Hey guys! It’s been a while since I last wrote, I was in Europe bouncing around Amsterdam and Paris for a week, and then, when I got home, I had apparently caught a head cold. It’s still hanging on, but I feel like I’m finally coming on to the tail end of it, thank goodness.
There’s so much I can say about Amsterdam. First off, it was an experience that allowed me to see snow again and walk around in it. Though the forecast hadn’t called for snow while we were there, there was a snowstorm a few days before we got there, and the temperatures remained low enough that when we arrived, there was still some snow on the ground. Combine that with the beauty of the canals, and it was truly stunning. Amsterdam is definitely known for a city that lacks inhibitions, and while I did see a little bit of that (Yeah, I’m talking about the Red Light District) the majority of what I saw was the beauty of old architecture and the beauty of nature. There was so much culture and history in this city. I mean, we are talking about old churches, museums with paintings from hundreds of years ago, the Anne Frank house, and so much more. At night, the trees were lit up with twinkle lights, and besides from almost being run over by a bicyclist here and there, I felt perfectly safe walking around. There were lots of people around, but I never felt threatened at any point, which as anyone who has wandered around a city knows, that isn’t always the case.
Now, let’s talk about the food. Ever since my first trip to Europe, when I went to Rome for a few days, I have been obsessed with how fresh and delicious everything is in Europe. The reason behind this is that they get everything fresh in the morning from the market and cook it all right that day. I’d love to say the same thing happens in restaurants in the US, but sadly, it’s just not the case in most of them. That gives everything over there a bit more flavor. Because of it being Amsterdam, there were a lot of different countries’ influence in the restaurants. There were Italian places, Indonesian, Indian, French, and more. It truly was a melting pot, and I can say, each place I went to, was absolutely delicious. We tried to avoid some of the more touristy restaurants, and had to wander a bit to find some really good places, but it’s definitely worth it. I can also safely say that Amsterdam is the only place I’ve ever eaten in a cafe that has a cat loose in the restaurant. Yes, I know we have those cat cafes, but usually they are sectioned off into areas. This was just the owner’s cat who was wandering through the tables looking for scraps and some back scratches. Once he found his little patch of sunlight behind a table near ours, he was ready for his afternoon nap. It definitely wasn’t the norm, but it was great to see.
Amsterdam is certainly a tourist destination, and while we avoided some touristy things, we also participated in some. I took a canal cruise, which was beautiful. It was a unique experience to get to see Amsterdam from the water, rather than just walking around, so I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who visits. Yes, it’s touristy, but sometimes, being a tourist is fun.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip. I got to spend time with family, see a new place, eat amazing food, and get immersed in a culture that I had never seen before. The flight over was a bit turbulent. Not going to lie, I panicked a bit when the plane started bucking all over, I truly was afraid we were having issues, but thankfully it was just a rough patch for about 30 minutes. However, with that said, it was completely worth it. Walking through the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam was an experience in itself. There was so much to take in, and it’s truly amazing when you go through these time periods and get a glimpse into the lives of those that lived during that period.
So go, travel, see the world. It may be a little bit scary, but I can tell you it will open your eyes in new ways.