Those few days of work passed quickly and it was suddenly time for my next little trip. This time to the Netherlands.
I spent the first night in a little city called Utrecht. Unfortunately I didn’t plan my trip so well in that my planned day of Utrecht sightseeing fell on a Monday. Which is when everything touristy is usually closed. I spent a few hours trekking around the pretty city, admitted defeat, caught a train to Amsterdam, and checked into my next hostel. It was still Monday in Amsterdam but being a bigger city it still felt like there was plenty happening.
My hostel (The Flying Pig) was pretty neat. It’s a well known Europe party hostel and has it’s own smoking room. It’s really central with being only five minutes walk from the train station. The rooms even had some double-bed sized bunks which is the first I’d ever seen. I also really liked the fact that they had American Hustle on DVD (probably an illegal copy I think) which was a movie I’d been meaning to go watch.
Activities-wise I did the usual free walking tour, revisited Anne Frank’s house (still just as great the second time), got my art on at the Van Goth museum, people-watched at the iAmsterdam sign, got freaked out by the Sex museum, and made it my mission to eat lots of Dutch food. Interestingly I noticed hardly any sex workers in their red light windows this time. I guess prostitutes have a low season in winter when tourist numbers drop. Or maybe it’s too cold to hang out in skimpy underwear next to a chilly window.
The last night I caught up with a Dutch friend and we went and watched a Dutch band play called the Joneses. She was friends with the band so it was easy to meet the band and get handshakes afterwards. It’s quite fun feeling like a groupie. Check this video. It’s sooooo good! And notice how surprisingly they sing in English and not Dutch. But apparently this is because Dutch singing sounds awful, but English also appeals to a wider audience.
The next morning after turning up for my bus over an hour early (thank you incorrect time zone again in iPhone calendar!). Although still better than turning up an hour late like I did in Barcelona another time. I rode the bus for ten hours back to London. I decided during this journey that no matter how cheap bus tickets are, anything over five hours is just way too long and I’ll treat myself to plane tickets instead. This wasn’t helped by the fact that it was rush hour time in London by the time my bus arrived, and with the huge masses of people trying to push onto the Brighton train, I couldn’t even fit into the first three trains. I was standing in the winter cold on the platform for over an hour getting grumpier and grumpier just trying to complete the final segment of my journey.
Eventually I did make it back to my cozy apartment that night and fell asleep despite grumpy London train thoughts. But all in all a fun trip if you don’t include the last day.