We wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day. We head out to get breakfast at a nearby bakery. I must say that chocolate pastries got the better of me this trip and I order two. Just as we head out to explore and find a thrift store to buy a camera, we run into one of the backpackers in our dorm, Theo.
We end up chatting for a bit and all decide to head to the thrift market.
I was amazed at some of the really cool stuff they had at this thrift market. Unlike our markets in the States, this market had nothing but antiques and vintage gadgets and apparel. It was amazing! I really enjoyed the vintage army supply that had everything from old trench coats to gas masks. I contemplated buying a gas mask but decided against it for a couple reasons:
- When would I actually use it? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t even work.
- Would this look strange when airport security scanned my bag? I’m already traveling without proper documentation.
- It truly smelled… vintage.
Tim stops at an antique camera table and talks with the person for quite some time. After working out a deal, he finally buys a ‘new camera’.
We end up walking around and check out several other local thrift stores until we stumble across what appeared to be an abandoned…well..frame of a building. I was instantly drawn to it and we end up finding our way past the gate and end up getting inside. Let me tell you that it was completely worth the journey.
The building was littered with interesting street art and little nooks. I was a little put off yet intrigued by a small room in this building that had a couch. I could only imagine what kind of interesting stories and people would come here to this abandoned building. I could only imagine what happens here at night because it was obvious that we were not the only ones to discover the hole in the gate that allowed us to climb inside and see the building.
After exploring the building we decide to walk around the area for a bit taking pictures.
It then becomes time where we need to part ways and we say bye to our new friend and head back to the hostel. After checking out and getting our affairs in order, we head to the metro several hours early.
This time we WILL NOT miss our flight! We leave early and get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The flight was a quick hour or so and the next thing we know, we are in Amsterdam.
Upon stepping off the airplane, I get a whiff of ‘fresh air’ laced with the smell of weed. Wow, I thought they were kidding! Unlike most airports where you exit the airplane in a single filed line into a hallway, EasyJet is a massive free for all to get off and you exit onto the ground.
We enter the airport and I find that’s it’s pretty clean. Tim and I find a seat and get onto the internet to find hostel. We end up finding Hotel Flipper. We then struggle for a good hour trying to figure out how to get out of this airport and are told we need to take a train to the Central Station. We get lost again due to the fact this airport is like a huge shopping center with confusing directions. Finally we find the train and head off to the Central Station.
We get off after a good 35 minute train ride and again are left to find our barrings. This place is CONFUSING! We walk around in circles, go up and down stairs, ask multiple people and finally find our way to the bus station tram 4.
We ask for directions and information all along the way, but we finally arrive at our hotel. The hotel seemed more like a hostel…actually worst. They had one computer in the ‘lobby’ that was in some asian language (I thought we were in Amsterdam) and the room itself was as wide as a hallway. Tim and I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.
After settling in, we decide to head out and get some food at a local italian restaurant. To be honest, it took us another 30 or so minutes to find a place close to our hotel. It took quite some time to find an ATM on the way and it seemed as if everything was either closed or we were in a residential district.
After getting a delicious bite to eat, we head back to the hotel for some quick R&R. Of course the trip would not be the same if it wasn’t a roller coaster. It starts to rain.
I fortunately have a poncho (Thanks Stuart), but Tim is left hanging. We decide to go to the front desk and ask for a trashbag. Money. This thing not only fit like a charm, but it had profound style that could only be paralleled by fanny packs and comb overs. Regardless, we head to the bus station and head toward the Red Light district.
We get off at our stop and walk around trying to discover this section of the city. We finally see several red lit windows in the distance. As we got closer, we saw them.
There were beautiful women (and some not so beautiful…and some neither man or woman) standing in windows. It was such a strange sight to see women standing in a window…just standing there. As we walked by, you’d hear tapping on the window. It was one of the women trying to get you to come over and talk.
The street was littered with men strolling the streets and taking a look. I don’t blame them. It was a very bizarre sight to see! Sometimes a man would walk out of the door with a smile on his face. Other times you’d see a man walking up to the door and starting a conversation. One man even ran out of a door screaming, “Let me go..Let me go”. I think he was on drugs.
After walking around for awhile, we decide to call it a night. We end up taking a taxi back to our place. Tomorrow I leave for home.
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[…] Day 7 – Red Lights and Window Tapping (Amsterdam, Netherlands 7/17/11) […]