Reached Amsterdam early morning and started walking towards dam square. It was a cold and rainy day and after about half an hour of getting drenched, I thought I was done with Amsterdam and couldn’t wait to get out of the city. Took some time off to have coffee at one of the numerous coffee shops across Amsterdam (as numerous as most of Europe) and after the rains had stopped decided to give the city another try. Walking around the city when I saw someone holding a post saying ‘free tour of old Amsterdam’.
Now when an Indian sees a sign that says free, he/she is automatically attracted to it. There is a strange sort of magnetism and its difficult to break free. Apparently this group (Sandeman’s europe tours) holds free walking tours across most major european cities and the volunteers carrying out the tours work solely on tips.
We started the tour through the red light district (a huge letdown as the windows are family friendly during the day), pass the numerous “coffee shops (serving not just coffee)” and past most of the old city and the stories associated with the city. We finally ended up at the Anne Frank house a sober reminder of europe’s violent history as well as a great reminder of the secular nature of this amazing city. The 3 hour tour is highly recommended and I presume the tours of the other cities should be just as good.
By evening I had changed my mind about the city and wanted to see if I could spend the night in the city. Wandering around the city was a much more enjoyable experience wink wink, however eventually found out that most hostels/hotels in my budget were all booked up for the weekend.
Eventually I ended up at the train station again and bought the last fast train to paris. Goodbye Amsterdam, I’ll be back again.