Surprised myself and went to Amsterdam for the first time in 5 years...
From the offset I knew this was going to be an interesting trip.
The day before we surprised my baby cousin for his 21st and told him a group of us were making the right of passage for any coming of any age and go to The Netherlands, Holland, Amsterdam. This trip was much needed for all involved.
The short cold hour flight was the perfect Sunday morning wake up call. Arriving in the heart of Europe’s most controversial cities. Full of drugs, sex & violence. Nobodies family likes the idea of their son going with a group of loud ass boys flying to the paradise of bad behaviour.
But. Families, realise, there is so much more to this city, just look past the obvious factors of the city.
Art, design, history, music & culture live here too.
Let's just start with the beauty of how the city is constructed, tiny brick houses and buildings, intertwined by the most well-organised canals. This city is extra, pure and simple. The care these people take in their cities appearance is next to none. The houses must have taken at least 3 times as long to construct manually as British houses due to the ridiculous amounts of bricks they use. This does distract your mind from realising how incredibly tiny each building actually is. Most are one maybe two windows wide. Tall, long-legged giants living in make-believe cartoon wonky buildings. It just doesn’t quite seem right, but it works for them.
Fighting our way through the heavy smoke that lay around our eyes, we managed to see some incredible art done by some old dead guys, one of which cut his ear off for just being a bit looney. The close proximity of such invaluable parts of the world's history and culture is mind-boggling. How can a Van Gogh museum be next to a bunch of prostitutes, which is next to Ann Frank’s house next to a ‘’coffee shop’’? This place forces you to interact with the world and be confronted with a constantly changing environment. People are liberal here. Real open-minded.
I'm convinced that by riding a bicycle you inherently become taller. These Dutch guys and girls and gigantic. When you see them hounding down the cobbled streets their knees could have hit my face if they got too close. But that's the thing, there's barely any cars, because everyone bikes, which means there's less noise and air pollution. It's kinda quiet and perfect in the streets, you can hear yourself think and hear nature. More cities should operate like this, well at least the concept seems good.
I want to do more with bikes, the whole mask thing needs to come back. But much more practical and with a strong mission. Against emissions.