I always knew John to be spontaneous, but not “pack right now because we’re going to leave soon” type. That was until he bought train tickets to Amsterdam literally four hours before we were to board.
At that moment I was starry-eyed and tickled purple (I don’t like the color pink so it’s my own twist-don’t hate).
My first thought-speechless. John’s impulsiveness and spontaneity were surprising to say the least, but I was just so consumed with utter amazement that I didn’t have time to wonder the costs and all that jazz. Plus I trust in his judgements wholeheartedly. How could anyone not love the suddenness especially when we get to check another place off the map together? Regardless, we were both happy chaps to be going.
To start, we departed from Köln Hauptbahnhof (Cologne train station) and rode the Deutsche Bahn train. It’s both smooth and timely; about a two and a half hour ride that goes by quickly. Then we arrived to Amsterdam Centraal Station (Amsterdam train station) and all we could think and say was “wow.” The sights are minutely different from Köln at first glance, but if you take a moment to muse and explore the contrasts they’re everywhere it’s quite remarkable. Initially we were in shock-and-awe because of how grand and intricate the buildings and monuments were. And our room, which was on the top floor of the ibis Amsterdam Centre hotel gave us another stunning view that exposed the textured city skyline. Amazing.
Now getting a little more analytical, architecturally speaking, compared to Köln Amsterdam is not as flat-looking. By that I mean the tops of buildings are fixed with some sort of complex stone works or statues. In fact, some of the buildings are tilted or leaning as if they were from a scene in Alice in Wonderland. It was so trippy to see that we thought our eyes were playing tricks on us at times. Another bonny attribute are the canals. This is what made the landscape so special and original. I wasn’t expecting to see so many throughout the city. So calm and tranquil. You could look at a canal and get an entire story, each authentically thick in history. For example, a particularly humbling and inspiring moment was seeing Anne Frank’s house which is right next to a giant church and borders a canal. Just to know that we were sitting in front of her house, and in the same place where so many inconceivable events occurred was quite prodigious. To say that we’ve been there and seen that was remarkable.
Besides the architecture and history there were some other things that were way, way different like the bikes and the marijuana and prostitution laws. Good gosh almighty there is an obscene amount of bikes peddling around you at all times. You have to watch out for them, some are maniacs and it’s overwhelming but you get used to it because you have to. Now for the marijuana and prostitution, first off they’re both legal which is crazy pants! People don’t frown upon it either, and if they do you couldn’t tell. It’s just part of the economy and culture. With that you can pretty much “light up” anywhere, but the sex stuff is limited to the Red Light District. And my oh my, the District is quite an interesting dynamic to see that’s for sure. There are girls dressed in next to nothing, but just enough to cover their tig ole bitties and cabbage patch. They sit in the windows; some dancing, some on their phone, some teasing etc. It makes for an interesting scene. When we went at night, the crowd ranged from groups of younger men to married couples which we thought was both puzzling and ponderous. One super outlandish thing that we both had never seen nor experienced were the “live sex” shows…yeah. Apparently you’re in a live theater-setting watching people do the dirty on stage. And there’s not just one type of show, there’s a wide selection to choose from. Like unbelievable variety. So much so that they have a menu for you to look at. Whomever said “variety is the spice of life,” was obviously from Amsterdam.
To put it simply though Amsterdam is a true wonder and I’m still on cloud nine knowing that I have such an incredible man that makes it all happen. I’m forever blessed.
Feel free to peruse through the photos to see how I captured the trip!