Coffee shops, Amsterdam
This place has odd hours so don't go early or late or it will surely be closed! Hours are 2-8 and it is closed on a weekday, seems to change sometimes but usually it is Wednesdays. As for their rather eclectic hours of operation well, just chalk it up to the rights of the self employed:))
The gear here is what makes them popular. The "grey mist crystals" or trichromes as they first called them is top notch smoke. The Grey Area is not really a place to hang out mainly because it is very small and usually crowded anyway so it is better to just score and head somewhere else to chill and burn. The seats at the tables are pretty uncomfortable which alse makes it not so inviting to stay.
Now it depends on who you find working that makes the impression when it comes to service. If you you get the American guy the experience should be a pleasant one because I have met him several times and only had positive vibes from him, his name is John. If the other guy is working however the experience could very well be negative and I have heard many comments about him in that way from others. I too have had negative responses from him, his name is Steve.
Fondest memory: They do have real strange hours but if you are lucky enough to catch them open the crystals are most definitely worth sampling. I also very highly recommend the Yellow Cab buds which have been surpurb each time I purchased some. So just score some killer buds and crystals and jet outta there!
Go to their website and get a free drink voucher for your next visit!
Hash Brownies from the Abraxas Coffeeshop
Fondest memory: The brownies at the Abraxas are very good but to me are not strong enough. My tolerance level is pretty high so I don't get much effect on them. Everyone's tolerance is different though so it is better to start with a small amount and determine the effects before eating more.
The space products offered at all coffeeshops will only have hash or marijuana in it so there won't be any psycho effects, only a more intense body buzz, like laziness or sleepiness.
Favorite thing: The city is such a good mix of cultures - as here with this Gaudi-style bench. The styles and people mingle quite well - it's definitely worth wandering around, and not just getting the biased Central Station, coffee shop and Red light district impression.
My favorite thing about Amsterdam is its diversity in activites from museums, coffee shops, bars, and awesome canals and districts for walking.
Fondest memory: Fondest memory of Amsterdam would have to be walking the canals, seeing the beautiful architecture and the emotional sight of the Anne Frank House.
Fondest memory: One of the best known features of Amsterdam are the "Coffee Shops". Because of Holland's laws on soft drugs, it is possible to legally consume some of them. You can do so in specialised establishments called Coffee Shops (obviously, the Dutch are quite proficient in the art of English understatement) that you can find all over the centre.
There are many coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The signs are usually neon lights with a coconut tree and very colourful. These are not places that only sell coffee, but more than that. They have menu for different types of "herbs", such as Cannabis, for you to smoke.
I am a non-smoker, so I did not enter any of the coffeeshop cos the smell from outside already puts me off. I will never forget that strong stench.
Need I say more? This dude signifies the Amsterdam experience for most tourists. Jill and I were luckily able to scratch beneath Amsterdam's sex, drugs and booze veneer and it will take another day to write all of what we experienced in Amsterdam. Not that we overlooked the sex, drugs and booze bit, that is. :)
The last night in Amsterdam, there were no beds in any of the hostels, but I stuck around instead of catching a train back to Brussels where there will always be a bed. I wonder why. Hehehe. I knew something would work out and it did. Haley and Paul from Jill's dorm decided to spend the night in Paul's bed and I got to sleep in Haley's. Thankyou Amsterdam.
Jill and I walked around the city doing pretty much nothing that day. Nothing but taking in the sights, the sounds and the smells. We stumbled upon a flower market and a book market later on. We found ourselves in a tiny little Christmas decoration shop, that was just so beautiful. We spent ages sifting through the little curios. Just enough time to get the shopping done: 185 more days till Christmas!
Jill and myself outside one of Amsterdam's gazillions of 'smart shops' Okay, it was the tackiest, most touristic things to have done, but I would go back and do it everytime. Mushrooms did for me what no joint ever did.
My last afternoon in Amsterdam, we had a picnic in the park outside the Van Gogh Museum, mushroomed ourselves for one last time and got caught in the rain - stranded under a bridge with dozens of other tourists, with the buskers playing all sorts of exotic music and the mushroom effect kicked in making everything totally surreal.
My fascination with mushrooms goes back to seventh grade when I read 'The Purple Pileus' by H.G. Wells. In Brussels, one of the Irish boys at my hostel advised me to try mushrooms in Amsterdam and my seventh-grade craze was reawakened. In Amsterdam, Jill introduced me to mushrooms formally. 'shrooms, shall we say. Mexican, Thai - take your pic. I had Thai the first night - which the guy at the Smart Shop said are supposed to make you contemplative and observant. My contemplation and observation that night comprised mostly of thinking up ways to harass the Japanese tourists that seemed to be walking round in circles.
We pretended to have deep philosophical conversations and make meaningful observations. Lol. The only remotely observational aspect of the evening was noticing that there are two types of people at Dam Sqaure: weird people and normal people acting weird. I don't know how meaningful this observation was, but we sought comfort in putting ourselves in the latter category.
buy the smokers guide to amsterdam available in most coffeeshops, this will be the only guide for marijuana and hash you will need. it gives lot's of information on everything you'll need to know about coffeeshopping or smartshopping ( mushrooms,peyote,etc...)
Fondest memory: good book to own, it helped us out at times.
Okay I do not advocate drug use. In fact I have not been a regular user of marijuana in quite some years. But when in Rome....
Anyway visiting a smoking coffeeshop is something that you should give a try if you are open minded towards such activities. Besides pot, beer, coffee or tea are also served.
Fondest memory: My only trip to a smoking coffee was to a place just one block Northeast the Leidseplien. It had an Indian motif(always a draw for me) but I cannot remember. I got so high I think that it might have been just a dream. All I can remember was that it was across the street from a really good Mexican restaurant. I cannot remember the name of that place either. Thank God my hotel was nearby or I would have never have found my way back.
Amsterdam is such a free city, one of the most liberated country in the world I think.....
I am not encouraging you of buying what they offer there but just encourage you NOT to miss this, HAVE A LOOK! You can find this shops only in Amsterdam.
Fondest memory: The junkies around the city, those homeless and just hanging around to find something to live in this kind of City, also those alchoholic people around, sometimes frightening.
Good thing is Amsterdam is just a nice place for nightlife...good cafes and restaurant are just around.
Favorite thing: There are some interesting shops in Amsterdam described as 'smart shops'. They sell herbal preparations (most of the herbs would be legal for anyone to take home) but they usually give more information than you would get at a health food shop, and the herbs are often sold just in their dried natural form. I found the displays with English explanations at the Magic Mushroom shop interesting. (It's in the shops at the Flower Market - see below). My cat would have loved me to take the big bag of catmint home! They also have magic mushrooms - not my thing, but we overheard the staff advising other customers and the staff seemed very sensible and knowlegeable. The most well known of the smart shops is Conscious Dreams, Kerkstraat 117. Apparently this was the first smart shop in the world. They have a very cool web site - www.consciousdreams.nl. Takes forever to load, but informative.
I guess it would be 'do drugs', but I did no drugs at all. In fact, I didn't even drink while I was there. This was all due not to my self control but more to my horrible lung infection and exhaustion from being at the end of my first trip to Europe. You should never, ever take someone else's antibiotics, even if they're really nice, and even if it does make you feel temporarily better... trust me, that decision will haunt you!
Fondest memory: Stepping out into the city from the train station--it was truly a magical moment! All the buskers and floods of people and little candyspun buildings are like something out of a children's storybook. I was especially enchanted because I was a little depressed, but the beauty of the city helped restore my mood!
Visit coffeeshops. Paranoa free, great people and an even greater city. Theres always a coffeeshop around the corner. Not all are good though, in fact, a very few are excellent. Two come to my mind at the moment as being great places all around. The Grey Area, home of Grey Myst Crystal(trichomes,kiff) and a fine selection of herb including: yellow cab, AK47 and my personal favorite, dubble bubble gum. Second, The Greenhouse Centruum. Located right in the center of all the action of the Red Light District, this shop offers a great seating area outside and a fine selection of herb and hash including Super Silver Haze and King Hassan. As for eating in this city, stop and get some chinese food in chinatown, in the RLD.
Fondest memory: Actually, getting off the train and smoking my first joint of freedom. Then walking around and seeing what this city was like, blew my mind.