When in Holland. 🌷

Reunited and it feels so goed! 🇳🇱

Not having benefited from a full night’s sleep (or the relative aerial proximity we enjoy from mainland Europe), Lindsay and Julien were surprisingly alert and chipper. (A not dissimilar set of events from our last reunion in Iceland.

First of approximately four hundred apple pies we had in Amsterdam. I had no idea appeltaart was even a thing here but that did not stop me from ordering at every cafe and restaurant we subsequently visited.

I felt right at home.

Somewhat ridiculously: one of my sole to-dos in Amsterdam was find the canal they’d filmed by during season 2 of Sense8. It wasn’t until our last day that I discovered it was right outside this cafe we’d spent nearly an hour in which I’d failed to recognise because we were on the opposite bank.

Art gallery featuring sculptures inspired by Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. The gallery owner was thrilled we knew it.

As documented by Lindsay: the moment I got roped into photographing a 20-man British stag do.

The architect misplaced his ruler that day.

“Gay & Lesbian Info”. Lady in the red jumper looks like she’s just been turned away for not meeting the entry criteria.

Nearby: the Homomonument, commemorating all women and men oppressed and persecuted because of their sexuality. “Je niet alleen bent” – you are not alone.

Not for nothing, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.

Milkshake, quite literally bringing boys to the yard.

I took this photo, both because I thought it was a lovely moment worth capturing but also because it occurred during one of our regular games of “gay or European?” and Lindsay​ asked – deadly serious – “Are we sure they’re gay?”

Short of guy 2’s head facing the other direction in guy 1’s lap, I’m not sure they could have put any more anal in canal.

You might think we’d come to see the historic Koepelkerk in the background, but no – we were actually in search of the Catboat. (Sadly closed.)

Calm down, Hogsmeade.

Marginally different from the Moulin Rouge I remember.

Hotel Windows #2: a beautiful view over the canals, and Alf in Dutch on the TV.

Also audible from our room: the comforting sound of Silly Jack just downstream.

Two items of note:
1. This is the first summer in 6+ years where I’ve seen enough sunlight to freckle.
2. Imagine how much I’d save on botox if I could carry this bathroom lighting around with me at all times.

A solid 78% of the canal boats were overrun with bachelor parties and frat bros, such that we took to lovingly calling them broats.

Determined not to judge all of Holland’s vegan restaurants by the events of the previous night’s fiasco, we visited De Bolhoed. Excusing the fact that one of the patrons mistook my jaunty sailor outfit for a staff uniform, it was a vast improvement.

Also in its favour: this giant cat who kept walking in off the street.

Amsterdam at night is like a van Gogh in motion.

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