Amsterdam - The Netherlands
September 19th - 23rd

Amsterdam feeds on all the vices of humanity. This city is amazing! The world famous red light district is certainly somthing else. All the prostitutes have little rooms with a glass doors trimmed with red lights and facing the street. They spend the night amidst the hordes of tourists that come into the red light district to smoke, drink, and party, trying to lure in clients by tapping on the glass or frequently with more inticing gestures. They get very upset if you try to photograph them, and I could not afford to pay for a photo op.

Every night in amsterdam city is a party. And every morning the municipal street cleaning team hit the street between 08h00 and 11h00 armed with little pump trucks and high pressure hoses they wash all the tourists' vomit and garbage from the streets, sidewalks, and storefronts. Amsterdam before 11am is disgusting!!!

Greetings to all of you from Meeting Point hostel, I hope your travels are goign well. This week I met some amazing people! Hitting the bars and coffee shops with a group of Irish travellers on thursday, and a swarm of us from Australia, England, Lithuania, Spain, and of course Canada on Friday. Also Czescz to Pavel from Excalibur!!! I will be seeing you in Krakow, for a rematch.

Speaking of Excalibur, it is amazing! In my humble opinion its the best bar in amsterdam. Solid music, and great atmosphere, pool tables and Grolsch in bottles! Smack in the heart of the redlight district excalibur is always a great party.

The drug situation in amsterdam is interesting. The following substances are decriminalized: Marijuana, psicobilin mushrooms, hash. This means you can buy these things at a coffeeshop (weed and hash) or smartshop/headshop (mushrooms). While the city's regulations on these substances is very liberal, the locals do not all smoke, it is frowned upon to be high and drunk in the street, and you can NOT smoke a joint in any restaurant (only the cafes). Within my first 15 minutes in amsterdam I was offered Cocaine, Extasy, and speed 4 times. While these substances are Illegal here just as they are in North America, they are available in amsterdam.

Vondel Park is beutiful, not in the same way as the Parisian Parks. Vondel park is huge and a place where people come to socialize, congregate, and enjoy life. Directly beside its main gates is an area with many meuseums. The meusuems in Amsterdam are expensive. I saw the Van Gohg museum, the Rembrant Meseum, and one other that I can not pronounce the name of. they were all excellent but pricey. I wish I had time/money to see the torture museum perhapsonroute elsewhere ill pop into amsterdam, though for now I am all amsterdamed out.

Onward to Germany!
--martin


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