Im so sorry for the delay in my posts, Sophia and I haven’t been well and I’ve also been without wifi so this post may be a little longer than the others but ill try to break it up a bit so you don’t get too bored!
August 2nd. Gay Pride in Amsterdam. I don’t think there are enough words to describe this celebration, and as the woman I spoke to on the train said, “you have to see it to believe it”. And she was right.
The Amstel canal was packed four or five people deep all the way along, waiting for the parade of boats to commence. I’ve never seen so much pink – everyone was wearing clothes, hats, shoes, feather boas; any pink garment they could find – unfortunately we didn’t get that memo. Many LGBT charities and organisations had boats, as did sponsors of the event, adorned with dancers, drag queens (some better than others it has to be said!), confetti canons, sequins, flags, glitter, feathers and the like. The streets were full of pride flags hanging from windows of houses as well as shops and volunteers were also giving out little wave-able ones.
During the parade there were also street parties happening in the surrounding areas – one of which was stumbled across and although it was only 3pm, everyone was already getting into it; dancing away! We joined in for a few minutes but then made our way to find Starbucks for a sit down and of course to find postcards. I’ve been collecting them from each city we’ve visited so that I can create a scrapbook of our travels once I’m home – I also have tickets, confetti and now my little pride flag to add to my collection.
The parade was due to end at 6pm but after getting caught in a downpour which completely drenching us, we didn’t really feel like waiting in the rain for another two hours. This did mean we didn’t get to see Conchita Wurst, the drag queen who won Eurovision for Sweden earlier in the year, who was on the last boat (or so we presumed).
But with or without Conchita we had a really fun day soaking up the atmosphere in such a great celebration where everyone was so happy! Street music/dancing should be mandatory. We’re pretty exhausted now though after walking round the city, I wonder if we’ll have the energy to get ready and go out…
So we somehow found the energy to go out after Pride…
We took the metro to a club called Trauw – the one I mentioned in one of my first posts. The queue was insane but we joined it anyway, but unlike Brits we might have pushed in along with some Germans we made friends with on the metro. After waiting for over an hour and moving no more than 10 meters the bouncer then told us that Trauw was full and that we wouldn’t get in even if we waited for hours longer. We then decided, along with the Germans and two British guys we met in the queue that we’d get beers in the little bar next door.
We stayed there for perhaps half an hour and then made the group decision to venture into town to find another club – the guys didn’t want a gay club, but considering every place had a gay night on due to Pride that was almost impossible. The two Brits left and so we waited for the bus with the Germans still in tow. The bus drove past us however and so we walked 40 minutes to the centre. Now, at 2am I don’t know what I was expecting to see but number one, I’d never seen so much litter in one place and number two, I’d never seen so many people up and about! It was like the night was just beginning (which evidently it was…) and so we easily found a bar to pop into – mainly to use one of the only free toilets we’ve come across since being away.
After having girls dance on the bar, smashing more than enough glasses in the process, we left and found a gay bar with a busy dance floor that our new German friends didn’t hate. Hurray! They played a few Dutch songs which we didn’t know but there were Spanish ones that I did know as well as my favourite, Katy Perry, so in my books it was pretty perfect! We stayed there until about 6am and then left so that we could sleep before exploring the city the next day. We said goodbye to our Germans (who were so sweet) and made more friends on our way home; they’d been to Pride too and were so funny although one of them tried to steal a chicken nugget which is never allowed. They walked with us some of the way and after many hugs and cheek kisses goodbye, we went our separate ways.
Part Three: August 3rd
We got in at 9am. Sophia was feeling rough, not just because of our night out but also because we’re both coming down with something. I left her sleeping to explore Amsterdam as much as I could on 3 hours sleep… I visited the Van Gogh museum which was spookily quiet but actually pretty interesting and then I stood in line for the Anne Frank house. I waited an hour which I think is about average and if I hadn’t been feeling so ill by this point I would have enjoyed the wait as it was beautifully sunny. The house/museum itself is definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in that part of history, it was quite emotional seeing photos and magazine clippings from Anne’s wall that had been saved and of course, the original bookcase was almost haunting to touch. There are many artefacts to look at as well as videos with interviews from Anne’s father, Otto, and Miep (one of the women who helped hide Anne and her family) we’re interesting but very sad to listen to. One of the things Anne’s father said, after reading her diary, was that not many parents truly know their children.
Below – the sunrise we saw after our night out and the sunset of the same day
After a little wander back round the city we both went to sleep, trying to catch up on the hours lost before our 7am train to Copenhagen (with 2 changes in Germany). By this time I’m also ill and doing anything takes a while let alone changing trains, carrying 11kg on my back and generally acting like a functioning human. We also saw the sunrise and sunset today. I’m tired.
So now it’s august fourth. After falling asleep on the train and then being woken by Sophia saying we were on a ferry, I was disorientated to say the least. We made it to our hostel, which is nice but way to communal for how we both feel; we have a dorm with 10 other people and bunk beds with no ladders which is altogether too much effort. We basically checked in and then went to bed. Illness has got the better of us.
Once again we’re confined to our beds. Apart from being annoyed at being ill anyway I was especially sad because we couldn’t see The Little Mermaid statue, which was sort of why we came. We did think about going but after the 10 minute walk to the shop killed me (I had to sit on the floor every few minutes) we thought the hour walk to the statue wasn’t the best idea.
So we’re now in bed, which has become standard, because our flight to Mallorca tomorrow is at 6am. We’ve used all our medications and so it’s now up to nature to cure us before we fly because I for one am not looking forward to it. Hopefully my body won’t do anything crazy and gross.
Aaaaaand on that note I’ll leave you alone! Thank you for reading such a long long post, it may not be my best writing but I hope it was somewhat entertaining (or something?). Sorry also for the lack of photos but they weren’t allowed in the museums and us feeling ill don’t make pretty pictures, once we’re better and settled in Mallorca we’ll be back on track a bit more. All your sympathy will be most appreciated although Imodium may be more useful hahaha…