A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands

Day 12 - Amsterdam in the sunshine

sunny 17 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Beautiful day today, the sun is out and skies are clear. It is now 15:00 and it has reached the maximum temperature of 17 degrees, but they feel much warmer than that. At one stage I didn’t think I would ever get the shorts out of the bag, but that day has come.

Not a lot done today. There is only so much food and drink I can force down my gullet. So just walked and walked around the city. In the morning we walked around the Jordaan District, which is right adjacent to the main part of the city, but a world away in terms of peace and quiet. Lee-ann and I then departed our ways; and I had a refreshing ale before once again tramping around the old part of the city. I think I have covered every square inch of this place, so I have pulled stumps early and headed back to the hotel.

We are back to “can’t swing a cat territory” here in Amsterdam. But I believe this is par for the course in this city, unless you want to pay some serious cash. So much so that I can’t get out of bed from my side and I must exit at the foot of the bed and we have to take turns in having a shower and getting dressed.

Well as I said, not much to report. Tomorrow we travel to Brussels.

Posted by Neileeann 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Day 11 - Eurovision

Buck's Fizz, Lordie or Waterloo

sunny 16 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Well what a city! After my lament about the lack of life on the streets of Berlin - Amsterdam has it in spades. So much so, it is difficult just walking around. It will be madness in August when the masses hit this city.

Started out raining this morning, but it eventually departed and as the day wore on it felt a bit hotter than what the forecast said.

First stop was to find out where would be the best place to watch Eurovision. Lee-ann was very excited by being at least in Europe when this is on, but it appears the Dutch are not so enthused with Eurovision. There is no public square event planned, so it will be bar hopping to find one where we can watch the event. Let’s hope we are not the only two dags sitting in there cheering for Guy Sebastian.

Today we just walked and walked around the inner city. The “ladies” were out during the day and I saw one fellow go in for a service. Photos cannot do justice to the atmosphere of this place. The throng of people, the noise, the activity and the multicultural aspects, all make this one of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world. It just canal after canal, side lanes that offer a quiet oasis. Hordes of bucks and hens parties. Gangs of young men with two things on their mind – sports shoes and sex. Dope is still big business, but it is never in your face. When the sun comes out its all bums on chairs as people just sit in the outdoor dining areas and eat and drink the day away.

Later in the night we went to the Leidseplein to watch Eurovision. 30 years ago I remember it as a great square packed with beautiful young blond dutch girls and things haven’t changed too much. Still a great central dining square, surrounded by eateries and bars. Settled in at an Irish Bar that had the BBC coverage of the Eurovision. I think poor Lee-ann was disappointed with the turn-out and we both expected it to be a bigger event in Europe. However s the night wore on more and more people turned their attention to the event and soon we were swimming in a sea of nationalities. All very good nature and if Eurovision was an attempt to join Europe together – then it has done a good job. Australians, Norwegians, French, Belgium and Dutch were all at our tables cheering on the different countries. In the end the favourite won it, Australia came 5th and there appeared to be genuine good will towards our participation. Lee-ann went home happy. Happy wife – happy life.

Posted by Neileeann 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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