Saturday, March 13, 2010

Amsterdam 101: The Pancake House

It’s 6:55 pm on March 7th 2010. (Im posting this on the 13thof March however) I am sitting in Brussels- Charleroi Airport waiting for my flight back to Ireland, and God Almighty I can not wait to get back to Galway. I just finished up my weekend trip to Amsterdam and have 3.5 hours to kill because I am an idiot and thought my flight was much earlier. You might ask why I didn’t check my boarding time on my already printed out ticket? Because I enjoy sitting wasting time in airports with nothing to do. You might be nice and think that I kept my flight ticket packed way in my suitcase and so finding it would be a hassle? No I had it in my jacket pocket the entire day. Again I like sitting doing nothing in airports. But that is neither here nor there, you are reading this (if anyone does) to hear about my trip to the Netherlands. Well here it is: there is the good, there is the bad, and then there is Amsterdam.

I hopped off the plane in Brussels, Belgium and wont bore you with the details of how I arrived in Amsterdam because the return in so much better. I arrived in the city center and found the hostel to met up with Pat, Dave, KP and Melissa, Simmons, Lena and the rest of the gang. Eventually Dan, Emily and Cormier, Jack Remy, and Wilkie all joined in. Amsterdam is a very unusual city to say the least. I have now been to 10+ countries in Europe in my life and multiple cities in those countries, and I have never seen a place like this. Needless to say drugs and prostitution have completely immersed themselves into the city. Come to think of it, without those things Amsterdam would probably just fall through the cracks of places to see while in Europe. Now I am not denying or stating anything that might have happened this weekend while in the Red Light District. I believe just saying “It was Amsterdam” is sufficient enough.

However, there are certain things that must be revealed so that others can benefit from them. To start: the number one place to go in Amsterdam is not the Red Light District, of the “ I Amsterdam” sign, or the Heineken Brewery, or even the Anne Frank House. It is a little place called the Pancake House. Holy Lord, that places is by far the closest thing to heaven in a city that is most likely going to hell. Everything about it is amazing. How they can combine chili, spiced minced meat, and pancake together and make me consider offering my three sisters into a life of enslavement so that I could have it everyday is beyond me. But believe me if Jenna, Kathleen, and Tara were there for me to offer I would most likely be coming home with a chef and not the three of them. Sorry not sorry guys. I doubt I need to tell you we went back there for breakfast everyday we could.

While I was in Amsterdam I did do some of the tourist attractions too. We went to the Heineken Brewery which was pretty awesome. I put it right behind the Guinness Factory and right in front of the Jameson Factory. I always love going into those things until some jerk reminds me that I basically paid 14 euro for 2 small Heineken beers. Assholes. We also went to the Van Gogh Museum which was really cool- if I was remotely interested in art. I think I need to stop tricking myself into thinking I am cultured because I am in Europe. In the end all I think about when I see his work is that it is really cool I am this close to a piece of Van Gogh’s art. But 500 pieces later and I pretty much pushed the envelope to the maximum. The best part of the museum was the chicken meal we had at the end. Heavenly. We also saw the “I Amsterdam” sign, obviously. Depressing though it was because there was a monsoon when we were there. Finally I walked by the Anne Frank House. Unfortunately, I didn’t go inside because the line was always around the block. That is my one regret about the trip. Shucks.

That pretty much wraps up the trip, except I forgot to mention that as crazy as Amsterdam is known to be, it shuts down really early, like around 1 AM. Strange for a city known for how it parties…As I said before I am in Brussels- Charleroi Airport and by the time I get back to Galway I would have been traveling for 17 hours. Hint: just because Ryanair flies you cheap doesn’t mean you get to your destination cheap, or quickly by any means. Oh well…Amsterdam, ehhh I give you a 60%. Will I come back? Probably not. Am I glad I went there so now I can have it out of my system? Yes. But if I do go back I know the first place I am going is definitely to that Pancake House. How I will miss that place…

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