Monday, 12 August 2013

Amsterdam #2

After a surprisingly pleasant continental breakfast (fry-ups? Fat chance) included with our hotel, our first stop was at the Botanical Gardens to look at a funky looking Photosynthesis exhibition. This year, I've been admittedly lacklustre when it came to organising and finding activities for the three of us to do but no fear, Amrit to the rescue. When we first ventured into the place I was thinking, 'Why am I in Amsterdam looking at plants?' But after eventually discovering the exhibition itself amongst the Crystal Maze of plants which included creative- looking photograms and x-rays of animals/ plants- it turned out to be very interesting, if not slightly phallic looking. 

Next stop, lunch of course to prepare ourselves for the infamous Red Light District. I discovered Vapiano, an Italian restaurant which I think I'm a little bit in love with. It had a 'Tepanyaki' format where the chef cooks your dish in front of you and it was just just so damn delicious. The Red Light on the other hand, was not so much. It actually really saddened me to see girls standing provocatively by their window displays and I felt slightly strange, experiencing this absurd imagery during the day time whilst surrounded by other tourists as if this concept was completely normal. By chance, we came across China Town which happened to be right next to the Red Light. Not quite sure how to feel about that one.
A visit to the Chinese Buddhist temple was called for, as my friend Amrit is very interested in Buddhism. It was an uplifting experience to witness people lighting candles to make a wish and part of me wishes that I was a slightly more 'religious' person as it was just so nice to see. There was a cute little Chinese woman there who kept talking to me in Cantonese and asking me if my friend was Indian and how beautiful her eyes were. Aw. Bless her. 

Amsterdam's very own Pizza King. Can't beat Leicester's one though, surely. 
Bubble Tea happened, a curry happened and a night in Leidesplein again, where we went to 'The Bulldog' a very famous 'Coffee Shop'. The atmosphere around this nightlife area really does come alive at night. I love it. More tomorrow! Goedenacht/ Good night :)

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