Saturday, 30 March 2013

Day Two: Proost!

From the early hours of this morning me and my fellow Top-deckers have been up and at 'em!

Starting the day with a bike tour with Mike's Bike's around the city at 9am, the group was brought to life with the chill of the bitter wind and the lovely views of the city before the bustle of the afternoon. The tour took us through the some of the main sights like the 'I Amsterdam' sign in front of the famous Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank house (which had a massive queue outside) and the (fake) lizard park. We cycled over a lot of canal bridges which was a work out in itself! And halfway through the tour we stopped off at this lovely little rustic cafe to grab some coffee. It was my first time ever doing a bike tour and I can safely say the company cater for all types of riders, like, say, the short novice... Also the guide was really knowledgeable and friendly with the tendency to crack jokes throughout the tour. It was really good fun.
On a general note, if it's one thing you'll definitely notice upon entering Amsterdam it's jut how much cyclists have a reign over the streets. According to urban lore they are at the top of the transport hierarchy, which probably explains why there are so little cars driving around and also why everyone around here seems to be a pro at riding a bike.

After that some of us went to the Heineken brewery which was pretty cool. Personally my favourite part was this 4D interactive visual experience where we were "brewed and bottled", becoming a part of the making process, with bubbles coming out from the ceiling and a trembling platform. All in all the museum was quite quirky and displayed the long history of the Heineken brand- I would say it's generally a good activity to do but great for beer lovers as you get a beer tasting session and then 2 free complimentary beers at the end of the tour! Awesome, right?!

The latter half of the day consisted of a tour through the red light district. Two of us decided to take up a tour with the Prostitution Information Centre who offer insider knowledge on the district. It was actually really informative and educational, shedding light on probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of the city. We were also given useful tips like to never stand in front of a window because it makes the workers angry as it could deter customers. Loitering could indeed result in pee, water, or even a dildo thrown at your head. Don't do it!
And then came the optional activity that no doubt everyone signed up for: the sex show. All I can say (and will say) is that it was a very theatrical type of show, probably one of the more accessible shows geared to attract more than one type of audience... There were several different acts which were all good, if not a little tacky, but overall the show was at times really funny and entertaining with some awkward parts. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but if you think you'd be up for it it's definitely a to do whilst at the red light district.

Tomorrow should be another fun filled day with yet more exploring and a trip to the flower fields lined up in the morning! I can't wait.

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