Nothing like a last minute trip to blow your budget right out of the water!
Amsterdam was lovely. After getting over the initial shock of wandering into the red light district (by accident - alarmingly easy to do), I was smitten. The pretty canals are lined with trees and narrow brick houses leaning into each other (and out over the street - something to do with hoisting stuff up to the top floor). The trees were still mostly green, but starting to turn shades of bright yellow and orange, making the city glow with autumnal colours. I spent half my time there daydreaming about living on a cute little houseboat and cycling to work.
This city is built for bike riding. The locals ride their bikes everywhere, some with wheel-barrow-like contraptions at the front for the kids. There is no question that in the street traffic pecking order, cyclists are at the top; followed by tram drivers, then buses, then pedestrians, and finally cars. Negotiating their way slowly between everyone else. As it should be. Cars must die.
I did a bike tour in the rain, and words cannot describe how lovely it was to be back in the saddle once more. I haven't had a bike for 4 and a half years now, and damn I miss it. I felt like a true Amsterdammer in my poncho, cycling from windmill to dairy farm in the wet (not that Amsterdammers spend their spare time cycling to see windmills and other tourist traps, but y'know).
Here's me hangin' in the Post CS building, temporary home of the Stedelijk Modern Art Museum and a very cool bar called 11.
And here's me doing starjumps on guess which floor?
And in case you were wondering, no I didn't partake of the wacky baccy...
* Photos once again curtesy of the lovely Emma, thanks to my missing download cable.