Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011--Red Light District

By our last day Mary had come down with a bad cold as well, and the two of us were really under the weather.  However, we decided that we couldn't come all the way to Amsterdam and miss the red light district.  So we marched back to Dam Square and then off the square and quickly we ran into sex shops.  The most spectacular is the Condomerie.  I did not take any pictures of the red light district because Mary warned me that there are stories of pimps or "guardians" who rip cameras out of tourists' hands and destroy them.  So here I cheat and present pictures from the net.  The Condomerie presents an assortment of its wares in the window; my favorites were the Big Ben and the elephant's head (but let's not slight the Eiffel Tower choice).  These would really rock your world.

note elephant's head, Big Ben, and statue of Liberty

full monty offerings

We then turned down a street and encountered the Old Church (Oude Kerk) in front of which is a statue of Belle, an homage to sex workers around the world.  From there we wandered up to a canal that featured an outdoor urinal complete with a prodigious pisser.  Down we came to an alley, and Mary told me we turned down there.  The passage is so narrow, people walk single file down the alley.  In front of me there was a rather suspicious looking young chap who I assumed was a pimp, so I kept my eye on him and thus missed the "working girls" who stand in the windows and look enticingly.  In fact, out of the corner of my eye I saw an image in the first window and assumed it was a statue; when we reached the end of the alley, Mary asked what I was doing.  I answered where's the bordello (I assumed they hung out of windows or over railings like New Orleans in Madi Gras).  She said we had just passed three or four--I missed them all.

Old Church


narrow alley approach

windows, actually rooms, with women on display

me, passing obliviously by

definitely NOT me
missed this wall entirely--still watching pimp
That was enough for me; back we went for a walk along the canals, until we crossed one bridge and found ourselves at the University of Amsterdam.  As we walked down the other side of the canal, we were suddenly passing more windows with buxom workers.  A little further on, we came up on the Hemp Museum (no, we didn't visit or sample the wares).

University of Amsterdam
Hemp Museum

By this time Mary was exhausted, and we had a long hike back to our room for a rest.  After we got back, the rains started so we were in for the rest of the day and night until our departure early the next day.

last look out our hotel window

No comments:

Post a Comment