Departing for Amsterdam at 7:00am was not ideal but in order to be a good student and not skip any classes I had to do what I had to do. My friend AnnaHelen and I went Friday morning and were meeting our friends who went Thursday night. We got there, checked into our hostel and went to brunch (more like lunch, it was 1:00pm). After that we walked to Dam Square which was surrounded by a bunch of shops and a monument. We walked in to a few and then decided to walk to the Red Light District. On our walk we were stopped by someone who was standing outside with a tripod and microphone looking for people to interview about Amsterdam. All of my friends were nervous and skeptical but I said “hey why not.” I lied about my name so I felt safe, she asked me questions about Dam Square and the tourism and simple things for her segment on Amsterdam TV. My moment of fame was soon over so we continued on our way. The Red Light District…oh boy. Prostitutes on every street window. I didn’t know if I should feel sad for them or happy that they feel comfortable with exposing almost every part of their bodies, those poor parents, but to each their own.
As you might know Amsterdam is known for its coffee shops so of course we had to try one…or two. The atmosphere was very different than anything I’ve seen and even different at different coffee shop. We stayed at the first one for a little before heading out to walk around more. Amsterdam is the first place that I didn’t have a constantly moving schedule, I was able to walk around casually and stumble upon things and be okay with it, rather than knowing if I don’t go I will miss a famous museum or something like that. We got Frites after that, we walked to the most known one because if I am going to eat Frites, they better be the best ones and they were. I got the simple ketchup and mustard but there were so many condiments it was so overwhelming, I didn’t even know what half of them were. We stopped in China Town for some Chinese food and got dessert at the very popular Ice Bakery. They are literally everywhere. They are basically a Nutella lovers heaven. Nutella covered waffles, Nutella crepes, Nutella everything, but some have Froyo, so you know what I got. It was worth the 9 euros.
We were all so tired from traveling that we called it an early night and headed back to our hostel. The next morning was our G’s Brunchboat breakfast. For 40 Euros you got a sober drink, an alcoholic drink, a meal, a dessert, and a hot drink. I got the healthy Eggs Benedict which was basically two poached eggs on a piece of spelt bread with spinach. It tasted…healthy I think is a good word for it. The view was incredible though.
The boat was two hours and after we went to the Van Gogh Museum.I was in line but saw it was 17 Euros and to me it wasn’t worth it so I went with a friend to a little cafe. We then walked to the I Amsterdam letters (the ones the basic girls take a million pictures in front of). I was one of the basic girls who took a million pictures (see below). It was so cold and rainy but the rain in Amsterdam is so on and off, it finally stopped when we got there so we quickly snapped our pics before it started again. We still had a few hours before dinner so we just walked around and found a cute park. Dinner was a a Michelin Star restaurant called Momo. We knew it would be expensive so we made sure we weren’t too hungry. We shared a few rolls and tacos. These tacos were the smallest freaking things I have ever seen. I hoped the rolls wouldn’t be that small because they were damn expensive (don’t worry they weren’t). We also each got a cocktail because they have great reviews on their cocktails, rightfully so because my drink was the best thing I have ever tasted. After dinner we went to The Bulldog (another coffeeshop). This one was super cool, it was set up as if we were inside a jukebox. We stayed and hang out for a while then walked over to a piano bar. I felt like I was a grandparent in that place, we felt bad because we had to check our coats so we felt awkward leaving. It was so relaxing listening to the piano that I began to fall asleep.
We called it a night because we had to be up early Sunday for the Anne Frank House. Before that my friend Erin and I got breakfast at this place called The Pancake Bakery. We shared a banana and nutella pancake, but these were like crepes, not like American pancakes, which is why we went. It was so yummy but we had no time to sit and talk, off the the Anne Frank House we went.
Speechless. I truly had no words for what I read and saw in there. My heart broke more than I thought. After learning about Anne Frank for my entire life (honestly though, I went to Jewish Day School). I didn’t know what to expect, or maybe I thought I knew exactly what to expect if that makes sense. I didn’t know I would feel as emotional as I did, I thought I would feel sad but I thought I was desensitized to it. I was wrong. Listening to the videos of her friends talk about her, her Dad speaking about how it was her wish to be a writer, viewing her small room and how she decorated it with magazine clippings was all so surreal. It made me think what I would have done or how I would have been able to live in those situations. It was the perfect way to end the trip in my opinion, reflecting on how lucky we truly are.
Amsterdam was unexpectedly one of my favorite places. I say that about everywhere but it was my favorite one to just be. Nobody rushing around, just able to feel the city and enjoy it for what it is.
As stated above here are a million pictures of my Amsterdam trip.