Our last few days in Amsterdam were eventful and exciting. We found the bike rental and attempted to see the city as the dutch do. We roamed Vondel park and on the outskirts of the city along the canals. We made a valiant effort to ride in the main parts of the city, but the stress of avoiding other bikers and cars that appear to be able to drive wherever they please made that quite the challenge! Twas very fun, especially ringing our little bells at rogue pedestrians.
We stayed for three nights in a hostel called Amsterdam Hostel Centre. It was cozy, with bright yellow painted walls, and a family style feel. Our room was on the 4th floor, so we got plenty of practice hiking up the dutch stairs. Not sure how we didn't fall down when carrying our packs. There were always three other people in the tiny little room with us, different people each night. It was interesting going to bed with one roommate and waking up with another. But everyone we have met, both in the hostels and around the city, has been remarkably kind and enjoyable to chat to. Must be something in the water. (25,000 bikes perhaps??!)
Across the street from our hostel was a blues club called Bourbon St. The house band there is Bourban Jam Session, a fabulous group of gentlemen who played one set around 10, and then for the rest of the night invited different "jammers" to join them on stage. We saw different combinations of four vocalists, two guitar players, two bassists, a sax man, three drummers, a harmonica player and a pretty badass keyboard slash piano man. It was intense! Like camping. K and i had planned to pop in for a drink at ten and then head up to bed early. We stayed for another 4 hours. Like all things Amsterdam, we had to pull ourselves away. I for one am already making plans to return someday!