Whilst journeying (supposedly West), We spy a street sign saying where the Flower Market is (Bloemenmarkt), we head over to check it out.
The flower Market itself takes up the side of a road beside one of the canals and was a very impressive display of flowers. There was a nice mix of grown plants as well as bulbs and grow it yourself packs.
The heat intensified through the day as the sun hit its peak, it hit around 32*C at a point according to Google, though it felt even hotter than that. We adopted a strategy I learnt in Japan, jumping between shops with the strongest air-con to cool off whilst avoiding the direct sun as much as possible. Thanks to this though we explored all sorts of quirky shops we probably would have otherwise skipped.
There were quite a shocking amount of weed seed shops, I mean I know Amsterdam is essentially 420getb4ked zone but there are a ton of shops which seem to mostly specialize in selling seeds of different strains for people to grow. We also went into a shop which was quite opening selling shrooms and some other party drugs (probably speed or LSD if I was to guess), the difference here though is that the shopkeeper was giving advice and education to those he was selling his wares to, “it’ll take X hours for effects”, “dont X before doing it” and so on, its an odd scene to watch and yet I guess it kind of makes sense, these are legitimate businesses, and these may be legit future repeat customers, why wouldn’t they take care of them.
Our exploration eventually lead us to the ‘9 Streets’, a cluster of small roads famous for fashionable shops and quirky hipster goods and stuff like that, almost like the Harajuku of the Netherlands.
The streets are called such as the 3 streets are divided by canals and junctions, it really was a nice place to walk around, and after the bustle central it was nice to go somewhere a tad calmer and more civilized (no weed shops here)
The fatigue is really starting to kick in by now (around 6pm), we wind down in a small cafe with a frosty drink, abuse the wifi a little and then headed off again…
Only to make it about 5 minutes down the road and onto a bench by the canal where we would spend the next half hour.
Turns out, all manner of crazy happens on the canals while we’re busy walking around sightseeing and getting lost:
– We spotted a full massive tourboat of asian people and giggling girls
– We spiritually bonded with a random woman sitting across the canal
– Met Dil’s doppelganger (beardy who didn’t stop smoking in the half hour or so we were there)
– Watched an old guy shout at a boat of 4 girls and order them out of his mooring spot
– Then watched aforementioned 4 girls fail at securing their boat for about 10 minutes because their cord was too short to tie to the docking area.
We had enough for now, and headed back to the hotel, we finished up the rest of the 9 streets and navigated our way back to the hotel, where many showers were had. Sweet, refreshing showers.
My feet hurt.
We spent about an hour resting up in the hotel, I spent it typing this up while it was still fresh in my mind.
We head down to the lobby eventually, Hass asks the receptionist about supermarkets and where we can get some good food (we ask for ‘authentic dutch food’).
From here, we head out to the local big supermarket, the name of which I forget, it’s fairly standard european supermarket affair, a few interesting standout bits, namely the ridiculous selection of cheeses. We stock up on some drinks, grab some snack foods (dessert?) and then head back to the restaurant area marked out by the hotel concierge.
It’s starting to get seriously late now, around 9:40pm, we start to get concerned that we’ll miss dinner due to last orders at some restaraunts at 10pm. Our choices are Dutch, Steak, or Italian, We end up going dutch – even if it is fairly expensive.
Go big or go home? The meal is around 20 euros each, I went for a beautiful Rack of Lamb cooked medium rare, it arrives with the juices running off it still, it was probably the best Lamb i’ve ever had, you get what you pay for I guess (but in this case, £22 is a steal).
After dinner we have a final little walk around and head back to Dam Square, just to see if anything has changed since we’ve been gone (maybe there would be a night rave going on now we thought, it is a friday night after all). Nada. We did shoot some nice photos of the church stained glass windows though, with the light from inside the church beaming out.
Hotel, Blog, Chocolate, Bed.
Goodnight Amsterdam. See you in the morning.