From Amsterdam

It’s Friday night in Amsterdam, where I arrived yesterday evening after the ride from hell from Zwolle. I had planned to slow down on reaching the Nederlands and had completed a pleasant ride from Assen to Zwolle, when I realised it was still a fair hike to Nico and I wanted to have some time in Amsterdam and Bruges.

So it was Zwolle to Amsterdam in a day – a 120km ride, 70km of which was through a treeless, dull landscape with a strong headwind. I know it was a headwind as hundreds of wind turbines were pointing in the direction I was heading. A hint guys – wind turbines are a nice way to reduce carbon emissions but PLANT SOME BLOODY TREES!

I had booked a room in central Amsterdam without giving it much thought. It was a reasonable price, conveniently located and had good reviews. 200m from my journey’s end, I remembered what Amsterdam was (in)famous for as the smell of stale marijuana wafted through the air and  the shop windows filled up with a variety of products which demonstrate the remarkable versitility of latex!

I had booked a hotel in the heart of the red light district and with some apprehension (like had I booked a room for 3 days or 3 hours?), I made my way to my lodgings to discover I had a room in the cellar. My apprehension passed when I arrived at a very nice room, and on opening the curtains, looked out to some ducks and a canal.

I got up bright and early and headed out for a walk. The red light district was deserted except for a small army of street cleaners. I walked for about 5 hours passing a lot of queues to the various attractions. Lots of canals and lovely old buildings. In the afternoon I had a nap!

Not a great tourist really!

I have lost where I was up to on the photo front so here is an assortment.