Amsterdam – a mystical wonderland which doubles as the Capital of the Netherlands.
When you think Amsterdam, tell me – what do you visualise? The serene beauty of each canal found around every corner? The historic culture immersed into its many museums? Perhaps it is the iconic fact that Marijuana is 100% legal. For me, I had envisioned ticking off all of the above from my Amsterdam to-do list. Now, what exactly did I achieve? The weed….I smoked the weed.
Upon arrival to my hostel in Noord, I was already in love with the feel of this city. The sun was shining, I was breathing in the warm summer air and everyone cycled about with a smile on their dial. I was all for it! First thing was first, time to EXPLORE! I got myself on the free 24/7 ferry from Noord to Amsterdam Centraal Station, a quick 2-minute venture across the river. I was pleased to find that the main streets of Amsterdam were just a skip, hop and a jump away from Centraal Station so it took a mere 5-10 minutes stroll to be in the thick of the amazing city. After engaging exploration mode, my subconscious yet curious mind dragged my feet into a coffee shop. Though coffee was indeed on the menu, it was a freshly rolled joint that was tickling my fancy.
In my head, as well as discussed with my best friend – aka travel companion, there were big grand plans to visit numerous museums, the Anne Frank house, and fuck we even purchased some tickets for the Heineken Experience, €16 presumably well spent. Yes – it was all jotted down on my mental itinerary but none of the above actually happened. Do I regret that? Absolutely not!
Travelling without an agenda in Amsterdam was by far one of my top experiences I have had in my life. I spent most of my time high, as well as getting in my cardio fix from all of the explorings on foot. I didn’t board a single bus or tram, even my Uber app wasn’t getting any action that week (nor was I to be fair – ha) We ventured to the wonderful Vondelpark, 47 acres filled with lush grass, massive trees and beautiful lakes. Undoubtedly a prime location for people watching – which we are all guilty of! Vondelpark was also the location in which I lost my magic mushroom virginity – now that was an experience I will not be forgetting in a hurry! My mind took me to a new dimension, one which I had no idea even existed! It was like I had the key to unlocking this crazy part of my brain and I was taking a tour right through the extent of my creative mind. The tree’s had dancing snakes for leaves, next minute the leaves turned into a cluster of cat’s faces, everywhere! In fact, everything turned into cat’s faces. This just cemented the fact that I am a crazy cat lady. There, I said it. The grass turned into wriggling green worms, in the city of worms, you would find every little insect under the sun scrambling about, just doing their thing – I wonder what they were whispering about because I swear I could hear them. Strangers walking past that were perfectly normal, were suddenly midgets! This I couldn’t get my head around, I eventually had to turn away and focus on the cat’s faces in the trees because the midgets became a bit overwhelming. Everything was just more intense, more extra, but the best thing about tripping on ‘shrooms was hands down every fucking dog that I laid my eyes on. They weren’t just a dog, they were a magical four-legged being, the epitome of magnificence – don’t fight me on this.
Amsterdam is also the home to the over-the-edge swing, the place in which I part time conquered my fear of heights. Located on the top of the 22nd story A’DAM Tower, sits two double seated swings. After lining up to literally swing over the edge of this building, I had decided I am indeed fucking crazy. What was I thinking? I was going to fall, and die, and that’d be the end of me. Or so I thought when I was in the depths of my fear. In reality, it wasn’t half bad. After a couple of screams plus a few F-Bombs, we were away and laughing swinging over the edge of the A’DAM Tower. For approximately 3 minutes, I was no longer afraid of heights. You still won’t get me on a bungee jump.
My favourite part of Amsterdam was the overall vibe in the atmosphere. A place where everyone is chilled out, no qualms, no dramas – just a good time. I felt completely safe strolling the streets at night time and dare I say it, talking to strangers while tripping balls. The early summer skies and warmth really added to the adventure, a breath of fresh air every time. The aura that everyone carried while going about their lives had me already wanting to book another flight back to Amsterdam before I had even left. Side note: The weed is fantastic. Smoking a joint while wandering alongside a beautiful canal – one hell of a time, you should try it sometime.
So, I didn’t visit the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh museum, didn’t brush arms with Justin Bieber at Madame Tussauds or find out how a Heineken bottle is constructed, but nonetheless, Amsterdam will be waiting and I will for sure be returning.
Vaarwell, for now. x