Greetings from Amsterdam!
After departing London, we arrived in Amsterdam around 6pm. It happened to just be the busiest, craziest day of the year (pride) and conveniently we were staying right in the Centurum (center) district of the city. Upon arriving to our air bnb we were happily greeted by our hosts relatives and friends who were giant (height wise) and overflowing with energy and love. They helped us carry all our luggage up the steep stairs to the second floor and then told us to go explore and party with the rest of the dutch. I’ll include some photos I took during the pride canal parade cause it was somethin to see.
Today we did a ton of stereotypical tourist activities including the Rijksmuseum with all the classical art etc., the Anne Frank house, and the Red Light District at night. First I have to say that museums* aren’t really my thing. *Museums being a huge, overcrowded showcase of a billion and a half artifacts and famous works with selfie sticks and lots of hours on your feet. I however do love museums with interactive exhibits (ex. children’s museum, weird films that make you think, and of course: design related museums). The Rijksmuseum however was not one of these fun museums. I spent about 15 minutes wandering around the exhibitions and was overwhelmed and wanted to leave. Good thing my family was in the same boat because we only ended up staying for about an hour after that. We also wandered into the “diamond museum” in the same plaza and let me say, if you can get in free with the museum pass and need a good laugh, go to this museum. If not, save your money and go literally ANYWHERE else. After a much needed nap, we headed to the anne frank house to find a line longer than a ride line in disneyland. With at least a couple hours wait between us and the Anne Frank house, we decided to head to dinner at Mazzo and looked at Hutspot (supacool design shop) while the line died down. The time to go to the Anne Frank house is either right at opening or at closing so we ended up heading there around 8. It was truly touching walking through the Anne Frank house and I suggest everyone go and see. Even if you have to wait in line (though these “cool club” cards from Hutspot were great entertainment while waiting in line) : ) After that, we headed to the eerie Red Light District to check out the wild area where Amsterdam’s prostitutes work their nights away. Still pretty uneasy about the whole place, especially walking through those streets seeing women literally for sale. But, you do you Amsterdam. Nighttime was loud and dutch are serious partiers even on Sunday nights.
Most things were closed today unfortunately but despite the closures, we rented bikes from Green Budget Bikes and though they were about 1/2 the price of normal rental bikes, they were horrible and sketchy and the guys running the place were the worst kind of people. Would not recommend even though they were cheap. BUT if you are on a budget and need cheap bikes, make sure you get their 5 euro insurance. and demand better bikes than we got. On this nice and sketchy bike ride through the streets of Amsterdam’s canals, we saw a ton of cute design spots, the EYE museum/film institute, the Foam Museum, Stedelijk, and many more things. We were pooped by the time we got back and then went to this awesome bar called “players” for dinner!
Today we spent the day cruising the canals with my mom’s good friend John and his family and then had wonderful italian food for dinner. It was neat to see things through their eyes and get to make friends on the opposite side of the world. Great day with great people.
We flew out at night but in the morning we met up with another one of my mom’s friends who lives in Belgium and we went all over northwestern Amsterdam. Including SLA for lunch and furniture places like nordic new, cool barber shop called “barber” and tons of little boutiques in the Jordaan District.
Check out some of my photos below from this picturesque city!
our cute little air bnb 🙂
the views from our living room window!
e-card circa 2007 from the diamond museum
mazzo! A super yummy italian place by the Anne Frank house
ridin thru the streets on our green budget bikes
art (above n below)
Mike’s contribution to the Stedelijk museum
Until next time, Netherlands!
PS. anyone visiting you HAVE to try their real mint tea. It is the most relaxing and refreshing beverage and if you like tea or warm yummy goodness, you gotta try it. 😉