That little city that sits an ocean apart from the United Kingdom; well it is notorious – depending which way you look at it – for sex, drugs and…cheese? Amsterdam definitely is a city of clichés.
Welcome to the Red Light District where half naked models sit under red lights in full length windows, right? Wrong. A lot of the windows we stumbled upon were empty – which to me implied the ‘models’ were with clients. The Red Light District, for me, was an eye opener. All I could think about was if these women were happy and if they doing this out of choice? I remember seeing one woman, who looked not much older than me, standing, trying so hard to smile.
Aside from having no shame, the Red Light District is beautiful. Two roads of shops, museums and brothels sit opposite each other with a canal in between. It photographs quite well. I imagined it to be a lot more scarier but as long as you don’t go alone/be out to late, it was a lot tamer than Soho in London.
If anything it does allow you to see the reality.
Amsterdam has another two main tourist spots for Sex: The Sex Museum in the city centre (€4) and The Erotic Museum on the Red Light District (€7). We never went to either of these on our trip. Sex is the front face in every souvenir shop. Hence why I think Amsterdam has no shame. Never in a million years would One
Direrection and Cannabis condoms, ceramic mugs with male genitals on them be deemed acceptable in a British tourist shop.
I love that though. I love seeing the differences in each culture and just embracing it.
You cannot be in Amsterdam without encountering Cannabis at least once. If you aren’t smelling it as you walk through the city (day or night), you are seeing infused products in the souvenir shops or ‘Coffee Shops’ advertising Space Cakes on every corner.
Admittedly I tried a small piece of a Chocolate Muffin from a Coffee Shop with a ‘caution hard drugs’ sign at the door. I figured for €4 I may as well embrace the culture. It pretty much tasted like a spiced muffin – for all I knew it could have been Cinnamon. Not Cannabis.
If its Cannabis you are looking to try. You don’t have to look hard. I was able to pick up a lollipop infused in cannabis oil from what was essentially a corner shop. Also the ‘special’ kind of coffee shops are easy to spot, before going to Amsterdam, I was confused if I’d know the difference. Just to clarify, you will know the difference.
I love Cheese. Grilled. Sliced. Grated. Cubbed. Mozzarella. Brie. Cheddar. However Amsterdam, took my favourite source of protein to the next level. We stepped into the Cheese Museum baby goats cheese, red pesto cheese, green pesto cheese, blue cheese, chilli cheese it was intense. Amsterdam have a lot of places to buy – and try cheese. I opted for a Green Pesto Cheese, Cheese stuffed chocolate roles and stuffed them in my already overstuffed hand luggage.
Which note: you can actually take cheese back on hand luggage – and evidently a cannabis oil lollipop – as long as you are travelling to/from a country within the European Union. Given if you have a lot of cheese, especially if not packed right – like the couple in front of me – it will delay your security process.
My case was so full I actually worried that they would take it apart at security – I had no time to repack that. When I watched my scuffed purple bag make its way into the separate conveyor belt at security; I panicked but after a few mumbles in Dutch from security I was able to translate that is was just packed too full and it had to go through a separate security screening.