10/14/2009

Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll

Posted by The Wine Whore |


I don�t know which was worse: being trapped in Minnesota for an expected overnight stay, or being crammed into coach for a cramped eight hour flight. With only one day of sightseeing allotted for this canal city, I had no choice but to trek around Amsterdam without any sleep. After all, this was a once in a lifetime trip and there would be plenty of time to sleep when I get home. As the plane pulled up to the gate at 6am local time (midnight according to my internal clock), I couldn�t wait to see all of the sights, sounds, and smells of Holland.

This city reminded me of a cross between Manhattan and Venice with its tall narrow brownstone looking facades lining its many canals. With all of the trams, taxi, and bicycles flying down the streets, navigating this city is like playing a game of Frogger. I had to watch every stop so as to avoid getting run over while walking around this busy city. It was a little unnerving at first but once I figured out how to read the signs and street markings, I quickly adjusted.

Aside from hookers and hash, Amsterdam�s narrow streets, cafes, and corridors hold much to discover. My journey started out somberly at the Anne Frank house. This tall yet narrow structure is filled with steep staircases, hidden passageways, and a deeply moving story about what it was like living in hiding during Nazi rule. Little conversation could be heard in this home aside from the multilingual mouthing from the strategically positioned television sets. It was as if the story could be felt more than it could be heard.

Passing through the many shops, stores, and cafes on the way, I headed to my next stop: the Van Gogh museum. There were four floors of this impressionist artist�s paintings to observe. Although I enjoyed looking at them all, I didn�t waste time pondering each paint stroke. I finished this tour quite early despite the fact that it should have taken three hours to complete. There was too much city to be seen before I would run out of steam. At this point I had been up for over 24 hours and I was struggling to keep my eyes open and wits intact.

There is one well known place in this city that is different than any other place in the world. You�ll know you�ve stumbled across this area of town when you look in a window and realize that a half naked woman is staring right back at you. With their characteristic reddish glow, the stores lining the Red Light District bring new meaning to the term �window shopping�. These stores had goods of varying degrees of quality. While there were many attractive women to behold, there were many others that I would hope would never go the beach in a bikini, let alone stand half naked selling their body in public. These less desirable escorts must be considering the bargain basement of the Red Light District.

After 32 hours without sleep, it was finally time to retire. I fell asleep thinking about my day of sex, drugs, and rock �n roll and wishing that it would never end. I would definitely come back to visit this town. Hopefully next time my stay won�t be abbreviated by maintenance delays from the airlines. My biggest complaint about Amsterdam, aside from the less attractive hookers, would be the shortage of good wine. I stuck to beer for the most part while visiting this city figuring that I would save the wine for the rest of my trip. After all, where else in the world would you be able to find better wine than France?

After a well deserved rest, I am typing this as I watch Holland blur by the window from my seat on the EuroTrain. Next stop: Paris. Enough staring at a computer screen while on vacation� It�s now time for me to see if they are serving any wine on this train.

Cheers!

(This message brought to you by The Wine Whore)

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1 comments:

Rachele said...

Would you have had more time in Amsterdam without the delay or did you only plan on one day?

I'm looking forward to hearing more and finding out what wines you decide on. Have an Awesome time!

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