I'm finally on a break from work and trying to make the most out of my free time now I went to visit my family first (always love to get home for a couple of days!). I got to see my cousin who had spent half a year abroad (on Gran Canaria for an internship, I'm so jealous...) and I also got to see some friends I don't see that often.
|me, my brother and my cousin. <3|
When I got back to Cologne I only had one day before I headed to Amsterdam with Caro, Eva and a girl who works with Eva. I have been to the Netherlands and love it a lot there, I even started studying Dutch recently, but I had never been to Amsterdam. What can I say, I just loved it. I really like the Dutch, they are friendly, helpful people, whenever they noticed that we are German they started talking in German to us, even when I tried my best to talk to them in Dutch, haha, obviously I have to work harder on that ;-) Everyone was willing to help us, people are smiling a lot and this may seem superficial but a lot of people there are really pretty (and tall!).
|I'll never get sick of Amsterdam's architecture|
|Neither will you, I hope ;-)|
|A small piece of summer on a cold Amsterdam weekend|
|Don't think that something's wrong with your eyes or with my camera, those houses are really crooked. And these aren't even the worst ones ;-)|
Because we didn't have a lot of time we needed to get to know the most important stuff around there pretty quickly so we took a free guided tour through the streets of Amsterdam. There are lots of museums and indoor things as well but you can spend hours just walking around, looking at the pretty houses, bridges, canals... I loved it. Our tour guide was a young dutch-canadian girl who really enjoys her job and as she also offers a night-time tour through Amsterdam's famous red light district we took another tour just a couple of hours later. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about Amsterdam's history in general but also about the history of prostitution and how everything works there. How the Dutch handle those things is great. They are just a relaxed type of people when it comes to a lot of things, it's mainly: do whatever you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. With legalizing prostitution and semi-legalizing soft drugs they are able to control things better and make Amsterdam a really safe place for everyone, families, older people, tourists... I really like it that way as I tend to think that every grown up should be able to decide what they'd like to do in their free time. Visit a prostitute? Go ahead! Have a joint in a coffee shop? Feel free to do it! I can imagine that growing your children in a place like that must be pretty amazing because it takes a lot of the mystery out of those things and that's what the people there say as well, there are very little teenage pregnancies and stuff. Anyway, it doesn't really matter what you think about those things, Amsterdam is a great place anyway and if you get the chance, you should definately go there. I will go again for sure!
|I love that you're always so close to the water|
|See that house that is a brighter red than the others? This is an actual house, one of the smallest in the city|
|Believe me, I do!|
One thing that is really crazy in Amsterdam is the traffic. Cologne is bigger than Amsterdam and there are thousands of cars driving around here although driving in the city is just horrible. In Amsterdam with all the narrow streets and bridges driving is impossible so most of the people there are going everywhere by bike. If you think that this is the safest way to get anywhere, well, I don't think so. They have a terrible speed, nobody is wearing a helmet, no one ever uses their brakes. They are carrying everything on their bikes, their shopping, small pieces of furniture and their children. To me it looks really dangerous but everyone seems to know how to do it. As I use my bike very often I thought I was good at it but this is pure craziness. Anyway, the city is very "fiets"-friendly and there are lots of streets only for bikes. It's kind of cool but you seriously have to practise.
|The triple X stands for Amsterdam and this sign says it all. The Amsterdamers are crazy about their bikes|
I could go on for hours telling you how much I enjoyed our little trip but I'll leave it to that. If you have ever been to Amsterdam and want to talk to me about it, feel free to leave a comment, I'd be thankful for more tips for my next trip there and I'll share mine with you if you'd like to go there for the first time.
PS: Just to make sure everyone gets it: I don't think prostitution is a good thing. I'm just saying that it has always been there and always will and by making it legal you make sure that the girls are in a safe place and can make their own choices.
I also don't think drugs are a good thing. But neither are cigarettes and alcohol and yet they are legal in most countries. By tolerating soft drugs to be sold in places with a license you can keep people from buying filthy, even more unhealthy stuff out in the streets.