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The last day in Amsterdam and the return home

The last day in Amsterdam

The last day in Amsterdam surprisingly started with sun. We didn't leave our hotel until after we had eaten and when we left, the first thing we did was catch the tram to take us to the city centre. Once there and seeing as we hadn't seen some things, we decided we would spend the afternoon in the Red Light District and in the squares in the city centre.

We arrived on the tram at Muntplein where everything had been offered to us the day before, and from there, we went walking towards Zuiderkerk or the Southern Church which was one of the small churches we hadn't yet seen. From there we went to the House and museum of Rembrandt which was obviously the house where the famous painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon had lived, and then from there, we of course went to the Red Light District.

The Red Light District and the green streetlights

The Red Light District has its well-earned fame... It's not everyday nor in every place in the world that you can see women with model figures in shop windows dressed in their lingerie. Well, they didn't all have model figures, lets just say that there are more "exquisite" streets and others where the women were dressed like they were just walking around the house. The traffic lights system, I don't know if you've ever heard of it, but from what we managed to understand without asking anyone, it's basically that if the light above the door is on, then the prostitute is available. If the light is turned off then the prostitute is busy and therefore is not in the shop window. The narrow streets when we went were pretty much empty, but after having a beer in Nieuwmarkt square, when we went back round the narrow streets filled with shop windows, there were no prostitutes. There was a large amount of people and the majority of us were tourists and of all the tourists there, I have to say that the majority of us were men.

The last day in Amsterdam and the return home

Being in the Red Light District, we crossed a canal and we found ourselves at the Oude Kerk (the Old Church) which is one of the oldest churches in the city. Its ironic that one of the most important churches in the city is located in one of the most "carefree" districts in Europe. This church is actually in the Red Light District and whoever walks through the grand doors of the main entrance, if you take one of the streets to the right or left, you will find the most realistic "shop windows" that can be seen in the world.

But the Red Light District is not simply a network of streets full of shop windows with women and men drooling around. The whole area is full od all types of shops and is surely the area of the city which generates the most money and where the tourists spend the most money. There are all sorts of restaurants from different countries, especially China, there are souvenir shops, bars and coffee shops in the hundreds and every four steps that you take, you find a sex shop or a projection room... People drink their beers quietly in the doorways of bars and on terraces (when it's not raining) and the atmosphere is very pleasant.

One of the stories from our trip was a telling off which we received from what we thought was a prostitute dressed in civilian clothing walking the streets. There was a seagull on the canal bank and I wanted to take a photo with it like in "I'm Frank of the jungle". The seagull hadn't moved, but when Alejandro had moved to take the photo for me, the woman I mentioned before started to say to Alejandro in English "What are you doing?! ". She looked at me and started to ask "English? French? Spanish? Greek? Belgian? ", she listed like 10 countries and answered with an emphatic "no" to all of them to not get us into trouble. Apparently she didn't like that we were taking photos in the Red Light District because you can see some of the shop windows with the girls inside and of course in the narrow streets, there are a lot of signs saying that you can't take photos of the shop windows.

Last stroll around Amsterdam

After being told off and going back through the Red Light District for the thousandth time, we went back to the centre to have our last stroll around Amsterdam before going back to the Amigo Hostel Budget with our already close friend Hamed. When we went walking around another street full of shops and modern buildings called Kalverstraat, we saw that there were a lot of people crowded around the door of a hotel which seemed like a luxury hotel. Cars full of very smartly dressed people who we didn't know didn't stop arriving and we saw that there was the typical "Photo Call" of Hollywood stars. There was a headline being repeated again and again and it seemed that it was written in Dutch (we didn't understand any of it). It was surely a premiere of a Dutch film, so we took a couple of photos before a 2 metre high security man kindly asked us to stop.

The last day in Amsterdam and the return home

We wanted to spend more time there and come back to see each and every one of the points that we had been to before, but it was already night time, it was getting really cold and we noticed we were getting tired. But we still wanted to try some Dutch beers, the traditional brands which you can usually only find online. So we went to a beer shop which we saw on our way back to the hotel and each one of us bought a couple of beers, to see how much hops the Dutch put in their beer.

The last hours, there's no more time for further announcements

We had ran out of time in Amsterdam and we could only sleep for as long as we could before having to get up early enough to be able to catch the train back home again. The following morning we had breakfast not much longer after waking up at 5 in the morning and after getting all our things and taking the last photo in our room, we left to catch a bus which would take us to Amsterdam Central Station. We bought to go to Eindhoven, this time without any problems (we understood the woman at the ticket booth a bit better than the one in Eindhoven). We paid the 20€ that each ticket costs and after a while we took the first train leaving to the south of Holland with Eindhoven as the destination. We passed through all the cities which we had seen when we arrived on Saturday in Holland; Utrecht and Hertogenbosch. We were looking at the landscape which is so different here in Holland compared to Spain, full of green fields, large, medium and small canals, windmills which had been well conserved... and although the sky was so grey, I have to say that Holland really does have its charm and the weather was good for us with the exception of Sunday night.

From Eindhoven to Madrid and finally, Home

We arrived in Eindhoven, in the central station, we found the bus to go to the airport and when we arrived, the first thing we did seeing as we still had 2 hours before boarding, was lie down on the edge of a column, on top of our luggage to sleep. We only woke up when a cleaning lady was mopping around our legs. They had opened our hand luggage in security (much to my despair as I struggled to close it) and we finally got to our gate for the direct flight from Eindhoven to Madrid which was leaving at 11 in the morning. The plane was a little delayed thanks to problems with landing which was thanks to the amount of wind on the runway. So eventually, we were sitting on our Ryan Air flight, where we could talk about the trip, remember different stories, count battles, look at photos... and better still, despite the "low-cost" of the trip, we gave ourselves the "luxury" to get back home on an ALSA premium bus, with all types of comforts which we neither had nor needed in Holland.

To finish, I would like to say that I think this has been the best trip I have been on, at least the one that I had laughed the most on. Your company whilst travelling makes the experience and I think outside of what was the destination, the trip would have been a wonder with the couple of wimps that I call my friends, Alejandro and Alberto, Jandro and Tiny.

Unbeatable Netherlands!

The last day in Amsterdam and the return home


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