Amsterdam 1977

Before I got into the Hospitality Industry to travel around I had these family air passes because my stepfather worked for Air Canada.

So before they ran out my friend and I decided to go to Europe for 45 days during the summer of 77 where we leased a car and started off in Paris , then to Brussels , the Netherlands , West Germany , Austria , Switzerland , through the French Riviera and back to Paris and then home.

Our plan of attack was to find the train station of wherever we went and go in and find out where all the local attractions were and to get some walking tour maps. Sometimes as was the case in Amsterdam we would also be looking for a spot to crash , because although we were camping for most of the time , once in a while it was good to get out of the weather elements. As far as I can recall it was a rainy summer in Europe that year.

So we parked the car and asked where some cheap places to sleep were located and were pointed to an area not too far from where we were. My friend and I began the short trek but while we on our way there we must have taken the long route or so we thought because everyone kept trying to sell us some drugs.

We eventually found the spot where we were heading and checked in , dropped our stuff and headed to the bar downstairs to ask the bartender where the Red Light District was. He just laughed at us and replied , guys you are in it! Just then we looked across the lane way and saw what looked like a 50 year old woman who was fat and ugly waving , beckoning us to pay her a visit.

Well compared to here in North America the freedom of the Netherlands is astounding and was a real eye opener to this 18 year old. We went to see Anne Frank’s room where she hid for so long before she was found and to an art museum during our stay and needless to say took many trips around the Red Light District.

I got back a few times more but I will always remember the bartender laughing back at us telling two young wide eyed tourists from Canada , hey guys you are in it!



  1. Seeing Anne Frank’s residence must have been an intense experience. I went to the holocaust museum a few years back and it was horrifying.

  2. How to…It was pretty eerie for sure to think about back then and what took place.

  3. amsterdam! it’s were all our chefs go on “holiday’ every time……every year……some make it back some are never heard of again…..

  4. Manuel…the single guys probably never make it back.Especially if they like smoking the weed.Then they probably stay and find a job.Ha

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