Wheelin' and dealin'

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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An Amsterdam canal

Travelling from Cognac, we arrived in Amsterdam on Monday evening after another day´s train ride. We checked into our hotel (a claustrophobic but cute house just outside the central city) and went for a walk around town to check out our surroundings. The town was unlike I´d ever seen so far in my (admittedly short) travels. The first thing you notice is how many bikes there are. It seems every Dutch person is whizzing around on his or her granny-bike and the tourists are the only ones actually foolish enough to walk or drive. Among the few cars, one model in particular seemed to be quite popular. It looked like a Smart Car, only from the 80´s. Essentially a small metal box with some wheels.

Stick 'em up!
The second thing you notice is the central city is ringed by an intricate network of canals.

We discovered a great falafel place for dinner that night. They had a "free salad bar" there, which essentially meant you could make several trips, fill your pita to the brim with toppings and then eat them all, occasionally taking a bite of the falafels too. This way, a simple pita with falafels would take you half an hour or more to eat and filled you up very well.

On Thursday, we trekked around town some more. We saw the huge line to get into the Rijksmuseum to see paintings by the Dutch Masters and headed to the still-busy, but not swarming Van Gogh Museum instead. They had a large collection of his paintings there and Emma especially enjoyed it. I liked the paintings too, but I was a bit disappointed to realize that my favourite, The Starry Night, is actually in New York.

Remember, we parked in the Itchy lot
For lunch we returned to the great falafel place and for dinner we dined out at a very nice Indonesian restaurant. We had planned to get an early night´s sleep, but the layout of the city was so confusing in the dark that we wandered in the wrong direction for an hour before realizing our mistake. Oops.

Friday was our last night in Amsterdam. We chilled out for a while in Rembrandtplein where they have a statue of the painter and a life-size 3D model of one of his paintings. We also visited the Anne Frank House and it was so popular that we waited in the line for half an hour before even getting in. The house has been turned into a museum and I was so distracted by the displays, I sometimes forgot that we were actually in the real Secret Annex. Only when we walked behind a false bookcase did I remember the significance of the building.

Emma found it very sad.

We dined like tourists for lunch, partaking of Dutch pancakes with random ingredients (apple, cheese, chicken, etc.). We also strolled the flower market and were planning on buying tulips to take home with us. Luckily, we realized we couldn´t import them to North America and didn´t waste our money on something that would be confiscated at customs. Also, today was the day that the Nederlands was playing a World Cup Game. Everywhere we went, the locals were wearing orange in support of their team. Unfortunately, our train was leaving just after the game started so we couldn´t celebrate with the locals. There will be plenty of time for that at our next stop: Cologne, Germany.

P.S. for dinner before we left we returned once again to our favourite falafel joint!

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An Amsterdam canal
An Amsterdam canal
Stick em up!
Stick 'em up!
Remember, we parked in the Itchy l…
Remember, we parked in the Itchy …
photo by: pearcetoyou