We arrived in Amsterdam and managed to get a spot at the Vliegenbos caravan park, our first official night on a campsite in over 11 months on the road, not bad! We were keen to take advantage of the facilities, however we were keener still to get out into Amsterdam and tick off a few cultural museums and a couple of coffee shops. First off on our cultural tour was the sex museum as it’s literally on the strip from Amsterdam central station.
I’ve walked past this a few times, however this time I went in, one of the first things you see is a manakin wanking off another manakin, it kinda starts as it means to go on. To be honest the museum is a bit of jumble, with artefacts from Roman times to the modern day, all put behind glass cases in some random order. There was a whole section of photographic porn through the ages, kinda seemed like an excuse to put up as much porn as possible. There was some interesting bits to be gleaned out from the rubbish, such as the director of the first porn film in the Netherlands, ended up spending 3 1/2 years in jail for it. Also that condoms in ages gone by have ranged from the guts of goats and sheep to fish innards. I could imagine it now, ‘il be with you in a minute love, I’m just slipping goat guts over me cock!’, what a turn on!
We had a little lunch next to the canal after this, and then continued into town, this walk ended up in the museum hub, with the rijks and van gough. We decided we were not going to any of these, although we had gone for me to see the Iamsterdam sign, that I have never seen before. As well as this we sat in the Lilly gardens for a bit, as it was free and pretty.
On our return we followed the canals, until we reached Ann Franks house, again we did not go in, as you need to pre book tickets online, something we only found out the day before and therefore were unable to even have the opportunity. I felt this was a little out of hand as there are many people…me for instance… that don’t have access to the net 24/7 and so can’t book the tickets, or even find out in time that I needed to book them! Anyhow moan over! In short I looked at the outside of a house, a front door and a small statue.
We then headed to the red light district, still being day time we did not see many ladies of the night, however we did see a couple of day ladies. However we were not here for that, rather we were here to visit the hash, cannabis and hemp museum. Again, this was a slight let down. There was a couple of interesting facts or funny things but in general, I just listened to audio whilst looking at items or pictures. Of course this museum was totally biased, which is fair enough and on that trail of thought there should be more effort put in by the museum to promote legalising weed. Make a big display of both sides, highlight the benefits, taxes less crime to fight etc. There was a little on this, however this should be a bigger thing!
Being pretty hungry by this point we mulled over our day in zaken burger joint. It was a pretty awesome burger, not cheap but worth the money! We visited a couple of coffee shops, where they had no seating and so left until we found one that did. As neither me nor Jess smoke we thought that a space cake would be better. We shared one and whereas on previous visits have felt the effects, this time it was a dud, nothing happened! Oh well the day of culture must go on!
It was getting late as you might imagine given all the stuff we had done! So late that a second walk through the red light district was in order to see it as it should be seen. Jess also wanted to see a sex show, although settled on a peep show, although more about that later. It’s pretty surreal to see this set up, walking hand in hand with my partner and looking at half naked women under red lights. I think everyone who visits experiences different points on the moral compass, however I’m going to avoid any ethical discussion and just move on. On the strip is also the prostitution museum, it was late and after two museums I felt done for learning the day, however Jess wanted to go, and so when in Amsterdam do all the weird shit you wouldn’t anywhere else.
In all honesty this was a good shout by Jess. By far this was the most interesting museum, throughout you are told the story of a working prostitute vis an ear piece. Travelling through each room and even getting a chance to stand in the red windows and look out at the ogling public, some looking confused by the lack of half naked women. At this time a group of older brits came by humphing and showing clear hootyness at what they saw in the museum, I’m not sure they knew where they were, I’m sorry but it’s a museum on prostitution, not the Louvre. At the end of the museum there was a wall of sharing where the public could write a confession and later if deemed worthy would make it to the wall, so the rest of us can have a read. Funny ones I remember include admitting to using lemon juice in masturbation to increase tinglyness, a husband and wife who had just slept with a prostitute on the strip and a woman who enjoyed an Easter treat of eating cream eggs out of her boyfriends bottom! As a final red light treat, I gave Jess my last two euro so she could go to the peep show.
The key thing to all these museums is that they are all specific to this place and what it is famous for, I mean xxx is the sign for Amsterdam. Van gough or the rijks might be more upmarket museums, but where else would you find a sex museum, a pot museum and a prostitution museum? I’m glad we visited them all as if your going to be old and visit museums they may as well be the fun ones!
On our way out of the city, our high failure earlier was hanging over us as the thing we had not done but thought we would. We decided against our preferences and brought a pre rolled joint of purple haze, and set off to smoke it. We say by a canal and tried our hardest to finish it, however neither of us like it and although we were getting high, the discomfort from smoking was not worth it. In the end, and only half way through we gave up and took the free ferry back to our campsite. Even when I felt high, I still did not really get it, I was just fuzzy, unclear and later I felt so tired. I much prefer getting drunk, so maybe this will be the last time I do it? Either way, it’s the done thing in Amsterdam and it was definitely on our to do list, even though we sucked at it!
So, we left the next day after milking the facilities at the campsite. Time to head back to Belgium, where we plan to visit and pay our respects at the battlefield sites that I have not visited for 16 years!