Thursday, August 03, 2006

 

Amsterdam (and a bit of London – 14-17 July)

Hi everyone,

I thought it was a good opportunity to drop the Arabic. It turns out the world does exist outside Doha, I was starting to wonder if the world was still spinning.

The flight from Dubai to London was only 7 hours, it went really fast. I spent my time watching Toy Story 2, the first 5 minutes of Mary Poppins, Annapolis and Ice Age 2. Unfortunately the flight was on time and I missed the last 20 minutes of the movie. Anyone able to tell me how it ends? I think the mammoths get together, but I’m not too sure. Might have to wait for the return trip.

I flew into Heathrow airport at around 6pm, where I was met by Jonno and Jo. Believe it or not but Jon hasn’t really changed, he still looks the same. We went out for dinner, and got some sleep before the beginning of my new European adventure.

Friday morning was fantastic. It started by cooking the biggest load of bacon and eggs ever. There was so much bacon it was crazy. Now this may seem crazy for me emphasising that I had mass amounts of bacon, but in Doha, we cannot get bacon, or ham or pork for that matter, as the pig is not allowed in the country. Those of you who know how much I love food, will know that this is a big thing. That afternoon it was off to Amsterdam.

After a 3km taxi down the runway at Heathrow we were off. We arrived in Amsterdam a little after 5 pm. We headed out as soon as we arrived. The night life is amazing. The streets were filled with people, most of the restaurants were nearly filled and the streets were covered with locals and tourists alike, all looking for that tasty meal and some fun… We stayed out for a few beers and hit the hay.

Saturday was fantastic. We went in to the centre of Amsterdam, the central station and worked our way around. Within 5 minutes beginning our excursion, we ended up visiting a sex museum. From what I could work out, they did it the same way a couple of hundred years ago as they do now, although a few of the pictures did show a few slight changes in the way its done now, I will leave it up to you all to ponder that one!!!

After the thrills of the museum, we went and had the “Heineken Experience”. It was fantastic. It was a historical tour or the brewery, stopping off for a free beer along the way. The tour was really interesting. It was very interactive, a great experience. It was finished off with another few free pots of Heineken and a present, a Heineken bottle opening in a bottle. That took several hours and was great fun.

Following that experience it was time to experience “The Red Light District”. It wasn’t a massive area, but it was filled with ‘special’ cafes, sex shops and more sex shops. All I will say is if you go to Amsterdam you have to go to the red light district. It’s an experience to behold!!!

That night we went on a pizza cruise. It was a great way to see the canals, have many many glasses of red and eat pizza. It went for around 2 hours and it was fantastic. That night we were out and about again, having a few beers.

Sunday, after a big breakfast, which once again included bacon, we went on a 3 hour tour of Amsterdam. We went and saw a windmill, lots of old buildings, the Rembrandt Museum (very impressive) and many other sights in Amsterdam. We than spent a few more areas looking around the town before getting ready for the night. We went on a pub crawl with around 15 others. It was great fun. After finishing our tour we jumped in to another one and continued with them. After returning around 5.30 in the morning, we had to check out of at 11 am. As you can imagine it was a painful experience. The Amsterdam experience ended with nursing a very bad hangover spilling a large coke all over the table and me at the airport. Interesting fact about Amsterdam, “There are more bicycles in Amsterdam than there are people. This is because every resident owns 2 bikes, one old one for use in Amsterdam and one good one. The reason is that good ones get stolen by the druggies and sold back for 40 euro’s”.

One country down, 5 more to go.

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