Red Lights, Hanging Udders – There’s A Pair!

We woke up at a reasonable hour this morning – around 7.30am and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.  Unlike our Calgary B&B we had to make breakfast ourselves.  It was very nice and eaten in our cosy little room.

Unfortunately it was raining when we first woke up however, the weather cleared as the day went on so it did not really affect our plans – to tour the city on foot, take photo’s, visit the famous “red light” district and generally soak up some of what Amsterdam had to offer.

This morning we caught the same tram back into the city.  We were able to see the canals and streetscape by day.  The impression we had last night was correct – the city is very picturesque.

We headed for the Dam (“The Dom”) which is a lovely plaza area near the Central Station.  We took lots of photo’s and had soaked up the atmosphere before settling into some coffee and tea!!  Unfortunately the Dutch have not embraced Starbucks (apart from the airport) so we settle for the Coffee Company – not a bad brew!

With our insides a little warmer (it was around 5 degrees C today) we tracked down

an internet cafe and caught up on some news and sorted out our travel to Istanbul.

After completing some business we took a stroll along the many winding streets and took in the layout, architecture and “feel” of Amsterdam.  It really is a lovely city and the people are great.

The canals here are beautiful and the people are all very friendly.  The prolific use of bikes is amazing – such an eco-friendly way to get around town.  The whole city is set up for the use of bikes as the main source of commuting and the design of the bikes is something to see.  Very inspirational and something that we wish China would revert to!!

From eco-friendly commuting to “men friendly” prostitutes Amsterdam has it all – including legal use and sale of marijuana.  Parts of the city are very interesting to walk around as the smell of “weed” is incredible.  You can smoke it, lick it (lollipops), eat it (cookies) and drink it.  It is amazing that the city functions at all!!

Some of the afternoon (and again later at night) was spent looking around the red-light district.  It is an amazing experience.  24 hours a day you can “shop” for a prostitute.  They hire rooms and sit on chairs behind glass doors so that you can walk past and “window shop”.  In some ways it is quite sad but then we figured that it keeps them “safe” and warm.  It was quite something to watch the girls plying their trade.

After a long day of walking we sat down for a lovely Indian supper before catching the tram back to the B&B.

We need to get up quite early in the morning in order to get out to the airport for our flight to Istanbul so it is off to bed.
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