Journal

amsterdam, part one.

As with my day trip to Liverpool, I’m going to need to do a few posts covering my trip to Amsterdam.  So, let’s get to it.  After attending seminar and some last-minute packing, my flatmates, Michelle and Houssine, and I hopped in a cab to the airport to catch our flight to Amsterdam.  I passed out on the 50-minute flight and woke up just before landing at Schiphol.  Surprisingly enough, it was a comfortable flight with plenty of legroom, more than what I had on my flight from Vancouver to Manchester actually.  Anyway, after landing and doing all the customary things, we got on a train to Amsterdam Lelylaan station and then, got on a tram to Westermarkt station.  We were finally in the Jordaan area, in which our home for the next two nights was located.

Left: the toilet-shower room, drain is underneath the rug
Right: paintings in the flat 

We stayed at one of the Art Bed & Breakfast's studio flats.  Turns out it should have just been called the same minus the '& Breakfast' as there was actually no breakfast provided.  The bathroom was also very interesting, to say the least.  It was my very first experience where the toilet and the shower were contained in one space.  Just about everything gets wet when you use the shower, including the carpet near the door.  There was also a large plasma television!  Snazzy place, indeed.

Rice table dishes

Michelle, Houssine, and I splurged on our first dinner in Amsterdam.  We went to an Indonesian restaurant called Long Pura.  The decor is so gorgeous!  Think lush satins and silks, dim lighting, and hues of wine reds, warm browns, and golds.  There were gorgeous crystal chandeliers and even the seats were encrusted with crystals.  We shared a ‘rice table’ consisting of 12 small dishes to be shared amongst ourselves.

Our first full day in Amsterdam started off with a trip to a nearby Albert Heijn supermarket so we could get some sustenance for breakfast and lunch.  After getting some food in our stomachs, the three of us took a leisurely walk through the Jordaan area, which is absolutely gorgeous!  There are many shall boutiques and shops along each street, or ‘straat’, in the area, including an Acne boutique.  Definitely ended up getting myself the ‘Wonder Tencel' top in black.  It was my one apparel splurge of the trip.

Flatmates!

Dam Square

Me standing in Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace

The National Monument

The walk through Jordaan and all the way to Dam Square was actually really tiring so we went back to the B&B for a much-needed nap.  The nap felt great but I was woken up by the loud children playing in the street.  Pretty sure their parents were in the pub across from us.  Tsk tsk.  Leroy also showed up and a little bit later, the boys who were staying at a hostel in De Wallen dropped by.  We were now a group of eight and we went back to De Wallen to take a stroll through the Red Light District.  Our walk was certainly an eye-opener.  Some of the guys wanted to go see a live sex show and I’m glad we didn’t actually see one.  Not my thing whatsoever and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend money on something like that.  The walk concluded my first full day in Amsterdam and we went back to rest up for another day of sight-seeing.

Stay tuned for part two!