Vindwill (said in dodgy dutch accent)
Oh we’re here, centraal station and after a bit of the usual lost tourist confusion we finally find our hotel which is 3 mins from the main station. I seriously can’t recommend this hotel anymore (http://www.nh-hotels.nl/hotel/nh-amsterdam-barbizon-palace ).
It’s close to everything, I mean everything, and coffee shops are around the corner, loads of amenities, restaurants and bars and with my favourite new landmark, the homomonument (hehe).
Before I start with what we did, I need to get this out,
I love this hotel, it’s so elegant and friendly, it’s so posh it has one of those George Clooney Nespresso machines in there, I’m surprised that George didn’t come with the room, it’s that nice.
And off we go, ad
within 2 minutes we are in the homo and smoking area, coincidence or gay intuition, I don’t know but at least we know where everything is now. We have no agenda, no map and no gloves, we have come well prepared. One thing I might have to point out is
the fact that everyone is stupidly gorgeous like GQ and vogue hired Amsterdam, it made me sick and paranoid or is that the vapours I smell affecting me.
The infamous YAK asked me what I thought about Amsterdam after our trip and I have to honestly say
it wasn’t for the attractions, the legal intoxicating goods, it was the people. The Dutch are so cool and mellow, which always made me think why do they have such a beef with the Germans, the other cool country? Is it because both win us over with inescapable
likeness and cute accents, are they fighting over which one is significantly cooler?
To be honest most of the attractions seemed to have entrance/tour fees, now as tragic as Anne Frank’s diaries are, I’m not willing to spend hours in a queue
freezing my nuts off, just to see something for a few minutes. Sorry Anne, out of respect I will try next time! If you get bored of queueing there is a cheese and tulip museum down the canal from Anne’s place, so fill up and sniff away.
now to describe Amsterdam, well going around will remind you of Paris, Brussels, Munich but seeing as the Dutch were some of the first to set up buildings in East Coast USA and NZ, it has that feel as well. At one point we were looking at the streets and it
resembled something out of a Meg Ryan film but with actual people in it... Seriously watch Nora Ephron production and see how desolate the streets, god rest her soul but she’s clearly never been to NY or she lived in the fantasy of NY being evacuated
minus the middle class.
One of my friends from work (Lady Voller) told me about the sky lounge/ bar (http://www.skyloungeamsterdam.com/en/ ), now to save my fingers and you reading more drivel,
the bar is literally 4 mins from the hotel we stayed at. So…… 4.5 hours later, 3 quadrants of Amsterdam covered and at least several locals quizzed, we finally find it, gasping for an overpriced round and dark, snowy surroundings.
that I hear? Getting bored of me rambling on? Am I avoiding the drug bit?
Oh look at that, a spider! Eek run!
Did it not fool you, DAMN! Fine well let’s get the parental disclaimer out of the way, drugs are bad, shouldn’t touch them
blah blah, right now we got the boring thing out of the way. Since the Dutch are so cool and responsible,, if you wanted to try it you are in safe and friendly hands, if you don’t know where to get it someone can help and they have loads of shops, coffeehouses,
prostitutes, Burger King, whatever, there’s an outlet, they will guide you. After visiting an ironically named Feel Good bar where I’m pretty sure you need to be high to enjoy it.
The space cake we had, ummm, I think it worked differently
for each user; YAK was mellow yellow and seemed to have loads of anxious energy and the munchies. After going to bed I woke still stoned, I think the mixed meat grill I had earlier the other day was delaying things. Poor YAK had to suffer me being incoherent
and even less talkative, sorry YAK, I think I can speak again!
There are other stories but that’s on a need to know basis and you nosey buggers, know enough!
Ok here’s a little story, a tale of caution if you will.
bit of sobering up, eating, sightseeing and more eating, it’s time to head home and we mill around the hotel with 30 mins to leaving time and head to the coach stop. We walk around looking for the coach and it’s nowhere to be seen, YAK asks several
drivers where it might…. Then it dawns on us, we have been looking at his phone thinking it the right time when it never updated, NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!
We unfortunately need to grab a taxi, YAK runs like a madman to get money for a taxi and I gormlessly
stand around in case YAK forgets where I am. We finally get a taxi with a guy that charges us 140 euros but would have cost 260+ euros. What a bargain. The taxi driver “charitably” rings the ferry company for us and is all said in Dutch, and I
have a feeling we both thought he was taking us for a joyride and trying his best. Unfortunately it was the latter.
The ferry left the time we got there and from the taxi driver’s “comment” we were told to “try it” now
I think he meant to say “don’t bother” or in realistic terms “I’m ripping you off, so just sit back and worry”.
So when we got to the terminal, we were thankfully there to see the Ferry leave 1 HOUR, yes 1 HOUR before
its schedule time. Let me explain with this scenario, let me set the scene
2 lads are stood in minus temperature, in the dark, breathless, dressed (before you have any dirty images) and stressed. A jolly chunky assistant comes out to us, he looks like
a Dutch Pavarotti with a Dr Hebert laugh, this abridged version as I’m raging and crying as I write this!
(YAK)”Hello, has the ferry left?”
(Dr Pav Hebert) “Yes you were meant to be here for 7 if you wanted the 8:30pm,
(YAK) “Why has it left so early? We would told we’d still make”
(Dr Pav Hebert) “Well sorry it’s gone, we wait for the freights and when they are ready, they go hahah”
(Me & YAK) “What?!”
(DPH) “We will have to book you onto another ferry?! Haha”
He leaves and comes back, hands us some replacement tickets, more unnecessary questioning and giggly answering exchanges.
(Me) “So where can we stay? Are there any
(DPH) “Well there’s town a near here but do you have a taxi?” at this point the taxi driver has vanished, probably making love to himself and laughing with our 140 euros…. TOSSER!!
So after more questions,
gleeful responses, a spot of tea and worried faces, we finally sort a taxi to the next town, Brielle, if you ever got stuck like this I recommend this place. Well actually I recommend not missing your Ferry, actually fly! Seriously at one point during Hebert
giggles I say “We must be the only sober brits to miss the Ferry... ever” he looked at us and agreed, GGRRRR! NERD RAGE!
So we arrive in Brielle, it can only be described as Leamington Spa but richer, smaller and with more boats. It’s
really quite nice, people are friendly even when we arrived at the first hotel and it was too much for us, the concierge rang up a rival hotel and booked us a place, almost like it was second nature. There are a couple of museums and galleries to look at but
other than that sit back, relax and wait for your next ferry. (http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Netherlands/Provincie_Zuid_Holland/Brielle-462693/Things_To_Do-Brielle-TG-C-1.html )
The hotel we stayed was not exactly ritzy but it makes up with charm, chunky pleasant lads and a pub, really it’s a B&B (http://www.atlashotels.nl/nl/index.html )
there you go, that was our first romantic getaway, I’m sure there will be more and there will be more drama, we don’t do anything normally :)
Well until next trip…..
This page is dedicated to YAK, well done for
putting up with me, being the white Linford Christie and generally being a HERO! Love you xxx