To say the least, the trip was great. Amsterdam is a very cool city, with all that water, all the bridges and the people, something is just right there. Sadly for you, there aren't going to be any pictures, at least not for a while, since all we had was Josie's point'n'shoot camera.

We arrived by train, which was surprisingly easy and convenient, even though at roughly 60 euros per way per person with BahnCard 50, rather expensive. We had to change twice, once in Mannheim and once in Köln. We got there around five o'clock, got our strippen-kaart, took the tram 5 to Leidseplein, which is the nightlife location in Amsterdam. We walked a few hundred meters, and found our hostel, the Flying Pig Palace Hostel in the Vossiusstraat, near Vondelpark. Out of the hostels in Amsterdam, it seems to one of the more mature ones. They have excellent facilities (free breakfast, free Internet, free kitchen for you to use) and the hostel is run by temp-worker backpackers who stay there free and do all the work (reception, room-cleaning) in return. We settled in an eight-person room in the lower "shelf" of a queen-size bunkbed. That sounds rickety, but actually works great.

For the night, we went back out to Leidseplein to find something to eat, only to discover that most of the tourist trap restaurants are way too expensive. If you keep walking, however, you find the places where the Dutch go, and in our case, that was an Italian restaurant that had yummy pizza for a mere 5€. After that, we kept walking downtown, explored a bit and found somewhere that served (stuntprijs! 8)) great apple cake and coffee for a mere 2,50€. We came back to the hostel a bit exhausted around 1am.

(Read on.)