InterRail 2010 – Part 6: Exploring Amsterdam

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We spent the day after the concert by walking around Amsterdam, taking in the sights.

 

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Amsterdam feels much more relaxed and calm than a lot of other big cities.

Much of this relaxed feeling comes down to how the inhabitants rely less on motorised transportation than in most cities, as there are many who opts for using a bicycle instead.

The popularity of bicycles in the Netherlands is probably somewhat due to the lack of steep hills in the country.

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The bicycle parking in Amsterdam was packed!

Another cause of the sense of calm I got from Amsterdam is how nature is integrated into the city.

Trees and canals everywhere!

 

When our stay in Amsterdam had ended, I traveled on toward England, while my fellow previous servicemen traveled back home to Norway.

I would be traveling alone for the rest of the trip.

 

In the next part; Traveling to England.

 

InterRail 2010 – Part 5: The Concert

aha 2010 farewell tour

In 2010, A-ha were going on a farewell tour.

They have had tours since then.

 

After my first night in Amsterdam, I met up with the guys I were going to the A-ha concert with.

To the best of my memories, they arrived early the day of the concert, and I met them in the reception for the hotel we were staying at.

 

This hotel was considerably more fancy than the motel I had stayed at the night before.

I did not ask, but I doubt I would have been able to buy any “cheese” in that reception.

 

We spent most of that day “getting ready” for the concert.

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Even after what happened to me over a year earlier, I had still not gained the good sense to just stay away from beer entirely.

I am incredible lucky that my gout did not ruin the rest of my trip.

I don’t think that I even brought any of my medication.

 

The concert was held in the Heineken Music Hall, and it was great.

I had never really listened to A-ha that much before this, but I really enjoyed myself.

I particularly liked when they performed their theme tune to the 1987 James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights’.

 

In the next part; Exploring Amsterdam!

 

InterRail 2010 – Part 4: Amsterdam’s Cheese

wallace and gromit cheese amsterdam drugs

After my little stop in Köln I had finally arrived in Amsterdam, late that same evening.

 

I had plans to meet two of the guys I served with during my year in the Norwegian Airforce, as they were planing on traveling there to attend an A-ha concert.

Why they decided to travel all the way from Norway to the Netherlands to see a Norwegian band perform, I’ll never know. But I decided to attend the concert aswell, since I was going to be there anyway.

They were arriving the day after I did, so I had to find somewhere else to stay than the hotel we had booked at.

amsterdam city centre train station

I looked around for a hotel room in the city centre for quite some time, as there were very few rooms available.

I most have seemed very lost, because eventually someone who knew the management of a nearby motel hooked his claws in me, and guided me to their door.

 

The motel reception had the slight vibe of a dive bar, without being one.

My room turned out to be quite nice, so I had no complaints.

But there was something that caught my attention on the reception counter..

cheese drug menu

On the reception counter there was a huge menu, titled ‘Cheese’, with a lot of different cheese types on it.

“That’s odd” I thought, “a separate menu just for cheese, in a motel lobby?”

There were not any other food options on there. Not even wine, which you would think would be something you should be able to buy along with fancy cheeses!

But I thought “What the hell, when in Rome!”

So I asked to buy a cheese board.

 

The receptionist was very surprised by my order for a whole board full of cheese.

As it turns out, “cheese” is a euphemism for drugs, and these were legally sold in Amsterdam.

She must have thought that I was crazy to want a whole board of the stuff for myself!

 

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In the next part; The Concert