Day 20 – Amsterdam

That day in Amsterdam I went on the free tour (same company as the one that provides the free tours in London, Paris, Berlin, etc). Oh but before I go into that, before the tour I was walking to the meeting point and someone behind me yelled out “Ben!”. I turned around and it was a semi-familiar looking face of someone I had met in some hostel in one of the cities I’d been to. I don’t even know her name. Anyhow, we talked a little bit, and she was going off for some guide or something so as quickly as we met we parted. I still have no idea who she is. I have terrible memory.

Anyhow, this free tour was given by a Portuguese woman who was very enthusiastic and great. Unfortunately at the beginning of the tour it started raining really hard. She didn’t seem to mind too much. Although there were tons of things making noise around us, which she was a little perturbed about. Saw all sorts of things, including the thinnest house in Amsterdam. Also got some good pictures. After the tour the guide sat down with me and told me all of the million things to do in Lisbon.

After that I walked off towards the Heineken Experience. If you talk to people who have visited Amsterdam, chances are they went to this. You walk around to various different rooms, like most brewery tours, but this one was pretty modernized and they put a lot of design into it. They had these two rides which were absolutely hilarious. The first was what it was like to be a Heineken bottle. You got into the moving chairs and had a television in front of you which showed you getting washed, filled, capped, labeled, and shipped. It had all this dramatic music and was absolutely hilariously cheesy. The second ride was going from the Heineken factory to somewhere else by horse drawn carriage, which was kind of stupid but also had hilarious overly dramatic music. Other rooms at the factory had video games and places where you could take pictures of yourself and send it to other people (though I didn’t really think it was worth it). There was also a place where you could try unfermented beer, which was very warm, wheaty and sweet. I thought it was pretty good actually. Maybe if it was watered down a tiny bit and offered as a drink in cafes I would buy it. In the entire tour I was given three beers, all which I awkwardly drank alone. Heineken is alright, but I believe it’s missing pizzazz.

After that I walked over to the Van Gogh Museum, but it was 30 minutes before closing time so I decided to do it the next day instead.

So after that I walked around a lot. Amsterdam seems to be a place where you have to be with someone else to experience the true fun of the place. And the hostel/hotel I was staying at was really not very sociable, so I couldn’t easily make friends. I did talk to my roommates, who were lesbians from Stockholm, but they were going out to a lesbian bar where they didn’t think guys were allowed. So I ended up just wandering around a lot and watching TV with some others back at the hotel.

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