Hello friends! Here is part two of my spring break, in Amsterdam! Pretty much everyone who goes abroad goes to Amsterdam for one reason or another, and I was no different. Straight from Barcelona we flew to Amsterdam. I don’t think I have ever been so tired as I was that day. After 5 days in Barcelona, grabbing my backpack and hopping on a plane even farther from Sevilla was tough.
So probably my favorite part of Amsterdam was where we stayed. We stayed in a house boat that we found on hostelworld.com, except it wasn’t an ordinary hostel. It was a private 4 person room that happened to be on a boat. Amsterdam has canals all over the place, and it was really cool to be able to lodge right on one of the canals. The house boat had two floors and the upstairs was a living room with couches and a kitchen and a stocked refrigerator. The downstairs had our beds and was super cozy. When we walked in there was relaxing music playing and I was ready to move in right away. If you or anyone you know is going to Amsterdam and are a group of four people, I highly highly highly recommend the Beagle House Beat. I’m in love.
Anyways, we got to Amsterdam pretty late Monday night, so we just wandered around a little. It was FREEZING. I wasn’t ready for that. It had just started warming up in Sevilla when we left for our spring break trip, so I wasn’t ready to put my winter jacket back on. That is really my only complaint about Amsterdam is the weather.
The next morning we went to the highly recommended pancake bakery, and yes, it was worth the hype. There was a line out the door but it moved pretty quickly and was worth the wait. Thank god I looked at the menu beforehand because I am terrible with decisions and there were so many types of pancakes. I got an apple pancake with cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon liquor and with powdered sugar and whipped cream with caramel syrup. Best thing I have ever eaten. Ever. I would go back to Amsterdam just for that pancake.
We had gotten tickets to the Anne Frank house way in advance and I am so glad we did. There was a huge line that seemed to be going throughout all of Amsterdam. It was very moving and special for me and it was nice to go to a museum/tour that I had a real passion for, instead of the dozens of art museums and cathedrals I’ve been to. I think the Anne Frank house was really well done and interesting.
After the Anne Frank house we stumbled upon the cheese museum. Apparently there’s a tour and it’s very informative, but when we were there they had lost power so we were able to go in and sample every type of cheese they had. It was awesome. After going back and forth between 5, I picked out one called Contadino. Satisfied with my purchase.
The next day Skye and I got brunch at a place called Bakers and Roasters. It’s really exciting for us, as Americans, when we see brunch places in other countries. Especially knowing I can most likely have eggs for breakfast, instead of just toast like all the Spaniards eat. Eggs<3 (see Barcelona post) The way the restaurant is set up is super cozy so you’re sitting right next to the people at the table over from you. We struck up some nice conversation with attractive Australian chiropractors that live in Amsterdam.
After brunch we went to the Van Gogh museum because he’s my mom’s favorite artist and I wanted to learn more about him (Shout out to my mama who reads all my blog posts). Then the four of us met up and went to the Heineken factory for the “Heineken experience” where we learned how to make beer and got free beer with our ticket. You were supposed to get two free cups but I somehow managed to get 4 or 5. Quite the experience. I learned how to pour the perfect beer and even got a certificate to prove it! I plan on adding it under “Skills” on my résumé.
Once we left the Heineken factory, with a slight buzz, we stumbled upon the I Am Amsterdam sign. After a few more touristy things including taking funny pictures with the letters and eating stroopwafel and nutella, we set out for the red light district. Side note: stroopwafel is this little waffle cookie sandwich filled with caramel and it tastes like heaven.
The long awaited red light district. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about going here. For anyone that doesn’t know, prostitution (and a whole lot of other things) is legal in Amsterdam. There’s an area of Amsterdam called the red light district and every night the prostitutes stand in windows half naked (more like 90% naked) and stare at you sexually until they have a “client”. Being a girl, I thought I would be disgusted and ashamed, but surprisingly, I was okay. These girls/women treated it as a job and hey, if that’s how they want to make money, power to them, that just isn’t my thing. It was definitely an experience to say the least.
The only picture I managed to take
Our last meal before we hit the airport was at a place called “Café Trust” that I had heard about from a friend. The concept of this place is very interesting, I just wish we weren’t in such a rush when we were there. It is called café trust because none of the menu items have a set price. You pay as you feel and what how much you believe the meal is worth. It is run by what seemed like a group of friends who are all natural and super healthy. Everyone on the menu was healthy and every order was made with TLC. The food did take a lot longer because there were only about 7 of them managing the entire restaurant. The food was actually pretty good, but it’s not a good place to go if you’re cranky and hungry. It might be a little too “hippie”-ish for a lot of people but overall I thought it was a pretty cool concept.
In all, I really loved Amsterdam. It was unlike any other place I had traveled to. The canals, and the fact that there were more bikes than people, truly made it a memorable place. Before I went, a lot of people warned me people in Amsterdam were rude and irritable, I can honestly say everyone I met was super nice! I definitely want to head back to Amsterdam when I get the chance, I got such a good vibe there and not just because drugs are legal. Hopefully I can make it back there so I can attempt to read the street signs again (they all went something like this: stoobnszfvartel)