TRAVEL SCRAPBOOK: Extracts from Europe 2007

Back in 2007 I traveled around Europe on a youth (Under 26) travel pass all on my lonesome. It was a fantastic trip full of adventure, culture and lots of new food, new people and a host of memories.

Over the next few months I’ll be publishing some extracts from my Europe 2007 travel blog (and indeed some from my North American adventures later in the same year). I’ll be combining my posts with some of the pictures I took for the first time ever.An advance warning, these were primarily written for the benefit of my parents (and a little bit for myself) as they were, probably rather sensibly, anxious that I kept in contact as I back-packed my way across the wilds of Europe and beyond.

As they’re “archive” posts they’ll all be prefaced with TRAVEL SCRAPBOOK in the headline.

I hope you enjoy them.

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Greetings All! – January 31st 2007

Arrived Sunday, took a while of confusion to get to the Hostel (Amsterdam is small but everything looks like a street with a canal on it – which as a navigational device is a pain in the arse).

Sunday evening involved random drinking courtesy of an insane bunch of students from Nottingham who (150 of them) were on a two day trip this wondrous city).

Monday (unjustifiably minus hangover) I bought an I Amsterdam Card for 72 hours (53 Euro) which I highly recommend gives you free access to most of the museums (I promptly explored the Rijksmuseum Masterpieces collection and the Van Gogh each would have cost 10 Euro entrance on their own) as well as free use of public transport for that period (you can for a lesser price pay for a 24 hour or a 48 hour pass as well but three days seemed applicable).

Monday evening I befriended an attractive young Dutch man called Bertus who’s just moved back to the city from London (where he studied at UCL) he looked alone and one should always befriend lonely (and as it turns out very intelligent if marginally misanthropic) young men – it’s a sort of rule. We then went around befriending many people from Nottingham and drinking Heineken before most of the Nottingham people disappeared for a last night of binge drinking.

Tuesday I went on a 75 minute boat tour of Amsterdam (highly recommended and again financially covered by the city card) I explored one of the Diamond factories (again free of charge with the city card) and the lady let me hold shinies… my inner magpie was appeased but there is something worrying about someone let you (nay encouraging you) handle over a grands worth of diamonds :S After this I headed (and got lost a few times courtesy of getting off on the wrong tram stop) towards Rembrandt’s House (to place the Rebrandt’s from the Rijksmuseum better in my head) I ended up going via a flee market (where I obtained a large grey coat for 5euro) and browsed the Blomen Market in Rembrant Plein (which Mum would have enjoyed a great deal – they actually already had tulips in January!) Got back hungry after all that exploration and found an Italian place that did pizza for 3,95euro – excellent value and much needed for a hungry exploring Jayne. Decided on a nap and still felt sleepy at 8:30 when I woke up (it was about 6:30 when I got back to the Hostel) so abandoned plans t explore the red light district that evening and sat in the bar with Bertus and Katherine (English lady staying in my dorm – she’s a production assistant for an animation company in London – which made for some interesting conversation).

This morning I got up discovered coffee avec my new Dutch friend then headed off alone towards the station area and the main square (complete with phalus shaped statue – well nearly phallus shaped anyway) wandered around the harbour but the maritime is closed for refurbishment at the mo and the science museum didn’t tickle my fancy so headed back to the hostel for cup’a’soup and thought I’d manage a quick update whilst I wait for my laundry to finish drying and I look up hostels in Copenhagen 🙂