They say I was in Amsterdam, and for a change I still remember. I knew I would have a stopover here on the way from Madeira back to Oz, but I neglected to realise that it was quite a long one. Only having arrived at the Schiphol airport I realised that there was plenty of time to dump my carry-on luggage into a storage locker and to take the train to the city for a few hours.
I must have been in Amsterdam about a dozen times by now and I had plenty of adventures of all kinds there. This time I had to make sure not to miss a plane that would take me to Oz via a stopover in Singapore, so the adventures had to be kept within a limit. I used to be able to find my way around the central part of the city quite easily, but some things have been changed, some others I have forgotten, so I needed to glance at a map at a few occasions. The weather was good and I strolled around central Amsterdam without any particular aim for several hours. I chilled out sitting on the edge of a gracht, watched an amazing performance by a street body artist and had one of the famous overpriced shawarmas. I am always enchanted by this city's charm and this time was no different. I wished I had a house there.
By the way, I've heard that they closed down large parts of the red light district. I have indeed seen some closed showcases of unambiguous nature, but the vast majority of them were open and going about their business as usual. So were the coffeeshops.
The unexpected visit to Amsterdam felt like a great way to say goodbye to Europe, at least for this time, and after a nice afternoon of walking I took the train back to the airport leaving plenty of time to catch the plane without having to hurry. The flight to Oz was as usual: long.