Many Layers – Seeing Past the Red Light District, Amsterdam

Travel is as much a part of my life as family and friends. When I’m on a plane, a train, or a bus heading toward a new location, I’m on an adrenaline high. All I need to do is think about exploring a new country or culture and my heart speeds up. After visiting 33 countries, it’s safe to say that I can’t write about them all and I most certainly can’t write about every experience in every city. So, when I posted about Amsterdam, I wrote about what surprised me the most: The Red Light District. Everything about it was new to me. I don’t normally walk down the street and see prostitutes or strip clubs; smoking anything is not done publicly; and a “coffee” shop sells coffee.  I was in no way uncomfortable with the Dutch tolerance and public display of sexuality; in fact, I might actually think it’s a better system, but it was definitely a notable experience. I left out the twinkling canals, the cleanliness of the city, the bikes that filled the streets, and the Anne Frank Museum that I imagined touring since learning about her in grade ten. Beautiful, open-minded, and filled with something new around every corner, Amsterdam is a delight to visit, even if you skip the Red Light District.  Continue reading

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I AMSTERDAM – A Little Something Extra!

If you walk down the main street of any city, you will see rows of shops and lots of people window shopping. It is exactly the same in Amsterdam, but the shop signs are preceded by the word “coffee” and the people are window shopping for prostitutes. Amsterdam is a magical place. It can be anything you want it to be depending on what drugs you are willing to take.

We arrived in Amsterdam like we arrived in most other countries. We had no place to stay and no prospects. We walked across the street from the train station and saw at least ten hotels on one block. There were lots of choices and we slowly made our decision.  Continue reading