Monday, 19 November 2012

Amsterdam, the Post-CaDansa

CaDansa is over. Mostly everyone got back to their homes. But not for me, yet. Having still another day to carry one, I choose to head north and spend my day in Amsterdam, to see the not only the capital of the Flat Lands, but also to see how different and why the majority of the Dutch don't fancy Amsterdam that much.
We could say that being Amsterdam the capital of the country, just for this reason, the amount of tourism happening there is far superior to the rest of Netherlands and this can cause, in a medium/long term a shift in the way the city works, to be more capable of satisfying the tourist's needs hence making it loose part of its identity. Not that tourists change the way of things, but they have an impact and the locals change their atitude to make more out of what they make for a living, and that is what shapes it's identity.
But let's not carry on through ideas that would take too long to process. Let's keep it more simple, for now.

The morning started blindfolded, as the mist only allowed us to glimpse only the first meters of the low lands, giving it a more mysterious, catching look. It felt like walking in the void and as you walk more and more, new houses, people, bicycles get lost in the midst but other yet unseen surprises come along.
When at the rail station, I farewelled Ricardo whom I came with from Eva's, and each took it's separate path - he back to Lisbon; I to Amsterdam.

A little more than half an hour rail journey separate Utrecht from Amsterdam. And as agreed on the first night, I met up with Kirsten in the morning, to see the city through the perspective of an Amsterdamer. Taking me through the places she enjoyed the most, avoiding the most touristy places, which for her don't really make stamp for what the city is, we went did quite a nice walk about, with ease enough to appreciate the organisation of the canals, the continuous massive use of bicycles, the stillness movement of the city; laughs and characters walking around, making funny noises and silly expressions.

We then head to the back of the Central Station, to get on the ferry which, for those that don't know, it's free of charge to take you across the river. Still misty, which would prolong throughout the whole day, we faced the void and saw only an impression of how Amsterdam was like through the riverside. Once we head back again to the station, Kirsten had to leave me be to go to her university, leaving to me the job of driving around with a better notion of what, for an Amsterdamer has more importance.

One of the things that impressed me the most was the ridiculousness of beautifully boat houses. They are everywhere! Big, small, in need of reparation, taken out from the architecture magazine, you name it. You see of all kinds and types, for every sort of tastes. No wonder the Dutch are so tranquil and easy going, when the place they live in is right next to the water, movable to one's like, the same way snails are: home carriers.

When looking along the river seemed too much already, I turned left and went down, and down I went, to be lost in Amsterdam. There was a place I didn't visited. That place was the red light district. I have curiosity to see how it is displayed and how people react to that but to be honest, this trip was meant not to include the red light district. It just didn't crossed my mind during my long walk through the districts.

More lively and noisy, as the day went on so did the people in the city and foreigners. Lights began to lid; the sun, hidden in the white silk pillow, faded away and day gave more and more room for the evening to come. And at that point, I took Kirsten's invitation to go and have a dinner at her place, right before heading back to London.

Amazing food, that's what I ate at her's. A delicious, tender risotto leftover (enough to made want to try it again) accommodated my tummy for hours to come. A lot of talking to the mix filled the rest of the time I spent with her and Jordy, her boyfriend and around one hour before my departure, I thanked them all for the kindness and left, with Kirsten as she was heading for her waterpolo class. Two kisses, a hug and wishes of good luck was all I could say before I faced the horrifying eleven hour journey back to London. Despite the cheap fare, I might say it doesn't make worth the time you spend on the coach, also giving the fact that the seats on Megabus are not particularly the most comfortable in the world. 

Anyhow, I arrived London at the same time sun rose up in the sky. Went home, left my rucksack down, took a nice warm shower and grabbed my material to attend the morning classes at uni. Though the fatigue, my soul is fully happy, but with the desire for a few more adventures...!

And for now, we stay here.

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