my list of the best shops to go to. NSL on that idea!

Well to begin my coffeeshop journey, I ended up in the Grasshopper because it was the first one I spotted after leaving central station. It turned out not to be one the best shops around, for one the first three kinds I asked for on the menu was not available. So I took the recommendation of the dealer, who was really not very nice at all, and got the K-2 special. Also we got some super skunk, and the silver haze. Out of the three the super skunk was the best, but nothing to brag about really, not very strong smelling for a skunk variety. Not very impressed with the other two at all, the silver haze was not cured well and was impossible to burn and did not have a good smell either, very chemical smelling. One thing that does stand out in making the place memorable was my friend dropped a whole joint in the candle that was burning on the table! It was a big, fat one too and it was ruined. But we laughed our asses off, it was quite funny:)

So my first Amsterdam coffeeshop experience wasnt the best but I learned fast. And my next first day experience on the second trip was incredible!



first times
Posted by dave on Thursday, 24 October 2002

The first time I went to Amsterdam was with a friend of mine. A friend of ours was a travel agency owner at the time and he suggested we go to Amsterdam because he knew my fondness for the herb. We flew through Detriot on Northwest/KLM and I wouldn't have known a good transatlantic flight from a bad one at that time, in retrospect Northwest is to be avoided if possible. Like Blueberry's experience our arrival at Schipol was very confusing too, but thankfully there was english, as well as, Dutch language directions. My luggage was "detained" but arrived at our hotel with a complementary KLM luggage tag. I could tell it had been gone through. We exchanged some dollar to guilders at the airport and got on the train at Schipol to Centraal Station without buying tickets!! We thought we were supposed to buy them on the train. Luckily the conductor didn't pass through our car before arrival at Centraal. When we left out of Centraal Station it was a beautiful sunny morning in Amsterdam and looking up the Damrak my first thoughts were, this place kind of looks like Myrtle Beach (you Southerners know what I mean - all the T shirt shops and neon, flags etc.) We took a cab to our hotel (Tulip Inn on the Spuistraat)because we were clueless as to where we were supposed to go by foot. Our room was ready and we showered and headed out. Our first coffeeshop experience was at La Chocolata on the Spuistraat - remember buying hashish & reefer there and smoking the two together. The combination of jet lag and THC turned us into laughing idiots. We finally sat down on a bench with a couple of Cokes and got our collective shit together. Talking about that I wasn't used to the Dutch coffee and found for the first day not to venture too far from the hotel if you know what I mean. Then we found Betty Boop's & De Kuil. Some AK-47 and a couple of cold Amstels at De Kuil and I knew that I had found my home from another life. I was hooked. Like Dogbreath has posted before, there is just something about this town that hooked into my soul and I can't let go of it. I'm bringing a newbie with me this January (I like to go in the off season - the town is less crowded and you seem to meet more locals and the bars and trams are less crowded) Anyway , I'm psyched about my next trip. Only thing that bothers me, with my southern accent many people ask if I'm from Texas, certinally not is my reply, I'm a Tarheel. That response gets quite a few funny looks in De Dam!! Tot Ziens ya 'all


first times
Posted by jeanbean on Thursday, 24 October 2002

First trip, April 2001: After an uneventful non-stop from LA we arrive at Schiphol with only carry on. I was so excited in that airport, because there are people from everywhere! All the different languages, all so beautiful! Outside we finally found the KLM bus to town. Amsterdam has the most incredible sights and sounds any one could imagine. The driver misheard us when I asked if he would drop us at the Nova Hotel, he thought I said Novetel. So we get out and realize the mistake and quickly turn back to the bus. The driver said, “Oh I don’t go there, but you can walk from here, just go up that street and veer left.” Luckily we only brought carry-on! We had a map, my boyfriend being the wonderful navigator that he is, pin pointed our hotel and we started walking. Our first impression was that this was like a little storybook town right out of a fairy tale. Trams, bicycles and people, so many people. All the beautiful buildings and the canals with swans! Finally arriving at our hotel, we checked in and headed out to Kadinsky’s (the closest) for attitude adjustment. It had started raining as we enjoyed our first smoke at the window. I got so high, I mean SO HIGH! We then decided to take a walk through the RLD and headed out. I slipped on a wet tram track and messed up my knee. Then I limped into dog doo! We had great laughs! We definitely got hooked on Amsterdam! We are planning our fourth trip for February 2003!


.in a galaxy far far away
Posted by Smokey Joe on Thursday, 24 October 2002

The year was 1981 and I was studying in Versailles, France. Part of our course work including self directed sketch trips. It was our first one and having been in Paris and the surrounding area for six weeks we decided to hit the tracks with our forged Eurail and Interail train passes. We had two weeks, and it being the end of September, we first headed to Munich for Octoberfest. After three days of merryment with all the beer you can drink and all the chicken you could throwup we thought we should move on. The consensus was to head to London and check out the pub and theatre scene. Our friendly Thomas Cook train schedule gave us two options, head over to Calais or Amsterdam and hook-up with one of the ferries that was included on the student train passes. This was pre chunnel days and since the ferry from Amsterdam was six hours we figured we could save some money by taking an overnight trip and sleep on deck. Off we head to amsterdam! Arriving at central station at 3:00pm and having plenty of time before catching the ferry we decided to head into town and see what all the hub-bub on Amsterdam was about. Striking out from the Central Station we headed down Damrak and spotted the Grasshopper on the left hand side. Approaching the "restaurant" we started grinning at a familiar aroma waifing thru the air. Sitting at the bar on the first floor we had a beer and gathered our courage for a trip downstairs to the den of forbidden fruit. Needless to say we lost all track of time and it became obvious to all of us we had hit a goldmine! Fuck London.....we decided that could wait a few days and we sought out a youth hostel, which just happened to be in the middle of the RLD, ......we couldn't believe our luck! Needless to say we found the whole experiance unbelievable and returned many times over the course of the nine months in France, everytime returning with stash for more studious classmates. Obviously, I've been smitten and have returned over and over again to one of my favorite places, often just taking a tram to who knows where and returning to Centrum on foot to discover many of the hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered.



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