Saturday, August 30, 2014

Amsterdam to Bruges

Bikes, bikes EVERYWHERE in Amsterdam!
You're more likely to be run over by bike than car.
The best cup of coffee!


 
One of the many beautiful canals.

We went for a long walk through many districts of the city last night, also taking the tram (street level trains that run on the streets, amidst cars and bikes) and bus. We made it as far as Red Light District, and discovered the lurid window booths that scantily clad women dance and shake in, showing off their wares to men; I honestly thought the area would be seedier and dirtier and more dangerous, but found it instead full of lots of other curious tourists, and also stocked with kitschy little shops and bars and restaurants. Had my first Amsterdam beer at a small cafe in the Red Light District.

This morning we took the city on again, walking around for nearly 4 hours, seeing different neighborhoods in hunt for the Anne Frank house. Much to my chagrin--though previously warned by the internet that the lines can be long and advanced tickets are suggested--the line was enormous, so we just stopped and examined the outside of the building, which sits on a beautiful canal way, and I thought of the awful suffering of that (and many other) families.

After a lunch in Amsterdam we were once again on the road, sights set on Bruges. We are in Bruges now, one $30 Euro parking ticket, and one VERY delicious dinner later, and we're getting ready for bed in our very tiny hostel room, above the very noisy, and apparently very popular hostel bar. We are staying at Charlie Rocket's Hostel, which does not impress, but for $21 Euro apiece there are clean linens on the bed, a beautiful view of the street below, and free Wifi. Tomorrow we head to...France, perhaps?

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