Friday, October 1, 1999

We walked all over town today just ogling at everything. This is an old, old, historic city, yet itís the hippest place on earth. We went to Hortus Botanicus because Stine is a huge flower freak, and it turned out to be super cool. We all really liked it. Itís one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. They had beautiful grounds and several very cool greenhouses representing different climates. There was a huge, huge agave plant, so large that a section of the already high roof had to de taken off to accommodate it. It would make a heck of a batch of tequila!

Brian and Stine at the Hortus Botanicus

We checked out the flea market but it wasn't too exciting. Then we ate some lunch and went to the Bluebird, which is run by Americans, for coffee.

You're never far away from a "Urinoir" in Amsterdam!

Later in the day we walked over to the Oude Kerk (old church) where supposedly you can climb up in the tower and get good views of the city, but it was just a big travel guide lie. You couldnít go up in there. Guess what was right next to the church though. Thatís right: hookers. It was right next to the Prostitution Information Centre, which was right next to ugly-hooker window shopping - how fun!

What's this?

We took a picture of a bronze hand coming out of the sidewalk and feeling up a bronze breast right next to the church too. Got more coffee at Betty Boop and checked out a couple of cool pubs. The Red Light District is fun.

Bronze Breasts

We ate supper at the Red Lion, Stineís favorite Dutch food from her previous trip. (Itís a Best Western restaurant.) Quite good. Expensive.

Finally we discovered something not so easy to find - a coffee shop that also sells liquor. Itís name is Smokey, and itís right next to our hotel. We spent a couple hours there, absorbed in the atmosphere.

"Smokey"

At about 1:00 a.m. we were checking out the "It" off Rembrandtplein and a half dozen paddywagons rushed in "just in case." We bought some frites and watched the freaks out on the town.

"IT"- Check out the banners!

Oh, yeah... Amsterdam has a lot of beggars.

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