I’m going on a one-day trip to Venice Wednesday and wanna write a post about my mom’s lovely visit here this past weekend so I’m aiming to write about Amsterdam today, my mom tomorrow, and Venice after I get back after Thursday. Marathon blogging starts NOW!
So, Amsterdam. You are a cool city, for sure. Your government and social structure is very enviable, your insanely coordinated multitasking bikers impressive, and your canals a pretty sight. But compared to Prague, I’m sorry to inform you that according to a recent trio of travellers, you didn’t measure up. Why? Well, for one, your weather was dastardly and it felt like you wanted us out. Yes, you provided us with a one-of-a-kind tour guide replete with history and free cheese, but a surprising number of your residents made us feel unwelcome thanks to various rude and obnoxious interactions. It’s funny you say that you love us, because we didn’t really feel is too much. Maybe the winter wasn’t the right time to visit. I’d love to return to see your tulips blooming all over your country another time. Maybe then I’ll change my decision on you, but until then, Prague was much better.
The night we arrived, we diligently (and arguably maddeningly) made a two day itinerary that covered tons of attractions: Museumplein (Van Gogh and Stedelijk (modern art) museums), the Albert Cuypmarket, Anne Frank House, flower market, sexmuseum (this is Amsterdam, home of the–>), Red Light District, Jordaan neighborhood, canal ride, walking tour… so much!!
The food: Pretty good. From what I saw, Amsterdam didn’t push as much of a uniquely regional cuisine than did Prague. I tried stroopwafel, a chocolate/caramel/cookie sort of concoction that was yummy and almost overdosed on gouda cheese. Expecting three euro to fetch me a sliver similar to that from London’s Neal’s Yard Dairy stilton I’d enjoyed previously, I was shocked when I was handed enough cheese to last a baguette-and-cheese tourist half a week!
If you’ve ever even heard of my existence, you probably know of my intense appreciation for food (consisting of both flavor and the biological side), so here is a market slideshow!
As I said above, the weather wasn’t very nice. Worse than London, even. But the architecture aided our eyes, especially the curious sights of leaning buildings and tiny houses!
Our hostel was positively adequate. We were given beds, heat, safety, and a one-minute walk to Dam Square, the historic and current center of Amsterdam. There was one bathroom for eight people and no common room. I, the hotel booker, didn’t actually realize this until a week before we left but it was also situated in the Red Light District! Ha ha! Turns out this area is one of the safest places in the city because it’s so heavily policed. We strolled around one night, taking in the sight of women selling themselves in the windows. In the canal swum waterfowl that, as my friends said, must’ve wondered why our species was so obsessed with sex while they handled it without much fuss.
(only click this link if you know the end because it’s is a SPOILER joke)
The Anne Frank House was phenomenal. This was the actual house where the family hid for two years, outfitted as a living museum. Absolutely incredible.
Here are some last photos: