AMSTERDAM: Where bicycles rule the road!

So the only way I’ve discovered so far to make my photos not wonk out TOO much is only to put captions on the ones that are rectangular, not square – I had so many pretty square pics that I couldn’t disregard them but those will be the ones without captions – the others should hopefully be descriptive enough!

OK, so where to start about the Amsterdam trip … to put it in a sentence which deserves all caps:

AMSTERDAM BLEW MY MIND!!!!!

I’ve spent a long time on this post trying to put into words why I was so blown away by it.  I think it was partly because Amsterdam was something that Mnandi, Jo, Mike and I had decided on doing over a year ago.  Mike and Jo were coming to the UK for Jo’s daughter’s wedding and they decided we should all go to Amsterdam for a long weekend together. Tickets were booked ages ago and Mnandi (having been there before) booked the accommodation.  For those that know me, know that if I am to go to another country/city with other people who know their way around, I tend to not get involved.  I like the element of surprise and am generally quite amenable when it comes to doing things i.e. I have no set agenda so happy to do what the rest want to do as long as we keep busy and see as much as possible.  I think what I am trying to say here is that I had no preconceived ideas about Amsterdam.  I knew that you can smoke weed in the open and that buying soft drugs is legal and acceptable.  And that cheese, clogs and the Red Light District seem to be Amsterdam’s other claim to fame.  Well, let me tell you dear readers, we did all of this AND MORE!!!

What I didn’t expect:

  • Was to be able to read all the road signs because Dutch is so similar to Afrikaans
  • To be able to understand people when greeting and other similar sentences because it’s SO similar to Afrikaans
  • The friendliness of the people
  • The immense amount of bicycles and that bicycles rule the road and that you don’t find 4 story car-parks, you find 4 story bike-parks!
  • To see mothers with as many as three children with them on their bikes – no helmuts!
  • No road rage, considering there are bicycles, scooters, cars AND trams all contending for the same road space – still, bicycles rule.
  • For my Facebook photo of me licking a giant penis in the Sex Museum to get so many Likes? And comments. I mean really, who died and made everyone a prude!
  • That you really can walk into a coffee shop (of which there are many) and buy weed (and then smoke it there, or in the park, or in the street, pretty much anywhere except the apartment).
  • That you can buy mushrooms and various other mind enhancing chemicals at what is called a Smart Shop (the sign of a mushroom above the shop lets you know you have found the right spot).
  • That I would not see one homeless person in the entire time we were there (not saying that aren’t around, but with the amount of town we covered I think its safe to say that there aren’t many, if any).
  • The beauty and cleanliness of the buildings
  • The architecture – we saw some really modern buildings
  • To puke in the middle of the street and for no-one to bat an eyelid!
Our very first expedition was to the Rijks Museum where we spent a lot of hours looking at art

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the gang looking at some art on the ceiling
Here we are at the Cheese Tasting expedition. We got to eat a shit load of cheese!  The green cheese below has basil pesto in it!

Here I am at the Van Gogh Museum. I am not really an arty person but I thoroughly enjoyed my museum experiences – so much history!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said by Salvador Dali – what a legend! Our last cultural expedition was to the Banksy and Dali exhibition. Mind blowing!!!!
No explanation needed: Powerful words by Banksy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike and Jo playing silly buggers at the Banksy exhibition. The tag line for their Onatural line is Keeping it Real so this was very apt!
The photo on FB that got so many comments! My one friend said she thought it was a giant ice-cream without her glasses on and when she went in to take a closer look she got quite a fright!!! ROFL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Us at the Ice-bar! We could only stay for 15 minutes because two of us were wearing open shoes and it was pretty cold in there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vondel Park – where we spent a very happy morning watching the world go by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here people suntan in the park!
The scene above when looking from below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our evening on a river boat in the canal. I’m sure its a very different animal when the weather is cooler – the day we went felt like we could have been on a dam in Caledon (except for houseboats of course)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Us enjoying the evening and the awesome architecture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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