Over the weekend, Greg and I ventured to Amsterdam with Chris and Megan! Up until now, Prague was my favorite European city, but Amsterdam sure gave it a run for its money! Even though it’s the capital of the Netherlands, and there were tourists everywhere, Amsterdam really did not feel like a giant, busy city. The coolest thing about the city (besides the canals) was the amount of cyclists. I knew Amsterdam was bike-friendly, but I had no idea just how many bikes and bikers we would see. Every sidewalk, railing and road was littered with them.
After checking into our beautiful Airbnb, we walked to a nearby Indonesian restaurant and gorged on some amazing food. If you go to Amsterdam, check out Restaurant Max and be sure to get the tasting plate. You will not be disappointed!
After stuffing our faces, we popped into a whiskey bar. The stairs to the bathroom were so narrow and steep, and even with the sign posted about taking the stairs carefully, it’s impressive more people haven’t fallen down them. And no, I did not fall down them 🙂
On Saturday, we had a delicious breakfast of leige waffles and then spent the afternoon at the Van Gogh Museum. The place is filled with Van Gogh, Monet, and another artist I hadn’t actually heard of until this weekend, Daubigny. Daubigny’s pieces were so realistic from far away, but then so clearly paintings from up close. They were an inspiration to both Van Gogh and Monet, and they sucked me right in. I could have looked at his work for hours. Sorry Van Gogh, you’ve been a bit upstaged, I think!
On Sunday, we took a boat cruise through the canals and stopped by the tulip museum and the cheese museum. After relaxing at the Airbnb for a bit, Greg and I headed to the Anne Frank museum. That was really interesting to see. The museum takes you through the actual house Anne Frank and her family hid in during WWII, and while the rooms are no longer furnished as they would have been (per her father’s request), you still get a sense of how claustrophobic it must have been to spend 2 long years sharing those tiny rooms. While the line for the museum is almost always wrapped around the building (order tickets online in advance if you go), the ticket price is incredibly affordable at only 9 euros. I really think it’s something everyone should see, especially with the political climate of the world these days. With Trump’s comments on registering Muslims in the US in mind, it was so scary to see the actual “no Jews allowed” signs and the yellow stars the Jewish had to wear. It could all happen again so, so easily.
After the sobering Anne Frank house tour, Greg and I met back up with Chris and Megan and spent the rest of the night seeking out traditional Dutch food! We found Bitterballen at a small pub near our Airbnb and wandered into the Red Light District for some mayo-drenched french fries and more leige waffles. You can’t ask for a better dinner than that!
It was so great to see Chris and Megan and explore a bit more of Europe with them! Greg and I were sad to leave them. Our next visit from friends back home is at the end of December, and we cannot wait!