|Magic is the only way to describe Amsterdam.
I didn’t know what I would think of it as I am not one to part-take in the luxuries offered by the numerous coffeeshops but I can honestly saY I had 3 of the most hilarious days of my life in Amsterdam and a perfect way to begin the journey with all 4 girls together!
The start of our mission to Amsterdam started out brutal involving the 3am 1hr cab to Luton Airport for the 6 am flight to Amsterdam. None of us slept too much before and we all passed out as soon as we sat on the plane. We have never been so upset that the flight was too short - only 45 minutes long. We got off the plane onto the train and headed into the city... at this point we are all looking amazing and are super graceful with our oversized backpacks. When we got out of the train station there was GARBAGE EVERYWHERE. Actually everywhere, overflowing garbage cans, all over the street....it was so strange. We caught the tram and the garbage continued throughout the city. There were PILES of garbage bag on every other street corner. I could not help but think...were my friends really this messed up the whole time they were here and never thought to mention the garbage. I was confused and not sure what to think about it.
Things were looking up once we got to the hostel. We thought were all booked in separate 20 person dorms but they were able to put us in a 6-bedroom ensuite room – NICE! The hostel was also so clean, which was a nice change from the less than nice odours that were in our London hostel. We locked up our luggage and set out to venture into town to grab our first of many pancake breakfasts!
We ventured around, still so confused about the garbage until we ran into someone who explained the garbage collectors have been on strike for the last three weeks. The situation made a lot more sense and I regained my confidence in everyone that I had talked to about Amsterdam. We wandered through the streets on the beautiful sunny afternoon grabbing some groceries and candy from our new favourite candy store – Jammin’. We eventually decided that it would be a good idea to head to a coffeeshop before the 2pm check-in time at the hostel. “The Rookies” coffeeshop seemed like a reasonable selection for our first visit. After a visit and coffee we went back to the hostel and all passed out right away for 3 hours. Best nap ever!
We took things easy the first night- having a photo opp with the I amsterdam statue and venturing through the streets, dodging the piles of garbage. We grabbed a shaorma on the way home and tucked in to one of the best sleeps I have ever had.
Day 2: Discovering how amazing free walking tours are!
The next day we got up early to ensure we actually made the walking tour on time and we are so happy we did. A 3-hour free walking tour with the best tour-guide – an Aussie named Amy. She took us all around the city, including the Red Light District. The Red Light District was definitely not what I thought it was going to be. I didn’t know it was literally a door – it’s an interesting concept.
The garbage strike also ended, conveniently. The city was cleaned in a matter of hours. Now I get what everyone loves about this city. It is truly gorgeous. The people are friendly and there are so many different things to see.
We spent the afternoon at the Anne Frank Huis – which was so interesting It was interesting the take Otto Frank had on the situation. You did not leave the museum upset or sad – it was focused on recognizing that this happens all over the world and there are several things we can do as individuals to prevent it ever happening again. The weather is unreal, still in pants and sweaters but definitely warming up.... we are so ready for shorts!
We decided to participate in the pubcrawl that evening. We were the only 4 girls on the pub crawl. The situation didn’t surprise us too much as it seems that Amsterdam is kind of like the Vegas of Europe - A place where guys go to do guy things with their guy friends. We are not complaining about the ratio yet. The evening was epic to say the least. We had to go back through the Red Light District the next evening as Erin and I had some trouble recalling what it looked like from the night before.
We were all feeling a little tired and perhaps not as alert as we normally are the next day but still are loving how ridiculous our lives are at the moment.
We started the day at an exhibit called the Hoerengracht exhibit which is a different look at the Red Light District. We then got very lost looking for the Van Gogh museum but happened across the Heineken Experience so did that tour. The events from the night before prevented us being able to enjoy the two free beverages you can sample at the end of the tour but we had fun nonetheless. We managed to find Van Gogh in the end and spent a couple hours touring there.
Exhausted from the tours, getting lost, and the events from the night before, we had a quieter night playing cards in a coffeeshop.
Our time in Amsterdam ended with a Canal tour in the morning. We revelled in the sunshine and all agreed our lives our magic. Maybe we are still honeymooning but for a group of people that didn’t know each other before the trip we travelling amazingly together!
We were so sad to leave Amsterdam but I think we stayed the perfect amount of time to enjoy what the city has to offer and keep us loving everything about it!