I don't mind if you despise this blog,yes it's great if you enjoy it, but rather selfishly, it's for me.It's oddly comforting knowing that my little opinion is floating around in cybersapce and will always be here.
On July the 3rd myself and three friends embarked on our month travelling around Europe, full of apprehension and excitement. We caught a plane from Birmingham Airport, where we all gained an insight to how heavy our bags were. The lads weighed in at about 11kg each and Mands bag weighed at about 13kg. Myself probably being the lightest and in turn, the weakest ended up packing and therefore carrying a back-breaking 14.9kg bag! Carrying it for a few minutes in the airport allowed me to forsee the sheer pain I'd be in for the entirety of the trip. I have an obsession with the number 23, something I've been meaning to blog about but have always put off. We were seated in row 23 (a,b,c,d) which I convinced myself meant that everything would be alright. The journey was surprisingly smooth, having only travelled with my parents in the past I was used to constant stress revolving around passports and tickets but already I was seeing for myself how easy travelling could be. The plane was sprinkled with your typical 'Amsterdam' visitors, people who go purely to abuse the lenient marijuana laws, young and old.
As soon as we arrived in Amsterdam I realised that the seedy city I had in mind had been completely abolished by its clean streets and beautiful buildings and parks. We managed to get a great ,unplanned, tour of the city as we got lost for 3 hours trying to find our Hostel! Once we arrived, we realised that we must have passed the street at least 4 times , even stopping for a break, to nearly give up on our search, opposite it! Our first hostel experience was pleasant, it was better than what I expected anyway. We had two other people in our room, which was interesting. The first night we sampled the coffee shops, accidentally stumbling across the HIGHly regarded 'Abraxus' ,that in itself was full of awkward moments, from not having a lighter to coughing after the first drag.If anyones been to Amsterdam you'll know that it all looks scarily similar, especially at night time, after certain chemicals had entered your blood stream, all this amounted to usgetting hopelessly lost again (something we later made a bad habit of). After another 3 hours trek,we came back to find that the key we had left in reception was missing and we had to wake the two people (who we'd never met before) in our room in order to get in. After a few ambiguous knocks we gave up and went to get a spare key from reception, once in the room though the giggles kicked in. The whole idea of us trying to undress really quietly in the pitch black as to not disturb two women we didn't know at all just tickled me, as it did the others. We found ourselves cramming in the toilet ( we had an en-suite) to brush our teeth and more importantly try to extinguish our giggly bouts.
In the morning we had to endure the same pain as we tried to get ready in the least noisy manner, having packed my bag with everything being in individual plastic bags,this was near impossible! Once we had escaped the room we went downstairs to claim our breakfast that was included in the price. Everyday the lads had a cup of tea and I ended up having multi-vitamin with bread and butter, very exotic. The three days we spent in Amsterdam were mainly spent at Vondel park, we'd go to bakeries and the market in search of fresh,cheap and local food, buying baguettes and humus we had a beast of a picnic in no time. The sun was shining so much that by the end of the day we were all a shade of crimson! On our second evening we went to Anne Franks house. One quote that really resonated with me was her desire to 'ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I'm free' because it almost exactly summed up how I was feeling, knowing that she never had the freedom made me emotional but appreciative of the opportunity I had, as I had never felt so free.
After another exotic breakfast of bread and butter and multi-vitamin our last day in Amsterdam was spent hiring bikes and almost being killed by trams. We hired them for three hours and within 5 minutes of loosing the lads me and Mand got hopelessly lost and ended up at the Hienekin factory! Luckily I'd bought a phone to use whilst away and rang the lads to meet up in our beloved Vondel park. Once we came back to the Hostel Mand discovered that her expensive filter bottle had leaked all over her Interrail pass and Passport! Although her hair was now green in the passport photo no serious damage was done,luckily. Panic over we went out to eat (something we did every evening whilst there) at some cheap Italian restaurant 'Venisia' and headed over to 'Easy Nights' for a spacey dessert. Returning to our hostel we noticed we had new guests in our room and always enjoyed trying to guess their age,nationality and gender.After a few hours they kicked in, from water fights to whipping wars we giggled ourselves gaga. We slept like babies, we needed to as we were travelling to Berlin the next day.