Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

After (or during) your trip, post your report here.
User avatar
HitTheNorth
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat 20th Oct 2018 09:49 pm

Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by HitTheNorth »

Day 1

BEEP BEEP BEEEP
It’s 5am. I jump out of bed like only a man off to A'dam can, fumble at the alarm. Ugh, need coffee.
2 Espressos later and I’m feeling almost normal. The bag has been packed and re-packed over the last few weeks so many times, if I’ve forgotten something then it can’t be important. The forecast is pretty mixed with rain featuring heavily, I'm only taking a carry on so I have to leave the big camera in favour of waterproof gear, I'm always too stoned to be bothered with it anyway.

Mrs HTN takes me to the airport, my flight is delayed by half an hour so I hole up in the bar for a bit. I check the departure board and… Last call, what the…? Leg it! As I board I ask a hostess if we are still delayed and it seems the time has been made up. Sweet. I’ve got some classic Doctor Who podcasts downloaded for the flight so that’s me sorted. As we land we have not only made up the delay but are 10 mins earlier than expected. It's like fate wants me to get high as soon as possible.

Through customs with no issues, I’ve got a load of Euro change from a recent trip to Portugal so we’ll start getting rid of that with a train ticket. On the train I get chatting to 3 Irish lads, first timers, they are asking for recommendations of things to do, “You won’t be bored” I tell them and give them some bits of advice.

Image

Emerging from Centraal the weather is beautiful, blue skies, warm. I can’t check in my hostel until this afternoon so the plan is Siberie, 137 and then across to Catch 33, Chapiteau and work my way through de Baarsjes to Vondelpark.

Ah, Siberie. It was the last coffeeshop I visited on my last trip so theres a certain symmetry here. Girl behind the counter is very friendly and chatty, just what you want first thing. I survey the menu looking for a sativa to start. Nothing is really catching my eye so I ask to see the GoosePie, out of stock - never mind, I go for a gram of Blueberry Kush at €14, as I know it’s a solid smoke. Nice pale ash - I think I may have been a bit obsessed with ash as for a fortnight all I’ve had is nasty black ash off the gear at home. Anyway it’s a nice smoke and a good start.

Image

I have a couple of Espressos while I smoke, I’m quite taken with their branded Espresso cups so I ask the girls if they sell them. “We don’t sorry, but thats a really good idea”, “I’d buy one if you did”, “Oh, I’m sure plenty get stolen” she replies. It reminds me of the ashtrays in Abraxas was it? They said “Stolen from Amsterdam” on the under side if memory serves. A few punters come and go, the atmosphere is chill and it's a great way to re-acclimatize to this wonderful city. Onwards.

I wander up Brouwersgracht to 137. Young female tender is nice enough, I get a gram of Orange Crush at €12, a grinder and a Fanta - the sun and the kush have combined to make me quite thirsty. I roll a joint of the Orange Crush and fill the Pax with the remains. I love orangey terps - I know they're not everyones cup of tea - and I tried a few last trip but was disappointed, I'm looking for something funky along the lines of 24KGold rather than sweet and fizzy like Orange Soda, we shall see.

It’s way too hot to be lugging my bag around so I abort the original plan and head straight for Vondel to see if I can dump my bags. Headphones on, Pax on the go, I walk down Prinzengracht - on the way I spot a lady stood at the top of her steps, in her 70s I say, I’m so content I give her a smile and she returns with the cheekiest grin and wink I’ve ever seen. Saucy septuagenarian haha Part way down I hang a right at Ellandsgracht, passed the cheese shop that “fucking stinks” from my last trip and onto Marnixstraat and down to Vondel.

Image
Stinky

I’m at the StayOkay because my usual digs at Van Gogh are full - it’s like a youth club here, but it’s gotta be better than my original booking of Hans Brinker (I read some scare stories so cancelled that and booked at StayOkay). Luckily I can check in and dump my bags in a locker until later. Perfect, let’s get back on that plan. I load my bag with the essentials - vapes, umbrella, notebook, sharpies etc and head out.

TBC…
User avatar
AzLaker
Posts: 2738
Joined: Sat 21st May 2005 01:13 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by AzLaker »

Great start to your trip HTN. :mrgreen: Love the pics. :) Have a fantastic trip. :thumbup:

AzLaker
8)
If you never do, you'll never know.
User avatar
brufy
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat 22nd Feb 2020 02:15 pm
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by brufy »

That was a good read :thumbup:
Over four years on ACD and none the wiser…
User avatar
HitTheNorth
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat 20th Oct 2018 09:49 pm

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by HitTheNorth »

Day 1 - Part 2

Suitably equipped I set off from the hostel towards the little cluster of coffeeshops in de Baarsejes. I pop in the AH on Kinkerstraat and pick up a couple of Heineken Zeros - more than happy to pay the little extra for cold cans, how civilized. Over the bridge and hang a right up Baarsejesweg, theres a bench by the water so I take a short breather, down a Zero and watch someone paddleboarding up the canal, it sure is a nice day for it. I still have the joint of Orange Crush from 137 in my pocket and am tempted to sit and smoke it here but decide to crack on instead.

It's just a short walk to Massawa. I don't know why but I imagined this place to be more rustic than it is, it's actually pretty modern inside. The tender is on the phone when I arrive in the otherwise empty shop, he does however acknowledge me so I've no issues with him finishing his call - to be honest it gives me a minute to peruse the menu. I ask to see the Beldia and Tbisla (I think) - I went for the Beldia, lovely shine on the outside, softens in the hand.

Image
Massawa's Beldia

I pop round the corner to El Marsa but it looks like they are closed which is a shame, nevermind, onwards.

Image

From here I head to Hoofdweg and Ruthless. Proper coffeeshop this, a few locals sat outside, inside there is a small BnF counter and a rather dimly lit smoking area at the back, again theres quite a few local heads chilling there. Tender is sound and seems to visibly cheer up when I ask to see some Moroccan hash, he whips out his "Real Moroccan" of which he is clearly proud. Similar in appearance to the Beldia with a shiny exterior, but a little softer. Despite the rather off-putting name, I liked this shop and would certainly return, maybe even sit and have a smoke next time as many of the shops round here are BnF only.

Image
Real Moroccan - Ruthless

I double back up Hoofdweg and call in at Flashback. Well this is an interesting one. Again a few locals outside, inside it's pretty sparse - you can sit and roll on the window sill but that's about it, there seems to be no menu - I didn't see one anyway. There are three tubs on the counter marked with real generic names like Kush, Haze which doesn't fill me with confidence. The tender emerges from the back and I ask if he has any Moroccan hash - he pulls a lump from his pocket and I take a gram of what shall henceforth be known as "Pocket Maroc". This is a lighter, sandier piece more along the lines of a Hiya

Image

A few doors along from Flash Back is de Bommel. This is a tiny shop with an old school rustic feel. As I enter theres a guy getting served at the counter, a breeze blows his papers off the counter and he gives me a look - was it a gust from me opening the door? Oops. He gathers his papers from the floor and leaves, I scan the menu. The tender eyes me suspiciously despite my toothy grin. I opt for a gram of Purple Goo, he serves it up and places some papers on the counter too, I decline as I have come prepared with my own unbleached papers, he shrugs, at this moment the fan he has behind the counter finally rotates enough to blow the skins off the counter - so it wasn't my fault, good!

I head out across Mercartoplein towards Jan van Galenstraat and CS Loft. I failed miserably to find this shop when staying up this end a few years ago and it's been bugging me ever since as I was probably just a few yards away. Again this wasn't what I was expecting, Loft is sleek and modern, more akin to a Boerejongens than it's sister shop Siberie. Luckily they have the GoosePie in stock and it looks really nice so I take a gram of that and scoot.

Across the road is Erasmuspark and I've still got that joint of Orange Crush. I decide to chill in the park while I smoke that. I spy a lovely looking tree by the water that just begs to be sat under, as I get nearer I see the tree is hollow and as I get nearer still I see that the hollow of the tree is occupied by a massive rodent. Thoroughly freaked I decide to quit the park and head on, I spark the joint anyway as it's high time I was high. Strolling down the street I spot this sign for a furniture store that just begged for a selfie...

Image

It's time for a little detour, while I'm up this end of town I'm going to try to find the Keith Haring mural. This massive mural of a mythical beast was painted by Haring, as a gift to the city, in 1986 on the side of the Food Centre, a metal screen was installed in 1994 which covered the artwork up. It remained there, forgotten until the screen was removed in 2018. A restoration project has subsequently taken place to preserve the artwork for future generations. What a story, anyway here it is...

Image

Art detour completed it's time to pick up the coffeeshop crawl by heading north towards Fredrick Hendricksplein and the cluster of shops up there, it's a pleasant walk past de Otter windmill

Image

On the walk I spot what seems to be a domesticated heron, it's just chilling outside someones front door and seems totally unfazed by my presence. I'm a little taken aback by it, I glance round and make eye contact with a passer-by, she just looks at me with a "what's up? have you never seen a domesticated heron before"? face. Am I missing something? Are herons a thing here? Am I stoned? I chuckle to myself, I love the randomness of this city.

Image
Heron really screws you up

The next stop is CS Freedom. I have barely any memory of this shop so can't comment on decor or atmosphere but I did pick up some Wedding Cake before I headed over to Chapiteau.

Chapiteau is a small shop with only a BnF counter, it looks bigger from the outside so maybe theres a smoking area but it wasn't obvious. I've seen a few menus online and it's piqued my interest, surely at the prices quoted the weed is shite, it's €12 for the most expensive, but I'm prepared to take the hit to find out. I have a look at the menu, it is extensive with many strains you just don't see in other places. I turn to the tender, "I gotta say, your menu is very impressive", he is pleased with this and is more than happy to show me anything I ask to see (which is about 75% of the menu ahaha), he gives his recommendations and we have a laugh, nice bloke. The weed he shows me looks excellent, I mean really excellent, I'm spoilt for choice but go for a gram each of Georgia Pie and Space Zooties, tender gives me a free lighter. What a pleasant experience, no attitude, no rushing, no tourists (apart from yours truly) just a good shop with a really top shelf selection for rock bottom prices.

Last stop on this crawl is Catch 33. This place is in the process of changing to La Kalada and has had the decorators in, as such I wasn't sure it would be open but it was, albeit the smoking room was closed due to the aforementioned decorating. I strike up a convo with the lady tender, she seems really excited about the takeover and confirms that the menu will be changing in about a week to a full La Kalada menu, for the time being I take some of their Orange Groovie filtered hash which is quite pricey for me at €19/g. I wish her all the very best and I head out back towards Centraal.

I've got a bit of a stash now so it's time to put my feet up and have a smoke, I head down Brouwersgracht, across Singel and Damrak to Batavia. Upon arrival I'm disappointed to find Batavia closed, perhaps I'm a little early but the sign on the door says it should be open. Nevermind, there is more than one smoker bar in this city. I wander down Warmoestraat and pop in Hill St Blues for convenience, I grab a drink and head downstairs. It's really quiet in here, I've never seen it so empty but it is only lunchtime/early afternoon really. I roll a doob of the Georgia Pie from Chapiteau with a little Pocket Maroc from Flash Back and settle in for some people watching. Theres four or five lads and a solo traveller in the window seats, they are from Derby in the UK and solo guy is from Helsinki, they start chatting. The Derby lads are all pretty wasted apart from their ringleader who was very chatty. He's asking the Helsinki guy all soets of questions, can you score weed in Finland? How much have you spent on weed since you've been here? etc etc He's really keen to explain where Derby is to this Finnish guy and it's amusing me. "Have you heard of Robin Hood"? asks the Derby guy, "Well, that's Nottingham, Derby is a 20 min drive from there". Thanks for clearing that up. I don't know if it was the weed or the hash but I realise that last joint has hit hard and I'm feeling rather stoned. Success!

It's very gloomy in HSB as per, and it's a beautiful day outside so I finish up and head to Suzies. It's happy hour, which makes me happy, and while at the bar a small group enters, one of them accidentally walks behind the bar - something I once did too in a stoned daze - the staff have a good laugh and it seems this is a daily occurrence, glad it wasn't just me. It's pretty busy outside but a table becomes free after a minute or two. I take a seat and roll a joint of the Wedding Cake sprinkled with some Orange Groovie hash.

Image
Wedding Cake from CS Freedom...

Image
...and it's lovely white ash

It's a very nice smoke and I'm really relaxing into the trip now, this is absolutely one of my favourite spots to chill, just on the cusp of the RLD there's plenty of sights to see. It's not long before I'm joined by two Italian blokes and a young English lad, we chat, the English lad is pretty quiet but the Italians are sound. They live and work in Amsterdam and soon the conversation turns to bemoaning the rising cost of living. We also notice that Rick's Coffeeshop seems to be closed. We smoke the GoosePie from Loft which was a quality smoke. Eventually I get itchy feet and decide to move on.

I take a little stroll around the nearby shops, Plug, Bhageera and then over to Spuistraat to TK, no purchases though. I make my way to the hostel to freshen up.

TBC...
User avatar
AzLaker
Posts: 2738
Joined: Sat 21st May 2005 01:13 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by AzLaker »

Is it just me, or do I smell rubber burning? :shock: :lol: Darn, HTN those shoes are packing on some miles... very nice.
Thanks for the write up and again the pics. Love the pic of the Heron. Some good looking hash you have there. :mrgreen:

AzLaker
8)
If you never do, you'll never know.
User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sun 22nd Jun 2008 05:33 pm
Location: Wherever I am!!!!

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Ghost »

Hey Thanks for sharing Buddy :D. I have really enjoyed reading your trip report so far :thumbup: sounds like you have been making the most of your time in town :mrgreen: As I have been out of action for a while health wise and became a little downhearted about it, this has given me a great pick me up and got the Dam buzz starting to tingle again. Thanks Man :D Looking forward to the next instalment from Ya :thumbup: :thumbup:
Chase the Green to live the Dream :mrgreen: 8) :D
User avatar
HitTheNorth
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat 20th Oct 2018 09:49 pm

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by HitTheNorth »

@AzLaker my app says 7.5 miles from hostel to batavia, I'll see if I can upload an image

@Ghost hope you're feeling better mate
User avatar
Marok21
Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed 28th May 2008 12:20 pm
Location: who knows?

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Marok21 »

Great travelogue! Thanks a lot for sharing :D
AzLaker wrote: Sat 5th Aug 2023 05:06 pm Is it just me, or do I smell rubber burning? Darn, HTN those shoes are packing on some miles... very nice.
Yeah really :shock: Awesome :mrgreen: I haven't visited the coffeeshops in the West like Massawa, de Bommel, Flashback for a long time. Your travelogue made me want to do it again :mrgreen:

I never been to Coffeeshop Chapiteau before... sounds like a really good place for take away. Their menu always interested me because of the cheap prices but never made it here till now.
HitTheNorth wrote: Sat 5th Aug 2023 09:48 am On the walk I spot what seems to be a domesticated heron, it's just chilling outside someones front door and seems totally unfazed by my presence. I'm a little taken aback by it, I glance round and make eye contact with a passer-by, she just looks at me with a "what's up? have you never seen a domesticated heron before"? face.
:lol: I also saw a heron once near Harlemmerstraat who was sitting on a car. I walked by and he didn't move a bit for the whole time and so I wasn´t sure if he is alive or a statue :lol: ... Suddenly he started flapping his wings and i got the shock of my life :lol:

@HitTheNorth thanks also for the short review about the NY Grapes weed from Coffeeshop Solo in your live report. I read the report on the way to Amsterdam and that's why i tried it. Thanks again I really liked it :mrgreen:
I am looking forward to the next part :D

@Ghost Get well soon mate!
User avatar
HitTheNorth
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat 20th Oct 2018 09:49 pm

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by HitTheNorth »

Day 1 - Part 3

Back at the hostel I can get into the room and freshen up. I'm pretty stoned, so stoned that I struggle to operate the key card. I get there in the end and get into the room. Already in attendance are my roomies for the night, two young Australian lads and one of their girlfriends. They are in the full throes of preparing for a night on the tiles, one of them is glued to the basin mirror in the corner, he has a shaved head but is making sure his moustache hairs are perfect. Priorities. I realise I've left some stuff in my locker downstairs so retrieve that and back to the room, Aussie guy is still preening himself. The room is tiny and it's pretty tricky to navigate with 4 of us in here, lad 1 and girlfriend exit. I attempt to take a shower but it's tiny in there too, theres two hooks on the wall - both occupied by used boxer shorts. Nowhere to hang my clothes or towel so I just strip to the waist and blast my top half, better than nothing. I put on a clean t-shirt and that's me sorted and ready. As I head out, lad 2 is still sorting his moustache out...

I wander over to Leidseplein and grab something to eat, "Table for one please", sounds pretty sad but I care not. One serviceable pizza later and I'm ready to go.

Image

I pop my head in Easy Times round the corner. It's busy as usual and I don't know if I can be bothered when I spy their Tuesday offers. Never one to miss a bargain I ask to have a look. They have White Runtz at €11 and Zucotti at €12, I'm leaning towards the latter and ask the budtender which he thinks is better, "Zucotti" he replies, well that settles it then. I'm not a big fan of the smoking room so I just head straight out.

I'm not sure where I'm heading when the heavens open, I rush for shelter under a canopy on Leidseplein. I'm not dressed for a downpour and if this carries on it'll make for a damp, miserable evening. I make the decision to dive back to the hostel and pick up my jacket.

Image

I seem to recall sitting outside the hostel and rolling a joint before setting off again. After a short wander I end up at Balou. Looks like the 420 crew had a good time there so I thought I'd give it a go. I ask the friendly tender about the Canadian range they offer. He says he's been smoking a fair bit of the Lux so I take a gram and head upstairs.

I snare a table at the window and skin up. I like the atmosphere in here, it's quite busy but retains a chilled feel, and this window seat is fantastic for watching the world go by. I spy the electronic games table that @Lemming had such fun with and bore witness to the whooshing off of the screen haha. I chill here for a bit and smoke the Zucotti and Lux, probably augmented by various bits of hash - both flowers were fine, nothing mind-blowing but solid enough.

Image
Canadian Lux from Balou

Image
Zucotti from Easy Times

From Balou I head up to Muntplein and Old Church, scan the menu and move on. I end up on a bit of an aimless wander, sat canalside and smoked a joint, I think I phoned Mrs HTN as well. Eventually it must be getting late as I head to Solo and find it closed. Must be after midnight, where did the time go? I decide to hole up in Cafe Schuim on Spuistraat for a drink and a smoke. I sit outside and smoke the Purple Goo from de Bommel whilst eavesdropping on the group of international students seated near me. Unfortunately I wasn't too impressed with the weed, iirc it burned black, ah well. Time to head back.

When I get back to the room, Australian lad has finally finished perfecting his facial hair and is all tucked up. I climb up onto my bunk and fall asleep, fully clothed.

TBC...
User avatar
Not_the_monk
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed 22nd Aug 2012 02:22 am

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Not_the_monk »

Really enjoying reading this, thank you HTN
Marok21 wrote: Mon 7th Aug 2023 01:29 pm :lol: I also saw a heron once near Harlemmerstraat who was sitting on a car. I walked by and he didn't move a bit for the whole time and so I wasn´t sure if he is alive or a statue :lol: ... Suddenly he started flapping his wings and i got the shock of my life :lol:
Haha yup I've seen a (possibly the same) heron sat on a car around there too a few years ago. I'm sure I have a pic of him somewhere, will have to see if I can find it. And also there used to be one down near the botanical gardens too, seen it a bunch of times in the early 2000's,
Dave near London
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu 17th Jun 2010 08:26 pm

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Dave near London »

Excellent write up - flows nicely and a very nice sense of observation , the city and characters.
User avatar
Smokeybee21
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri 19th Apr 2013 01:18 pm
Location: Wales

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Smokeybee21 »

Awesome write-up so far. Unfortunately had to cancel plans for a September trip this year so am living vicariously through you, keep it up sir :D :twisted:
User avatar
Marok21
Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed 28th May 2008 12:20 pm
Location: who knows?

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Marok21 »

HitTheNorth wrote: Tue 8th Aug 2023 03:50 pm I attempt to take a shower but it's tiny in there too, theres two hooks on the wall - both occupied by used boxer shorts. Nowhere to hang my clothes or towel so I just strip to the waist and blast my top half, better than nothing.
That seems familiar to me :lol: Staying at a Hostel can be hit or miss...
I also often stay in hostels because I don't need much more than a bed and a shower. I want to enjoy the city not the hotel and the money that I save I can spend for some more fun :D ... Sometimes I was lucky and was the only person in the room or only one other person. But I've also had overnight stays where I could hardly sleep or the others take over everything and you don't know where to put your things :? But all in all I had more positive than negative experiences in hostels.
Not_the_monk wrote: Tue 8th Aug 2023 04:53 pm Haha yup I've seen a (possibly the same) heron sat on a car around there too a few years ago. I'm sure I have a pic of him somewhere, will have to see if I can find it. And also there used to be one down near the botanical gardens too, seen it a bunch of times in the early 2000's,
Yeah he could possibly been the same :lol: I can't remember exactly when it was, but it was definitely a long time ago, so it might be in the 2000s. Would be nice to see a pic of him if you still have it :D if I remember right it was quite a large specimen or that's just what i remember :lol:
User avatar
HitTheNorth
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat 20th Oct 2018 09:49 pm

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by HitTheNorth »

Marok21 wrote: Wed 9th Aug 2023 01:07 pm
I also often stay in hostels because I don't need much more than a bed and a shower. I want to enjoy the city not the hotel and the money that I save I can spend for some more fun :D ...
Hey @Marok21
This is exactly my line of thinking too! I'm fine with basic as long as it's clean

And so it turns out urban herons are a thing, some nice images here:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gall ... mg-1#img-1

And an informative video here:


I actually saw two herons on my morning walk today - they flew away before I could get a snap, not like those brazen Mokum herons - the posers :D
User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sun 22nd Jun 2008 05:33 pm
Location: Wherever I am!!!!

Re: Hit The North Goes Solo - Trip Report

Post by Ghost »

Another great instalment with some cracking photo's :thumbup: I really like the look of that Lux it has a good appearance appeal from your pic and a semi reasonable price compared to some of the other strains on menus. Did it smoke nice? and was it worth 14e? Keep it coming Buddy :D
Chase the Green to live the Dream :mrgreen: 8) :D
Post Reply