But, when looking through the tour books, we were surprised to find out that also in Den Haag was the M.C. Escher Museum!!! As we are both fans, we had to go. Seeing all his works in one buliding was overwhelming. What amazes me most is that most of his art is in the genre of woodblocks. So, to create the print, fist he had to carve it backwards in a piece of wood. He also had to work with the optical illusion thing that he does so well, like pillars or staircases going nowhere. The final thing that we saw in the museum was actually an interactive 3-D tour through his artwork. We looked quite silly wearing the apparel, but we were definatly glad we stopped by.
Archive for the 'The Netherlands' category
Ok so I don’t do drugs, even if I am in a country where they are legal, but, the shops where they are sold are everywhere. They are called “coffee shops”, but no coffee is sold. You can buy 5 gm of weed/hash at a time and there are other places that you can buy magic mushrooms. There are considered soft drugs over here and are technically legal. All other drugs , i.e. cocaine, crack, heroin, etc. are hard drugs and are ILLEGAL, although there are still dealers all over the place trying to sell them to you. Because of the drug use here though, there are alot of stoners that flock here to get high and then wonder the streets with this dazed look on their faces. Quite strange. The second hostel we stayed at (Flying Pig) even had a cushy area where you could ride out your high. The whole town, but mainly the Red Light District, was like nothing I had seen in the states.
The second part of Amsterdam and the part that really makes it XXX, is the Prostitutes. They say that prostitution is Amsterdam’s oldest profession. I don’t have any photos to show you because you can’t take pictures down there where they are in the Red Light District, but it really is a insane. The streets look very innocent during the day, but then as evening approaches , the streets close to all except pedestrians and all the windows that were covered with curtains during the day open up and are framed by red neon and standing inside is a very scantilly clad woman (sometimes men, maybe transvestites is a better term). I heard on an audiotour of the area that the prostitutes have a union and their “minimum wage” is 50 euro (like 75 bucks) for 15 minutes of fun. Hmm, that is better than alot of college degrees can get you. Is anybody now considering a career change? LOL
There are also Sex Stores everywhere and some of the scariest dvd titles and covers that are probably manufactured. Why someone would want to have themselves filmed while having sex with a horse I don’t know, but what I do know is that you can buy it in Amsterdam!!
The other thing that is there are these Sex Shows where for between 25-40 euro you can see people having sex with one another, men & women and also women & women (which excites all men much to my amazement). They also all compete for business with special acts to draw people in. There are scenes of females having sex with a banana and also scenes where women use a cigar to “draw” smoke into their vagina’s and then “blow” it out in time to the music. Hmm, now those are interesting party tricks!
When you mention Amsterdam to anyone, you know exactly what they are thinking. Drugs and prostitutes right? Well, there is actually more to see there than that.
Today we decided to experience a little more of the history. It turns out that the Anne Frank house is here in Amsterdam. It was the one where she and seven others hid from the Nazi’s during WWII for almost two years. I have never read her diary, but as no surprise have heard about it. I can not tell you how eerie it was seeing the bookcase that hid the secret annex, walking up the stairs behind the bookcase, and seeing the walls of her room where she had glued up her pictures to make it more “cheery”. I can not imagine living in such a tiny place with so many people and being forced to remain as quite as possible during the day so the workers in the factory below did not hear the noises from above. The mood is very somber towards the end when you realize their fates in the concentration camps. Of the eight, only her father survived. To carry on her memory, and the memory of all those others that suffered under Hitler’s regime, he persevered and got her diary published. All very moving indeed.
To brighten things up a bit, we then went on another bike tour, this time with Mike’s Bike Tour of Amsterdam. We toured the Red Light District (where no photos are allowed), the canals and canal bridges and then biked out into the country into Holland to see windmills and a farm where not only cheese is made but also those painted wooden clogs in more colors that you can imagine. We decided against a pair due to packing dilemmas, but of course we definatley did not pass up on buying some cheese! The weather was beautiful and quite a lovely day. By the end though, my calves felt like they were going to explode as I was missing the first two gears on my bike and always started out in third gear. oh well, c’est la vie! I have decided that I am a fan of bike tours and I would recommend them to anyone as they are a great way to get some exercise and hear a little bit about the town from your bike tour guide, along with getting a good view of the lay of the town so you can then go exploring later on your own!
While heading to Amsterdam in the Netherlands today, I didnâ€™t know really what to expect, but I was ready to leave our scary hotel in Paris and see something new and exciting. I mean it is Amsterdam, I donâ€™t need to tell you what comes to most peopleâ€™s minds! We got the first class train from Brussels all to ourselves and it was kinda pimpinâ€™. The ride was nice and got to Amsterdam early. It was supposed to be the end of the line so I took some time gathering my backpack and decided to pee before I got off the train (cause in the station I was sure they would charge me .50 euro for it) and the next thing I know the train started moving. Shit! Where the hell it was headed for I didnâ€™t know, but at the time there was not much I could do while in a squat position. In the end, it all worked out well after finding the conductor and changing trains etc, but as a new rule I have decided to only pee while the train is in motion and not close to my destination.