After we went down for breakfast with Braidy we hurried to get upstairs and change rooms earlier than actually planned – I mentioned that before – to come back in time for the walking tour starting from the hostel at 10:30.
Our new room was even nicer than the first one. I love how they decorated the sink, and this time we had the lower half of a very old-fashioned queen-size bunk made of wood, placed right at one of the tall windows. It was funny to be able to just tuck a bit of the curtain between the frame and the mattress above us to have daylight just for our bed without having to disturb our roommates. The view was to the other side of the house, though, so no more Vondelpark sight for us.
Long story short, we missed the tour guide and took the tram to Dam Square to catch up with the group, but they were already gone, again. So we decided to just explore Amsterdam on our own. We weren’t too lucky with the weather during our stay, by the way, it was sunny and nice at both arrival and departure, but in-between it was what’s supposedly typical Amsterdam weather. I was really worried about the gloominess of most of my pictures and to share them but then again it’s what the city looked like these days and I wouldn’t want to change that.
I’m such a big fan of brick architecture, it’s not even funny anymore. And Amsterdam – like most Hanseseatic League cities – is the perfect place for that.
I had written down the addresses of a few thrift shops that we tried to find. Scoundrel’s not that good with a map but has an actual sense of direction, while I have the orientation skills of a dead rabbit but am quite okay at reading city maps. We found most of them, but I’ll cover that in another post. We made it to the flower market at the Singel, though, marvelling at the tulips and bulbs and garden accessories.
At some point behind the passageway of the Amsterdam Museum (the closest I came to visiting a museum during our stay, scandalously) – the carpet is the reason why they call it a “walk on art” – we incidentally bumped into the walking tour group from our hostel. Braidy had made a new friend, Colin from Wisconsin, so we could venture forth without a bad guilty conscience of leaving her alone.
Another thing I instantly loved about Amsterdam besides the architecture was the hordes of bikes everywhere. The Netherlands are the most biker-friendly country in Europe or probably even worldwide, and it shows.
Oh, and the water all around. The waterways – Grachten – are full of wonderful house boats, and the sight alone is enough to make a ship enthusiast like me grin foolishly every time I see one.
When we went back to the hostel we found out that Braidy’s new friend Colin and another guy he in turn had befriended, Alf from Essex, were our new roommates. They hadn’t been in the room in the morning, so it was a pleasant surprise.
Now in a party of five we rounded the day off at the bar after dinner – remember the free drinks we were promised? The barkeeper liked Scoundrel so much that he gave him four tokens instead of two. And the new bed was wonderful to sleep in.
The rest of my Amsterdam 3.15 Diary: