Stage 10 – Amsterdam

I made it to Amsterdam by train! I can’t believe it! I do love trains!

Finally – a hotel!

No more listening to people grind their teeth or snore!

A bath!

Sometimes it’s the small things you miss most – a bath, cupboards, more clothing choices.

Amsterdam was formed when a dam was put in the river Anstel. It became Ansteldam which the foreigners mangled into Amsterdam…it is a post card! It really is! I love it – wait I have loved every city this trip…but seriously – triple story garages for BICYCLES!!
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What’s not to love??

Once I had picked up my sister I realised how little I have chatted as she was treated to my non stop recap of my trip! Oops!

Another fascinating city – with an interesting background from the birth place of capitalism and Johnny Depp – well capitalism and the Dutch East India company – hence the reference to Johnny Depp! I wonder if pirate will ever be the same!

Beer, tulips, windmills, red light windows, bicycles, ‘coffee shops’ and segways!

Things I didn’t know:

  1. The red light district has been around for hundreds of years. It used to attract sailors, but the sailors were still Catholic and believed if they didn’t pay for indulgences and confess sins after visiting a woman, drinking copious amounts and gambling, they would go to hell if their ship sank on the next voyage…so the old Church built many additions using indulgence money…hence why there is a huge church in the middle of the red light district.
  2. Catholics were once banned from the Netherlands, so they had secret churches in attics

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What an incredible mix of things to do and a really cool mentality – looking through your fingers at things. If you:

  1. Are quiet,
  2. Create no harm to others
  3. Are good for business.

This has been applied to marijuana, prostitution, Catholics during the ban, Jews in the years around world war 2. Although the Dutch do not like English stag weekends as loads of young men running around the district hooting and yelling with too much testosterone it definitely annoying – who cares that your buddy paid 50 Euros for fifteen minutes??

Yes, I do know what 50 Euro’s buys!

 
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