I gave my sister a trip to Amsterdam for her 18th birthday. Win-win situation for me, as I got to go with her. We went away this Monday, and came back yesterday. We have done so much, and yet so little. We have seen a lot of tourist attractions, but far from all of them. But I took some pictures (and my sister did as well) to show here.
We flew to Amsterdam from Copenhagen on Monday morning. It was a short flight, so we arrived around 10:30 at the central station in Amsterdam. After dumping our baggage at our AirBnB place, we took of to the zoo. We were still totally lost, and while walking along the zoo outside the fences, I was sure we could not get in. But of course we did. The place is called ARTIS, and is apparently both a zoo, a botanical garden and an aquarium. No complaints there. The part about the botanical garden made the place so much prettier than the average zoo, and they somehow managed to make even the fences look pretty. One of the reasons may have been, that the fence in many cases was water. Water instead of fences, is funny enough not a surprise in a city like Amsterdam, as it is basically made of canals. Sadly enough, I forgot to bring my camera to the zoo. I did have my phone though, and managed to snap a few pictures, which was extremely necessary as we bought poffertjes (Google it).
As the two spoiled kids we are, we bought pizza for dinner that day. The explanation was how tired we both were, which definitely was true. We went to bed at 8 pm every day on that trip… It did cause some good though, as we needed the energy for the next day. We rented bikes as soon as the store opened at 10 am. We both love riding bikes, so it got the mood on a whole different level. The bikes were yellow, which was also a plus.
We went into the biggest park in Amsterdam, called Vondelpark. I think we drove around for a couple of hours, because suddenly it was lunch time. Well, it probably wasn’t a surprise it took us that long, as we are easily distracted. By trees. And ducks. And flowers. We are pretty silly most of the time on holidays, and this was no exception. We were quite healthy in our choice of lunch (salad), which we ate on a wet bench. We tried to make it a cute little “oh we are just eating this delicious salad”-setting, but really we were just cold and wet. But that does not matter if the company is good right?
That day, we also went to the Albert Cuyp Market, as you can see in the background of the picture below. In front of it is a cute café, where we didn’t actually eat. This was just moments before it started raining. And it did rain a lot. We dried ourselves in Starbucks, because they have WiFi…
That day we also went shopping, and handed in the bikes early. Dinner was consumed at a nice Italian place, where the waiter called us ladies, and captured my heart just like that. Oh boy, I love to be called a lady.
The next day was also meant for shopping, but that was all right with us. We spent the first half of the day spending money, and went on as we ate lunch. We had Dutch pancakes, one savory and one sweet. To share. I think the savory was with salmon and avocado (yes please) and the sweet was with apple crumble and ice cream. This might be the reason, why we walked all the way to the Rijksmuseum afterwards. Both that museum and the modern art museum was free for children (18 and below) which was great.
Oh yeah, that day we also went in a Ferris wheel, and saw Amsterdam from above. That was amazing. We also had Italian for dinner once more.
The last day, we had to carry all of our stuff around, which made it quite hard to get anything done. I had ordered an Open Boat Tour, which apparently was a private tour in a little boat. Just me, my sister and a lovely Dutch lady. It lasted for 75 minutes, and she told us a lot about the city. For example that the houses are so narrow because when they were build, you payed for the piece facing outwards. They also lean forward a bit and have a hook just below the roof, to make it easier to move stuff in and out. If they lean to the sides however, it is the result of building houses on a swamp. On wooden poles. She also told us the names of the canals, but I have forgotten those. We also talked about the drug laws in Holland, the politics and also the history. It was all really interesting.
The rest of the day was spent waiting for our flight home. We had loads of fun, and giggled most of the times. We also had tiny sisterly discussions, but that was nothing compared to the amount of new exciting stuff we did. Go to Amsterdam if you like water, rain, unique shops, beautiful houses, umbrellas and friendly people. As the lady in the boat said, please don’t do it just for the drugs. That is not fun for the people living there. Instead, embrace all the little cute places and open your eyes for the city’s culture.
Hope you enjoyed the little insight in our trip to Amsterdam, and that it inspired you a bit.