Days 5-7: 96 Km (yeah not very impressive I know, but Amsterdam wouldn’t let us go..)
Total: 1015 Km
Amsterdam. A city in constant flux. The ebb and flow of humanity through the streets and canals is a being in itself. Take one step out the door and you get caught up in a never ending stream of cyclists, trams, boats, buses and cars that all somehow magically integrate seamlessly into the vibrant bustle that is Amsterdam. That is of course until the unwitting tourist comes along. Which we certainly were. The amount of times one of us casually strolled into the onrush of a horde of peddling push bikes, I’m surprised we made it out all in one piece. To walk the streets of Amsterdam one needs an iron nerve.
We arrived in this beautiful bustling metropolis to the gentle warmth of an early summer European sun. It could not have been a happier sight after hauling the motorcycles onto the ferry in Newcastle under an incessant downpour. That’s one of the two ferry crossings required for the trip done, the next one promises not to be run with such danish efficiency unfortunately as it will be across the Caspian sea, on a irregular rail ferry where anything could happen. This one however was an ease, being given straps to tie the bikes down on arrival and having the ‘aid’ of some lovely Greek bikers to stand around and tell us we were doing it all wrong. So unsurprisingly the bikes were still there in the morning after spending the night in a cabin that was all too familiar.
Amsterdam itself treated us very well. It started off with a slightly frustrating couple of hours riding around trying to find affordable parking, when we eventually decided bugger it, we’ll park them on the curb next to the hostel and be done with it. Have I mentioned I love the ease of motorcycles? After that it was a great 2 days of strolling the streets, floating under bridges along the picturesque canals and generally basking in the energy of such a vibrant city. All the while enjoying the all too easy to drink Dutch beer, scrumptious Bitterballen and the odd pancake. It would have been a shame whilst in Amsterdam not to explore the dimly lit red alleyways of the red light district, walk the leafy lanes of Vondelpark or take in the majesty of the Rjiks Museum, and so we did it all, well as much as one could anyway in the limited time. It would take a life time to find all the hidden gems in a city of such vibrance.
Amsterdam you’ve been incredible but its time to try some Belgian beers instead. Brugge here we come.