Living in Europe gives you a great excuse to travel – especially on the weekends. You’re surrounded by so many cheap bus, train and airline tickets that it seems almost criminal not to invest in a trip to a foreign city or country whenever you get the chance.
Slowly but surely I have been trying to cross off quite a few places off my bucket list (Cannes, Monte Carlo, Munich, Normandy), and this past weekend’s destination was Amsterdam.
I took on some of the typical tourist destinations, but nothing any guide book says could prepare you for this strange, beautiful city full of contradictions and charm. From solemnly watching footage of Otto Frank describe what it was like to first read Anne Frank’s diary during a visit to the Anne Frank House to walking along the Red Light District with a carefree attitude of disbelief and curiosity, to the days that seemed to be spent more in darkness than in daylight or the crowds of dreamers waiting up to two hours to visit a few painting when it is normal to complain about the length of time it takes to listen to a voicemail (cc the Van Gogh Museum), to the piles of bikes being used throughout the streets despite the heavy mist and fickle raindrops – Amsterdam was what I expected and not at the same time. I wish the pictures below could capture the complexities of the city, but now you’ll just have to go there and see for yourself.
Bikes on bikes on bikes.
My first dutch pancake courtesy of Pancakes! Amsterdam.
Pretending not to look like I’ve not just walked through a torrential down pour at the I AMsterdam letters. Note to self: Always keep an umbrella on hand.
An early morning trip to the flower market.
Since most of the hostels were booked that weekend, I even had my first Airbnb experience and can happily say it made all the difference. Living like a local (which was a whole lot easier once my group and I figured out how to navigate the tram), I was able to investigate this hauntingly beautiful city with an entirely different perspective. As if it were a sign, or an advocation for future adventures, the below quote was painted on a wall just around the corner from my little apartment.
“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember,
and remember more than I have seen.”
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What was your favorite part about the city?
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