Thursday, September 19, 2013


This is Amsterdam
Having hookups while traveling is for sure the best way to get the most out of your time and money. Visiting Amsterdam was enhanced in this way as we stayed with my buddy from Sheffield, England now living in Amsterdam. Bryce for sure sorted us out with some of the most authentic experiences of our travels, in a place known for it overly touristy settings.
Beautiful Amy over a main canal

Bryce collected us off the train at the central station on the most beautiful sunny day after our fast and convenient rail journey from Paris. With a train change in Belgium, we had the quick opportunity for Amy to buy some chocolates and I bought a beautiful champagne style bottle of Choffee Breweries Belgian Double IPA. We took the tram with him back to his apartment only 15 minutes away. It was the perfect day to showcase his new adopted home which he did in style. We jumped straight onto his bikes and had a cycling tour of some beautiful residential areas with a true Dutch vibe and culture, far from Amsterdam's dingy reputation. We parked our bikes and walked on foot along canals, met a local cat enjoying the sun as much as we were and stopped for a beer at a street side cafe. I purchased a booty of local craft beers from a small bottle shop but just had to play guess work as to what beers I was actually buying, as Bryce was unfamiliar with the Dutch beer terminology on the labels. We battled through rush hour cycling traffic, an absolutely awesome adventure, back home and enjoyed a home cooked curry in the evening cooked by Bryce's girlfriend, Alice. 

Thomas and Bryce
We played tourist for a day in town with the free waking tour of the city which involved the usual fascinating stories of the past and present history of the famous city. We had an unfortunately long wait for our canal cruise but cheered ourselves up with some delicious mayonnaise drenched fries and a stroll around the red light district. We relaxed in a little picnic in a local park in the afternoon with our two hosts and later enjoyed some well priced and good quality beers at a few local establishments. 

Fancy beers in fancy glasses
All going to plan, we were set for a long bus journey the following day. As it turns out we ended up missing our bus after being at the station for our bus. After lots of stressing Amy jumped on a train as to not mess up her plans of meeting her mum in Copenhagen and arrived only a few hours later than originally planned. Hurt the wallet at 140 Euros and meant I had to hang out in Amsterdam for another day and a half to get the next bus. 

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