A Travellerspoint blog

A is for Amsterdam

Biking, Bonking and Bongs

semi-overcast 17 °C

Amsterdam is known for its regal architecture. This is the central station...
But the narrow cobbled streets of this ancient city are clogged with bikes - at least a million bikes - an amazing number considering the population is only 750,000. There are so many bikes that canal barges are used as parking lots...
Although most end up chained to the railings and bridges....
The majority of bikes are relatively inexpensive sit-up-and-beg machines: this is useful because 100,000 are stolen and a further 25,000 are thrown into the canals each year.
Cycling isn't the only form of exercise here and, judging by the number of sex shops and brothels, it seems that most Dutch people are bikers by day and bonkers at night. Sex is around ever corner in Amsterdam and most tourists flock to the Red Light District where ladies-of-the-night flaunt their wares like skimpily clad mannequins in a saucy lingerie shop window. Every visitor comes to gawk at the women but most are just voyeurs. However, in our desire to bring you, dear reader, a true experience of our travels we visited the famous sex museum. We would be censored if we showed you what the butler saw, but there was this very interesting bronze fruit bowl, (or maybe it was for nuts?)...

Despite the Netherland's straight-laced puritanical past, Amsterdam's air is heady with the smell of pot and almost every store that isn't selling sex is selling dope. But there is much more to Amsterdam than biking, bonking and bongs: there are boats, bakeries and bookstores everywhere and, of course, there are bags of bulbs and bunches of blooms. Holland is renowned for its flowers and here are some bulbs and blooms for sale at the famous floating Bloemenmarkt....

Our next stop is Delft where we will be cycling the canals in search of ceramics. But we had better stop this alphabetical rhyming or we will run into a lot of problems when we get to Q,X and Z.

Posted by Hawkson 00:13 Archived in Netherlands

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It appears you are having an awesome adventure in Amsterdam. Don't break any bones bicycling, as we continue to care about you, even when you are courageously cavorting across continents, I am sure you will deem Delft delightful.
An alliterate admirer,

by catherine

At last an new adventure. How exciting. Does one ever tire of the B's and I am not talking about bicycles. Is the average age of the population in Amsterdam in the 20's and 30's? Thanks for including us on your adventures.

by Sue

hmmmm, the fruit bowl, I wonder if they ever used it as such... I am looking forward to follow your travels J&S, it will be interesting and engaging, obviously.

by gottfried

Travel porn? How did the admin let you get away with the title? Oh, right, you're in Amsterdam not Atlanta. So good to see your blog up and running again.

by Janet

Hurrah! The intrepids are in progress through interesting places....inspiring!

by Sharron

So pleased to hear about your new travel adventures. You make me feel like I am on the trip as well. Amsterdam sounds very intriguing. I was in the red light district in the 60's.
Thanks for sharing.

by Ute

Another opportunity to ride a bike you were not able to cycle in London but we hope to see a photo of you on a bike in Amsterdam. Time moves on Sheila I dont think I am able to ride a scooter now. Good luck on your travels

by David Henderson

I was in Amsterdam some 50 years ago. Not much seems to have changed - except perhaps more bicycles - but then I never saw a hill in Holland. But smell of pot, red light,etc. was all there - probably almost as old as some of the buildings.

by Antony Holland

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