That sausage wont fit in here!… These were the words I screamed in Amy’s face just before I broke down and fell sobbing into a crumpled heap on the floor. Fitting everything you need for over a year into a backpack is quite difficult. Much to our disappointment, the mattesons sausage had to stay at home. (Along with the other £20 worth of noodles, pastes, and long life foods we bought for the trip in order to save money).
So on Wednesday 13th, sausageless, we set off. The journey so far has been: Train from Hebden Bridge to Newcastle – Bus from Newcastle train station to Ferry Terminal – Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry port (actually IJmuiden) – Coach from IJmuiden to Amsterdam – Then we walked to our boat hostel (boatel).
The ferry was a laugh, but booze is where they claw the money back from the cheap ticket. We had a nice few beers watching the cheesy but very competent covers band and playing simpleton bingo. Eventually, semi trollied we went back to the room and to bed, and all was well… Until, I was awoken in the early hours because someone had mistakenly put our room on a rollercoaster. After a few hours of being thrown around my bed on what is definitely one of the roughest ferry journeys I have ever been on, the seas eventually died down… just as we reached the port and it was time to get up.
After the previous night, we weren’t that thrilled about arriving at our next stop, a hotel on a boat. Thankfully the Boatel was great. Tiny rooms and thin walls, but it’s clean, the guy who runs it is really helpful and laid back, and for about £15 per person per night with breakfast, you can’t grumble.
The day we arrived in Amsterdam was valentines day, so being the old romantic that I am, I took Amy to the cheapest hostel in Amsterdam, took her out for a special offer 10euro steak and chips, and then we finished of with a glorious walk around the red light district. Smooth operator.
Things we have noticed about Amsterdam so far:
– The national dish appears not to be pancakes, but steak. There seems to be more steak houses than bars and coffee shops put together.
– You’re far more likely to be killed by a bicycle than any other mode of transport. The bicycle lanes (motorways), and bicycle multi story car parks have to be seen to be believed. The shear volume of bikes everywhere is amazing. It just makes sense, you wonder why all fairly flat cities aren’t like this. As a cyclist, its ace.
– British people are usually passing out/being sick outside coffeeshops. Seriously, you see them everywhere.
On Saturday, after some sight seeing, we did the obligitory coffee shop trip. I very nearly immediatley pulled a whitey, although I just managed to hold it off. Then we had a great time floating around town, wandering around in circles, getting lost, and generally forgetting what the hell we were supposed to be doing.
We have a couple more days here before we set of to Belgium (not sure where yet, Antwerp? Ghent? Bruges? Brussels?) so we’ll prbably do another short entry on the last when we leave.