When you pack for 4 months, keep in mind that you’d have about 50 kgs of luggage+hand luggage no matter how optimistic you want to be, and in such a case, going sightseeing first is not the best idea!
Haha, that’s how I ended up in Amsterdam in the first place! I booked straight to Amsterdam, primarily because it was slightly cheap, more so because I really wanted to visit the city. Oh, isn’t this a beauty!
First disaster struck even before I started from my home. Wait, hold up. Let’s skip that. And the next one. And the next one. And the part where I got lost with my luggage. And the next part.
Finally, in my hostel, drenched in sweat, which seemed very weird to all the locals, since it was pretty cool at 18 degrees, I decided to rest my aching arms and legs.
The energy of the place soon took over. 45 minutes since, I was out, exploring the hostel first, learning about the way things work here, and then, out into the mysterious and beautiful streets of Amsterdam!
I decided to first track the way back to the Centraal, which is where I started towing my luggage from, so I could make the journey faster on my way back ( to Douai, France; after 2 days). The High Speed trains are very punctual and I’d be mortified to be late for it!
Half way through, it started raining snakes ( cats and dogs is overused now, isn’t it?) and I decided to leave it for another day, tracing my way back to the hostel.
A little bit more about the hostel : it’s called Shelter City, a christian hostel located in a central hub, Nieumarkt next to the Red Light district. It’s really clean and has a lot of amazing volunteers! In their own words, “We volunteer because we love Jesus. It may sound a bit cheesy to you, but for us, it isn’t. Not even the slightest! ” Also, the volunteers are from all over the world! I met a girl, from California, volunteering here for a year, deciding what to study next, to choose her specialisation. A lot of people from Germany as well, here just because they want to work. Pretty neat, I think!
Plonged on my bed, I checked out the maps I had acquired over the ordeals of getting here. Planning where to go, what to do?
When the rain stopped, I was out again, map in one hand, and jacket in the other. The weather was really weird, I had to keep taking off and putting my jacket every 15 minutes to stay comfortable. Where do you find weather like this? Awesomeness in it’s own right. 5 minutes off, I decided to put the map down and just explore! Go wherever I want, whichever canal looks the prettiest. It is a small enough place, and I had the map sans luggage, couldn’t be hard to find my way back. <= Best decision, ever! I went through the entire inner ring road area, exploring freely, admiring the beauty, of the people and the place alike, mesmerised by the symbiosis between the water and land. This city has truly embraced what it was given and made the most of it!
Counting 16,000 steps on my iPhone, about 11 km, I headed back for a good nights sleep in my room! The room was pretty small, with 3 bunkbeds and a locker! Cosy, nevertheless. I was alone when I got into bed, but 5 guys checked in while i was in bed, and went out for a drink faster than they got here, leaving me in peace to sleep. They didn’t jet lag because they were from around here, Germany and Ireland!
A pretty eventful zeroth day.