03.12.2011 - 06.12.2011
Oh jeeze, what to say about Amsterdam. Well, it's an interesting city, to say the least. It was fun though! They had the most delicious food!! Anda and I went crazy. For some reason, all you can eat rib places seemed to be quite popular, so we of course had to indulge.....twice. But let's back up and talk about the obvious...the Red Light District and weed. Yes I had heard about it, but in person it was still so weird to see. In the Red Light District, the women are literally right there, eye level with you, only separated by a glass and them dressed very provocatively and making hand signals to the men. They also have sections of different, well...preferences. There are certain areas where you will find say, Latinos, heavier women, black women, etc. Also, because some boxes/rooms are in better locations, those spots are more expensive for the prostitutes to rent out, but, in return, they are more likely to get better business, so it evens out. (Anda and I went on a walking tour). In general around Amsterdam, but especially in the RLD, there are TONS of sex shops and stripper clubs. It was just so weird to see how open they all were about it, which leads me to my next topic, marijuana. Yes, it is legal there, and is advertised everywhere. There were a lot of green establishments...bars and clubs. There are menus that basically look like food menus but it is all with terms of types of marijuana and joints and stuff. Anda and I looked at but honestly, we couldn't understand any of it! It was so weird. It all seemed so technical. I don't know, it was just weird being in a place where all of this stuff was legal and everyone was so open about it. Ok, on to normal stuff!
There were some more Christmas markets, which were really fun to see again. Around them was the BEST pancake place I have ever been to. They weren't normal pancakes that are in the States. First of all, they were HUGE. They were probably at least 12 inches in diameter. There were so many kinds you could get. We went there twice. The first time, we went around breakfast time. You could basically put anything you wanted in them, fruit, meat, veggies, sauces. There were dessert ones that looked amazing. I can't remember all of them, but I know we got one really meaty one which was amazing, a dessert one, which had apples, cinnamon, ice cream, whipped cream, etc., and i think Anda got a curry one at one point. Omg, so good. Anda and I still talk about that place.
Of course, we visited and took pictures of the famous "AMSTERDAM" giant letters, which was really close to the pancake place. We went to Anne Frank's house. That was so sad yet powerful. It was really incredible. I just kept reminding myself where I was and the events that took place there. I'm really happy we went, it was surreal. Also, Anda and I had the "Heineken Experience" at the Heineken brewery!! That was lots of fun!...and the factory was well organized and really fun and interesting. Side note, the canal's of Amsterdam were really cool. That's one of the things that made it so different from other cities I visited. You had to cross bridges all the time.