It’s 8 AM and we’re awake. Actually, Alex is more awake than I am: he’s already been to the bank (but it was closed) and now he’s at a convenience store trying to find something to drink. (He complained that he was hot.) I feel like I’m still asleep. It’s too early.
We went to bed around 2 AM last night. We spent an hour or so planning for the next day (today) because our time here so far has been incredibly unorganized. We’re finding it difficult to navigate 4 people through the city without a daily agenda.
Yesterday, for example, we left the hotel at around 11:30 AM. Hoping the staff would be able to make a recommendation for a breakfast place, we headed to the reception desk. The girl was flustered and said that every place is good. That wasn’t very useful to us so we just headed out the door and walked north, where we once saw a sign for crepes.
As it turned out, that place was no longer in business. We decided to keep walking and finally settled for a place called Cafe de Jonghe Dominus. They had outdoor seating and a breakfast menu. Our waitor appeared within minutes and we placed our order. Alex bought the “full English breakfast” (fried eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, French fries, toast, and coffee) and I ordered the pancakes w/jam and coffee. Funny how the menu said pancakeS (plural) but only one was brought out. Alex’s breakfast cost €8 or something and mine was €5 + €1.50 for jam (which was a tiny portion in a tiny disposable container, like in an American diner or on the plane) + €2 for coffee. Needless to say, I felt a little ripped off. However, that one pancake (which is a lot like the Russian blin but thicker and more buttery) filled me up, surprisingly.
After we ate and paid (around 1:30 PM), we started walking towards the zoo, Artis, in the Plantage neighborhood (east Amsterdam). On our way there, we passed Waterloopleinmarkt, a huge flea market type of venue. We didn’t buy anything but it was interesting to see all the tables/booths and people.
The admission into Artis was €18.50 per person. However, it was huge so we didn’t feel too bad. Alex took a lot of photos, especially of the reptiles… so expect a lot of photos of animals when we return ;)
After the zoo (around 6 PM), we didn’t know where to go. No one could make a decision so we just headed back the exact same way that we came. Once we were near enough the hotel that we recognized the neighborhood, Alex and I stopped at a restaurant, Orff, while Kate and Yehuda kept going. Again, we sat outside because it was so nice (mid-80s and not humid). Alex ordered fish & chips and I got a double burger. (Both dishes came with French fries and small side salads.) We also ordered beer (which was really good but we forgot to ask our waitress for its name). Our total came to €36.50, which is kind of expensive for just 2 entrees + beer.
Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel to shower. (We walked around a lot that day and we were getting gross.) Then we went searching for the Red Light District. All we had to do was follow the hordes of teenage boys and old men. We saw a lot of stores and bars and, of course, girls in windows. Alex found it interesting (obviously) but I didn’t see the big deal. It was just very crowded.
We were back in our hotel room by midnight.