So for something completely different, I headed off to Amsterdam, a city I have never been to before! The city turned out to be a major favorite, a beautiful canal on every street, kooky shops (with interesting things to be sold) and of course all the bikes, bikes and more bikes. I got to spend my week with Lauren (dreamtodream.tumblr.com) who is studying abroad there, which was super fun especially when in a city that I had no preconceived notions about. Major highlights included the Van Gogh museum, the park and the Amsterdam sign, and the Anne Frank Huis.
After a short flight from Rome, I finally reached Amsterdam. I had to take a short train from Schipol to Centraal Station, which was a gorgeous brick landmark.
Biking was the only way to travel around the city, so I went to rent a bike for the week in order to get around. It really was much easier to bike rather than travel on foot, or paying two euros for a one-way ticket on the trams and buses. Plus it was part of the culture to bike around rather than walk. Do as the Dutch do!
My buddy, the bike.
There were so many different markets throughout the city, each with its own quirky flair. This market had a ton of clothing and artwork.
After perusing the market, I took a ride around the streets and stopped to glimpse at the beautiful canals.
Ate some yummy Dutch french fries smothered in mayonnaise, a common favorite topping.
The next day was spent at the Van Gogh museum. I was so excited to see an entire museum based on one of my childhood favorites!
Next door to the Van Gogh was the Rijksmuseum, a museum focused on Dutch Renaissance painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt. Sadly we didn’t get to go because it was a bit expensive.
We decided to hit the Red Light District at night, just to see what all the fuss was about. It was…..an experience to say the least.
Like in Strasbourg, we decided to take a canal boat tour, to get a view of the city on water, an angle many people do not normally experience.
Saw some of Amsterdam’s finest sights, all while on a cute little tourboat.
Next we passed by the Tulip Museum! My favorite flowers are white tulips. :)
I loved how there were tulips all over the city!
Amsterdam was full of really cool street art. Here is my hip representation of what I saw.
We then ventured into Anne Frank’s house. Despite the hour-long line for tickets, the exhibit was eye-opening and highly educational, as there was a fun interactive game at the end of the exhibit that explored popular controversial social topics. What it had to do with the Holocaust, I’m not sure. But it was super interesting!
That night, we went to the famous Pancake Bakery to have some Dutch pancakes. Yummy yummy.
We also ventured to the “I AMsterdam” sign back in front of the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum.
We also decided to try some Dutch street specialties, like this fried dough ball, traditionally eaten around New Year’s. It was super yummy.
Overall, Amsterdam was an amazing trip. It felt good to be in a city for a longer period of time, so that the days there wouldn’t seem as short and overbooked. I truly enjoyed myself while I was there! It felt good to bike everywhere in the city even though I somehow got lost at least once a day. The city has such a great day and night life, and was just unlike any city I’ve visited so far. Would I recommend it? Most definitely. I will for sure revisit Amsterdam the next chance I get. Well, that’s all for now! Fall break was one of the best experiences I’ve had: exploring Italian wonders with my best bros, and taking over a Dutch city on two wheels. I am already having withdrawals. Well, until the next adventure…or wherever life takes me. Bisous à tous!