- Arrival dinner
- Red light district tour
- Anne Frank house
- Flower market
- Another market
- Cheese tasting
- Turkish dinner
- Vintage stores
- A hell-a-lot of walking
I only saw a few of Amsterdam’s many sides. Amsterdam is filled with so much colour and quirkiness. You couldn’t help but smile every time you walked out side, and as the title suggests the most beautiful people lived here.
Our train from Paris to Amsterdam was suppose to be a short three hour ride which turned into six hours and a change over. Our train was delayed already an hour before we even got on, so we had time to grab a coffee at the station and try and wake up. We were told to be on our highest alert as pick-pocketers were all over the place. Security was tight as well with guards patrolling the station and questioning anyone who looked suspicious. Once we finally got on the train we were told there was a slight delay again and to sit tight. Lucky enough the seats were really comfortable so we were able to nap while we waited. I woke up an hour later still in the Paris station woken by an announcement that it would be delayed a little longer. So we waited and waited and waited some more. Three hours later we were finally on our way. Then two hours into our journey we are informed that we will have to change trains as due to the delays the train was needed back in Paris now and we had to get off. They were then kind enough to give us the wrong platform to which lead to a pack of contiki tourists running through a train station with all our luggage to catch our train on the right platform. It was in this moment that Cailin and I realised we could kill it on the amazing race.
We finally arrived in Amsterdam way behind scheduled but at least we got there. As soon as we stepped of the train you could smell you were in Amsterdam. The first thing I noticed was bikes. Literally bikes every where, I have never seen so many bikes in my life. I don’t know how they find their own bike when the chain it to the bike stands because there was literally a thousand all chained together. Also if you don’t look where you are going they will run you over. Once we were all settled down in our hotel room our tour guide took us for a walk around the red light district and I have never been more scared in my life. Hearing about it I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect but nope I was wrong. It is a completely different world and some of the stuff you see you can never unsee. That night was definitely an experience and there are some things that can not be repeated here.
I will however share with you a story my tour guide told us. Once on a tour in Amsterdam he was in charge of he had a dwarf in his group. One night after the tour of the red light district and letting everyone off for free time the dwarf was said to have eaten two space cakes and wandered off by himself. The next morning he was no where to be seen and still to this day they have no idea what happened to him or where he ended up. Whether this story is true or not our group got a good laugh out of it.
The next morning we were up really early hoping to get into the Anne Frank house. Tickets online were sold out for the next two months but we were told by our guide that it was still possible to get in if we stood in line. By the time we got there people were already lined up and the line was huge. So we joined the queue and began the wait, although people did come around with Easter eggs which was nice and despite it being freezing cold the sun was shining and we had lovely company so the 2hrs and 45min flew by and before we knew it we were inside. Anne Frank’s house is a must when you go to Amsterdam, the feeling inside is truly amazing, there is silence and pure admiration for these people. With emotion literally embedded into these walls and you feel all sorts of things as you walk up the stairs and through the rooms. Seeing the yellowing, peeling posters in Anne Franks bedroom of movie stars just like every other young girl would do.
By the time we got out it was early afternoon so we wandered the many markets Amsterdam had to offer. One of our favourites being the flower markets which even the most unhappiest person would leave with a smile on their face after walking through those stalls. Just walking around Amsterdam for me felt like I was in a toy town with everyone riding bikes and all the colourful houses all closely knit like one massive family it was beautiful. There were so many cheese shops too and cheese museums and tastings, it was heaven.
For us Amsterdam was a relaxation time as after the past few days we were exhausted from all the running around and going to all the “must see attractions”. There comes a point in your travels where you just want to enjoy where you are and relax, so that is exactly what we did. We strolled through the streets taking our time and sometimes without a destination in mind. We wandered through the town area of Jordaan where we stumbled across one of the largest vintage stores I have ever seen, to give you an idea of how big it was we got lost trying to get out. There was so many beautiful pieces from furniture to clothes to jewelry, books, plates, glasses, literally anything you can think of they had it.
If I had more time in Amsterdam I would have loved to have gone a windmill and flower tour further out of the town, maybe one day I will.