7 Countries in 30 days. Step 8: Amsterdam and surroundings (Netherlands)

La nostra migliore amica in Olanda
Our best friend in Holland
Bici e canali: questa è Amsterdam
Bikes and canals: that’s Amsterdam

The smell of fresh herring on the port’s stalls says goodbye to me while I’m going to take my train at Rotterdam station. The Dutch capital city is waiting for me: I will spend 5 days there with Alberto, who is coming there from Florence by plane. I meet him near the station of Amsterdam and we search the hostel in which we’ll spend our first night. We could not find a more squalid place. Four English stoned boys are sharing the room with us, the beds smell like something rotten. We rent two bikes with wide wheels and handlebars in Harley Davidson style – of course I fall down on the tram tracks, wet because of the rain – and we visit the city.

Attempts to visit Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank house, are not successful. The kilometric queues discourage us. We prefer to wander around the city, dipped into the mix of colours and cultures that the Venice of the North offers to us. The following nights are not better that the first one. We spend the second night on the boat Anna Maria II.

Soggiorno vietato ai claustrofobici
Soggiorno vietato ai claustrofobici

The sleepers are so small that I touch head and feet: Alberto has to sleep curled up. The remaining space is sufficient only for a person standing, so while one of us is getting dressed, the other one has to wait in the corridor. The window is the size of a dish. I cannot breath and I spend the night awake.

We spend the last 3 nights in a hotel with high risk of tetanus, in which we seem to see even a mouse disappearing into a hole in the wall of the room, which we plug with a plastic bottle. The man at the reception welcomes us saying “Here you can smoke only weed, if I smell tobacco I call the police”. We want to go to see the big dam which allows to a part of the country not to be inundated by North Sea. We ask around how to arrive there, but it seems that Dutch people are unaware about what keeps them alive.

Sentirsi olandesi al 100%
Dutch feel 100%
Turista perfetto
Perfect tourist

We decide to spend a day at the beach. The Rimini (Italian sea place full of people and with dirty water) of North Sea: a beach full of umbrellas and dirty sea. We even forget the beach towels in hotel, so we sit in our swimsuits on the shore, watching a flock of enraged seagulls, which are assaulting a fat woman to seize her hotdog: and they succeed when she throws it and, screaming, runs and hides in the icy water. Every day Alberto and I find a way to laugh out loud during this holiday. The part of my travel alone is beautiful, it’s simpler to know people and to integrate in new cultures, but to find abroad past friends is a warrantee of fun.

Zaanse Schans is a postcard-town. We spend there our last day, under a scorching sun, between windmills and wooden clogs. A very nice waitress girl, about 18 years old, gives us some advice about where to spend the evening, but the cake she serves us really sucks. During the evening, while we’re having dinner in the hotel room, we are slightly disgusted looking at a group of Gay Pride under our window: men dressed only with boxer shorts, braces and boots do not match exactly our tastes.

Andrea Cuminatto

READ HERE THE STEP N°1: Munich (Germany)

READ HERE THE STEP N°2: Bayreuth (Germany)

READ HERE THE STEP N°3: Bruxelles (Belgium)

READ HERE THE STEP N°4: Bruges (Belgium)

READ HERE THE STEP N°5: Antwerp (Belgium)

READ HERE THE STEP N°6: Delft (Netherlands)

READ HERE THE STEP N°7: Rotterdam (Netherlands)


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