Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amsterdam Day 3 - Let's Go Ride a Bike

Last full day of vacation, the time has FLOWN.
I meant to write yesterday about the casino here. I have never been to a casino before and there are many here so we went in and tried the machines a couple days ago. They are all in Dutch and I couldn't figure out any except the roulette and the blackjack machines so I played them and won 2 Euros. So yesterday we went back and I just played blackjack and I won 8 Euros. This was great! I didn't know how this place stayed in business. It was fun, I wanted to do it all the time!
So tonight we went back. Standing outside was this HOT British guy and my dad and I went in and sat down at the blackjack and he came in and sat beside me. I was distracted and ended up losing 10 Euros. Everything he said I'd giggle like a schoolgirl and then look around and think "Who the Hell was that?" So I had good company but I lost all my money. You can't have it all! Now I think my gambling days are over.
Anyway, back to today. This was the first time in 2 days I didn't have to get up early so I slept til 10. We got up and rented some bikes for the day. It was like 5 Euros but we had to walk like 5 hundred blocks to get there.
We had planned on going to the old part of the town but the lady suggested we go on the free ferry and cycle along the Dutch countryside. This was totally the right thing to do!
We saw a large market and stopped, taking care to lock our bikes 300 times. This picture doesn't really do it justice, it stretched on forever:

Stuff was pretty cheap there. Here I am trying on a sweater I eventually bought:

And I got another similar one, 7 Euros each. And some Ivory bath soap for 3 Euros, and I think that may be all. As we were leaving we saw a lady who had dropped her cake:

I didn't take this picture by the way but we all laughed about it. Then her daughter showed up and cried. Maybe she was laughing on the inside.
Anyway, by this point, we had just started the 30 km trail and were already lost. But we were off!

The countryside was awesome, I'm so glad we went. It's very flat but very green and unlike anything in Canada.

It was raining off and on but then cleared all up near the end. I put on my new sweater with the hood. It was also kind of cold.
Anyway, the map we had was USELESS and we had a lot of trouble finding our way. Plus we didn't understand any of the street signs. They make no sense. A picture of a bicycle with a cross though it seems to mean bikes allowed, and a picture of a bicycle with no cross through it seems to mean the same thing. What does a sign saying "No speedbumps" mean?
We came upon this spot and the map seemed to indicate we should cross the lake. I was going to suggest we keep going and look for the bridge when this guy on a bike came up and the barge extended across the water!

If that hadn't of happened we'd probably be in Africa by now.
We stopped for lunch at somewhere that turned out to be a pancake house. It was like a crepe but mine was AMAZING:

It had garlic, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and Danish cheese which I had to try as some people in our tour group wouldn't stop talking about it.
After lunch, we got hopelessly lost. Hopelessly. There seemed to be a highway that said no bikes, but the bike trail signs seemed to point down it. Motorcycles are also able to use the bike trails and since there's no cars or speed limits on them, they step on the horn and the gas and ride like Hell. Life in your hands time again.
We ended up in a quaint riverside town:

And saw a cat by the docks:

Perhaps this cat should be on Cats that look like Ow, they have a new spin-off site, pissed off! Happy day!
There was a lot of boats:

And then I saw another cat. Look in the bottom left corner:

Who was sitting by a river:

And walked all the way around to take a drink:

Which was pretty cool. We watched her for about 10 minutes. She wasn't too friendly once she realized we didn't have any food. But I did get to pet her a little. I get to see my cat tomorrow! Yeah!
More flat countryside:

And it was at this point that we realized we were never going to find a way out. So we had to bike back for the 1.5 hours we had come if we ever hoped to leave. Once we turned around we realized the wind was against us, it was cold, and the bikes did not have gears. There was about a 20 minute stretch where I thought I was going to die. If I had been alone I would still be on the side of the road. Pedaling was impossible due to the wind and I thought I was done. But amazingly I made it home! I kept picturing sitting here typing this blog and saying how I made it back and it worked.
On the way back we saw another cat:

Maybe I could submit that shot to pissed off cats. What expression!
On the way out to the country the map had said we would pass a windmill but seeing as we were lost, we did not. Coming back we found it:

Built in 1792:

And helped close an amazing day. We got the bikes back and had an amazing dinner at an Indian restaurant. I love Indian food! It's now my faourite. And vegan! What could be better.
On the way to the casino, we saw this carnival again in the centre of town. Check out the swings on the right in green:

It goes up ever higher than the picture shows. These people are crazy. There would be water trickling down from where I sat as I peed my pants. Seriously. I remember once in Toronto I went on the Strawberry Shortcake ride and cried to be let off. And I mean cried!
Tomorrow we're leaving, the flight leaves at 6 so we hope to go to the old part of town in the morning, by metro! No more walking!
I have no idea how I am going to get my 25 kg of gay magazines from the Paris archives to the airport.
I get in at 8 pm and should be home by 9 am which will be 3 am my time so I should be in great shape for work!
Oh yes, one more thing. I've been thinking about the "free" dinner last night. If you have found God and He gives purpose to your life, great! Tell all your friends and all the people at Church how happy you are! But why do you have to sell it? Why would you hold a "free" dinner and trick people into coming to give them a sermon? Where in the bible does it say, "And thou shalt trick thy strangers to get into Heaven"? You don't see me holding dinner parties with straight guys to talk to them about the benefits of being gay, do you? Well, not on a Friday.

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