Monday, March 07, 2011


I'm still trying to catch up on posting photos from my European Adventures from January. Yes, I'm tardy. So what. I'm cranky today, so deal with it.

Going from London to Amsterdam broke my brain.

After having been in the UK for almost a week, my sister and I flew to Amsterdam. We flew on KLM, which takes a much more relaxed attitude about boarding the plane, listening to the safety instructions, and checking to see if one has turned off their cell phones or mp3 players or not. I had to give up my precious skates to checkin, as the flight was full, but they were very nice about it and I wasn't charged to check in the bag. Win? Their snacks sucked, but they had Coke with real sugar, and it was DELICIOUS. Fuck you, US Coke. Corn syrup is rancid.

Anyway, my brain broke as soon as we got off the plane and saw that all the signs in the airport were in Dutch. Now, everyone in Amsterdam pretty much speaks English, but for some reason I expected more of the signage to also be in English. Nope. Maybe it was the sugar from the Coke, but I just about freaked out.

My sister and I had to take a deep breath, get a coffee, and figure out how to get from the airport to Centraal Station via the train. It took us about seven tries with the automated ticket machines to figure it out, but figure it out we did!

As with London, I walked everywhere and got lost every day. The tram stops don't have the handy street maps that the London bus stops do, so I had to attempt to not look too much like a tourist as I pulled out my map every two blocks to figure out where the hell I was. I was more worried about looking like a tourist here than in London because I was told that pickpockets will swarm upon any tourist who made themselves obvious and pick them clean of any useful belongings.  No one bothered me at all.

Speaking of obvious:

That photo is SO Amsterdam to me. Very pretty architecture-wise, lots of old stuff to look at, yet there was a messiness to the place that's an interesting antidote to the prettiness.

This is the church across the street and canal from our hotel:

Here is the hotel we stayed in:

I should post the pix I took of our hotel room. It was RIDICULOUSLY nice. I was feeling all swank and stuff. The big drawback to the place was that the city had torn up the street right outside the hotel. So when we were dropped off by the taxi, we had to hike down the block through dirt and scattered cobblestones to get to the front door. My travel agent sister had a shit fit. I didn't care once I saw the room. By this time my sister was full-blown sick with a cold/flu thingy that kept her from having as much fun as she should've. I had brought some old-fashioned sudafed with me, and that was the only thing that kept her functioning on any level whatsoever.

The Salad Trouble that plagued me in London was evident in Amsterdam, too. All I wanted was green leafy foodstuff, and I couldn't find it for the life of me. Until I stumbled upon the Hard Rock Cafe in my wanderings. I hate places like that, but I knew they'd have a fucking salad.

Meet my so-so salad, delicious bottled water and fantastic Long Island Ice Tea:

I don't know what the deal is with this cool skull arch, but it's cool. So I took a photo of it.

This apartment window was funny. Bogart and gnomes. The Bogart was great enough...

...but it got better when one noticed the gnome-like critters:

I didn't drink in fact, I didn't hang out in a single Amsterdam pub. But hey! I had to document its existence for obvious reasons:

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