The fifth would be the last full day we’d spend in Amsterdam on this trip. Colin and Conn were both leaving after breakfast, but at least we could say our good-byes properly.
We wanted to visit all our favourite places we found again that day. We started with a walk in Vondelpark, however, because we’d just seen the first few meters along our hostel’s street yet.
These guys are a half relief in a tunnel in the park. They’ve got the statue of a little boy between them which I didn’t photograph for reasons… It was probably downright creepy in the first place, but the black paint around the eyes did a marvelous job, even better than with the animals.
The playground had a double swing. I love playgrounds, and especially swings, so we had to try that one. Matching our leg movements wasn’t too easy at first, but eventually it worked out fine.
We just took of in some direction afterwards, exploring a quarter we hadn’t seen yet. Originally we had planned to go to the seaside on our last day but after a look to the grey sky it was probably wiser to stay in the city. It started to drizzle soon after we’d left the park, and by the time we were at the Centraal Station it had started to rain properly
We stumbled into a not-so-secret passageway a little later, into a dry corridor filled with vendors and second-hand book stalls. The book market in Oudezijde Achterburgwal might be a well-known spot for insiders and people with tourist guides but for us it seemed like a place of wonder, straight from a storybook.
We were already soaked to the bones – finding our last second-hand shop on the way – when we arrived in China Town and sought shelter in one of the restaurants. While outside it was pouring we watched the streets from behind the window, dangling our legs from the bar stools at the high table directly facing the sidewalk. You could even see the temple from there (the pretty pagoda at the far right).
Scoundrel afterwards treated me to a Hong Kong muffin from the Chinese bakery across the street. He looks a bit like a character from a storybook himself in that picture, with the patchwork pants and the pointy hood. Probably something with gnomes and elves.
Back in the Uptown Pig we decided we needed to warm up before doing anything else, so we heated up one of the showers and used it as a sauna – something I had done on the first day by accident when I couldn’t figure out how to get the water temperature down at first. We just sat in the shower, reflecting on the last few days, a bit sad that it would all be over the next morning, while the steam from the hot water thawed our toes and mixed with the dampness the rain had left in our hair.
Remember the free drinks from our first day? We still had two tokens left (because the barkeeper had taken a liking to Scoundrel) and got hot chocolates to go along with our books for a quiet and cozy last evening. We even went to bed early after already packing our things and slept one last night in our adorable queen-size bunk bed.
The next morning we said our good-byes: To our bed, to Lola the resident cat (read: owner) of the Uptown Pig, to Braidy, to the staff and the Pig itself.
We took a last tram to our bus station and went on board. It was rather empty, enough space for Scoundrel to sleep some more and me to take up a double seat of my own to read. I’d saved my Hong Kong muffin from the day before, and at some point I climbed over the sleeping Scoundrel, woke him up and shared it with him. We had lunch, anyway, and slowly the landscape got more and more textured, less flat. Amsterdam, Holland, the Netherlands were behind us and we were already starting to miss it and were listing things we didn’t do but still wanted to do.
But this won’t be the last time we set foot there, and we’ll be back before we know it. We’re already making plans.
The rest of my Amsterdam 3.15 Diary: