261. Amsterdam Pub Crawl

CJ and LD looking fab!

Given we were now living in close quarters with a bunch of other travellers whose job was to organise pub crawls, we thought it would be rude not to join in. Plus we got a discount. I’ve become quite fond of these touristy pub crawls – guaranteed rentacrowd, you don’t have to think about where to go, and the price:free drinks ratio is very good. Especially this one.

We worked our way through everything from a grunge irish rock music theme bar, to an Australian themed club to quirky wine bars with hipster DJs on miniature balconies

It was a really fun night, and we made friends with some hilarious Amurrrcans and the people running it were actually so disorganised we managed to cram in quite a few extra venues.

I must say though, Amsterdam in the summer is just chock full of dudes. Guys, if you are looking for girls, you are only going to find them in windows! And just as common as those windows, were packs of beer loving (as evidenced by the size of their bellies) packs of “The Lads” looking like they were on stag do’s. Sights like these were not at all uncommon:

Whichever one of his friends told him he could pull off spandex was wrong

Another cycle bar

Skin coloured shark costume?

For the first time on one of these things I could actually knew who the organisers were, which kind of made me feel really sorry for them – they were tired, sober and bored, having been out to the same few bars every single night for the last few months at least. Didn’t stop us having a great time, eh CJ?

233. The Best Soundsystem In Europe

The largest speakers, or loudest, or best soundsystem, I forget which one, are supposedly found at a nightclub called Flex, on the riverside in central Vienna. The most hilarious thing is that the club itself is actually pretty small! I tell you, those bad boys are really loud. Well out of proportion there!

We went in search of this place, with some dubious google maps directions and an even more dubious cabby, and at last we were thrown out of the cab “Pretty sure its down there” and pointed toward some stairs leading down below a bridge, not seeing or hearing much partying at all. We saw a few people headed that way, and thought “seems legit” and followed. At the bottom of the stairs was what looked like a large beergarden, minus the garden. So really a whole bunch of people at picnic tables, and a bar opening out. This can’t be right, we thought, its really quiet. Eventually we spotted the door, with the glittering “Flex” over the top and realised that upstairs must be the pre-game area. Once we got downstairs our suspicions were confirmed – the drinks were significantly more expensive downstairs than up.

Inside, it was loud, like don’t even try to shout at eachother loud. To get a drink you had to point and gesture wildly and then drink whatever the bartender gave you because it was just too difficult to try to tell them it wasn’t what you wanted. The order of the day was some particularly grimy dubstep, and you definitely need to be a tad inebriated to enjoy a night of that at serious decibels! Many, of course, had taken that to whole new levels, and there were definitely a few crackpots on multiple combinations of not so legal stimulants. One of which came up to me and tried to bite my shoulder. It was weird. Mum and Dad you’ll be pleased to know those self defence skills came in handy!

There were a couple of weird, old guys, pulling out some nutty dance moves. This one was my favourite.

Wait no, that was Rob. This guy:

He was cutting shapes so intensely I couldn’t even get a decent photo.

A further observation, as is common with drum n bass/dubstep gigs, was the male:female ratio was well off. Uncomfortably so. I’m usually not bothered by that sort of thing, but I was very close to requesting an escort to the bathroom to make sure I got back again OK! On that note, some pretty nifty bathroom decorations.

All in all though, a fun night and definitely worth a visit. And for anyone keen to check it out but nervous about the volume, get some free earplugs while you are getting your cheaper drink upstairs!

214. Berlin to Prague in Stop Motion

When driving over the Swiss Alps, I was trying to get some good shots of the scenery around me, but we were whizzing past them all so quickly that I ended up holding down continuous shutter to see if I could catch them. When flicking through the photos really quickly the effect was really cool! I’d just recently seen some amazing stop motion videos made by my friend Marc and thought maybe I could give it a go too.

My attempt was not at all planned, just a few bursts in some more interesting places, and when we hit town I passed my camera around and it came back with some pretty hilarious shots! If I were to do another such video it would be good to have the camera properly mounted on the dashboard of the car, but nonetheless it was a fun experiment, and an efficient way to share my road trip snaps!

42. Fri Bar

As you may have guessed, fri = free. After the Icebar our wallets were feeling a little light, so we went in search of the mystical, magical party-animal mecca. It was a club called ‘Penthouse‘ that supposedly had an open bar, in return for a 100DKK cover charge (about $20), or 150DKK after midnight.

Being from New Zealand, which is incredibly politically correct when it comes to encouraging excessive drinking, I was firmly in the ‘I’ll believe that when I see it’ camp. We rounded the corner of the street and saw a huge line. At that stage I started to think maybe it wasn’t just a rumour. My suspicions were finally confirmed after seeing a poster outside – it was true!

The club has multpile levels and DJs, and at various stages throughout the night there were costumed dancers on a little stage on the main floor. It had a very cool prohibition era theme too, so I suspect drink deals like this aren’t the norm.

Not quite as good as a drag show at Fluffy, but the dancers were pretty good!

As expected, there were a few catches to the deal. There was an extra charge for coat check, which unfortunately is necessary with the amount of layers need outdoors in a Danish winter. The real catches came in with the open bar, however. Unsurprisingly, the free drink choice was limited to beer and shots. The surprise came in when there was a charge for a shot glass. The obvious solution? Having the shots poured directly in to your mouth.

Shotglasses? Who needs those!

A certain someone got way too excited about the free beer