Amsterdam, upon final inspection, is a city capable of causing one's skin to turn to worms. Barcelona was a bit uncomfortable, but this was like watching the scene in Swingers where Mikey calls the girl over and over again. But the daytime (even at -5 Celsius) has its redeeming qualities, and we saw it by bicycle, the only way to see Amsterdam. Well, not according to the guys who slink along the streets with their heads slung low over their shoulders, but, ya know.
The first night, we shared a couple of Ireland's favorite beverages, and Nils regaled me with stories of his ability to dry out the insides of bottles of Jameson. And then proved it.
But our hostel, the Flying Pig, was worthy of the international acclaim. Apparently it's the most popular one in the world, with a really cool staff and a bar downstairs with a big screen TV. We watched some Olympics and prepared for another day.
The Pig even got us discounts on bikes!
Most of the corners in the city looked a lot like this, with tall, angled buildings built sometime between 1200 and 2000. That's one of the weird parts about the city, that it's always been near the forefront of civilization but loses the historical luster because of some relaxed legislation.
So we pedaled on, not really sure of what to look for.
We, without a doubt, had to stop.
And so did whoever had to wear this.
Most of the torture devices were perfected and utilized by the Spanish during those couple of years when Torchemade inquired as to whether one would prefer to join the Roman Catholics.
He, of course, employed some coercion.
Nils is a ghooooooooost.
This was heated over fire. Then a human being was placed on it. Then cold water was dripped on him/her as an act of purification.
I really don't know what any of the monuments are, but they all seem to have been built with care.
The state house, to the north of the city, in front of a platz full of pigeons outnumbering people by about 50 to two-tenths.
They wouldn't let us stand next to the hot dog cart, where it was so warm.
Ahhh. Nils tells me Amsterdam has more canals than Venice. And more Dutch people.
Maybe could have taken this as a bad omen...
But stay tuned for the episode of Amsterdam at nighttime, when I made some superficial alterations to my face.