*** Officially 6 more posts to go until I’m done recapping our Euro-trip! Woot woot! Boom shaka laka! ***
Following our experience at the Heineken Brewery, Charles and I went to meet up with our friend, Ali. We had met Ali for the first time at Clem and Jason’s wedding in France. While mingling around during the wedding reception, we got to talking with Ali and learned that he lived in Amsterdam. And then when he learned that we were planning to travel to Amsterdam a couple days later, he offered to show us around if he was available. It was an offer to good to refuse.
After catching up over drinks, Ali took us across the way to grab dinner in the Red Light District at a resto-bar that had an awesome vintage interior and swank looking bar. Unfortunately, my photos for the rest of this post aren’t all as sharp as I would like because I was trying to snap quick pics so as to not take away from being present in the moment. But the truth is, I kind of like them a little blurry. Adds character, don’t you think? Anywho, back to our yummy dinner at Mara-Hari.
^^ Ugh, loooooooove!
Post grub, we followed Ali to the De Wallen area of the Rosseburt a.k.a. Red Light District. I’m sure the reputation of the Red Light District precedes itself world wide but in case you have no idea what this area of Amsterdam is all about, here’s my take on it in one sentence: Where women can openly and, most importantly, legally solicit their sensual and sexual services; the red light signifying that a women is ready to do business whenever you are.
^^ While winding through various corridors in search of the red lights, Ali found and showed us the plaque as seen in the photo above. A bronze mold of a hand caressing a female breast in the cobblestones created and installed in 1993. We would’ve never thought to look down while walking around so I’m really glad Ali went out his way to show us this artistic installation. Definitely something to be on the lookout for if you ever visit the Red Light District. #scavengerhunt
As we found ourselves immersed in red light, Ali reminded me that taking photos of the ladies of the night was prohibited. I had no intention of violating this rule but I did want to take a photo with the red lights all aglow around me as a souvenir. So I gave Charles my camera and asked him to snap a pic of me walking down the alley, making sure the ladies weren’t seen which resulted in the photo below. He did a good job right?
My thoughts on the Red Light District? I’m really glad we decided to wait until our 3rd day in Amsterdam to visit this area. I wouldn’t suggest visiting the RLD first thing when you arrive because I think it might not give the best first impression of Amsterdam since there is soooo much more to this city than its infamous district. The fact that Amsterdam is such a tolerant and liberal city is one of the main reasons why I loved visiting but overall, I don’t think the Red Light District was my cup of tea. I’m pretty sure Charles has me covered if I’m ever in need of some sexual servicing haha ;)
Having had our fill of window browsing, Ali asked if we would be interested in going to one of his favorite bars in the Dam and giving some absinthe a try. Considering the fact that Charles and I had never sipped on this highly alcoholic beverage before, it was an experience we couldn’t pass up. So with one quick, Yes!”, Ali led the way while we followed along in excitement.
^^ Did you know that prior to having written road signs installed, the streets in Amsterdam used to be identified by the unique engravings located on the sides buildings adjacent to each street opening? If you look closely, some of the buildings still have the original engravings like the one above. Ali was full of such cool facts!
^^ Absinthe! This little contraption dripped water into our glasses to help dilute our drinks so we could sip it down more easily.
^^ Cubes of sugar being melted to also help with the dilution.
I have to admit, it took me almost an hour to completely sip down my small glass because it was just that strong but woooo! Charles and I did it. We had our first taste of absinthe!
I am so thankful for Ali and his hospitality towards me and Charles during our stay in Amsterdam, especially considering the fact that we had only met briefly a few days before. He played a huge part in the reason in why Charles and I left Amsterdam completely in love with the city. Thank you Ali! Until next time!