Woo long overdue posts about my awesome endings in Europe. We'll start with my 4 days in Amsterdam. My sister and her boyfriend KC arrived in Geneva and we got over jet lag, and the next day took an easyjet flight to Amsterdam. We arrived and met up with our couchsurfer, Jaap, at the train station and he showed us to the bus as he biked home. The first surprising thing in Amsterdam we noticed was the crap loads of bike, EVERYWHERE! Everyone rides a bike and the bike traffic in the city is probably heavier than the car traffic. We spent a nice relaxing evening with Jaap eating lasagna and jamming to Johny Cash. Jaap was actually planning on immigrating to Vancouver soon so maybe we'll see him sooner than I think.
We started our trip in Amsterdam with a free New Europe tour learning about all the history and architecture of Amsterdam. It's a really gorgeous city with beautiful canals and interesting architecture. The rest of the day was more wandering and taking in the sights.
The second day we decided to rent bikes and explore the city the locals way. We took our bikes to a nearby market buying bread and cheese and fruit for a picnic in Vondelpark. We also cruised over to a local brewery on the west side of the city called, Brouwerij't IJ. We finished off the day with a tour of the redlight district. It's definitely an interesting sight to behold, but no pictures were captured because apparently the prostitutes have big scary body guards that come out and smash your camera... OR they may have a cup of urine placed next to them that they throw at you. So good to know that.
We finished off the stay in Amsterdam with some delicious traditional pancakes, more like crepes if you ask me. And then headed over to Museum Island to check out the Rijkmuseum, the Dutch museum of history and art. It was unfortunately under construction but all the masterpieces were there so we oogled at some Rembrant and Vermeer before heading out for a nap on the lawn. Sara and I visited the Anne Frank house, the house where she was in hiding during WWII. It was pretty emotional and interesting. We finished the day meeting up with Jaap and the other couchsurfers who were staying with him and heading to his friends' freegan dinner. Every thursday they prepare a vegan dinner from free food they've collected at the markets, either asking vendors for food they wouldn't sell or dumpster diving for discarded food, here's they're website, http://casarobino.org/ very interesting blog! The dinner was delish with some stir fry, salads, delicious turkish food, hummus and more. There were people from everywhere, Italy, Turkey, Israel, you name it. It was a really fun experience and only something you can experience with couchsurfing. I love couchsurfing soo much!
We then boarded a train for Berlin and that story comes next, look out!
pictures here, http://picasaweb.google.com/stephlach