Sunday we took an early flight to Amsterdam. Conveniently, there was a train station under the airport, so we just had to go downstairs to catch a train downtown. We started this leg of the trip by walking around the city, getting some coffee, seeing some churches, the usual.
I knew there were canals in Amsterdam, but I didn’t expect so many or that they would be so beautiful! Fall is really the best time of year to visit places with deciduous trees.
We walked through the tulip market, where lots of bulbs and souvenirs were for sale, but no fresh tulips. They are not in season. We then went to this really cool photography museum, where I was just as impressed with the aesthetic of the room as with the photos.
We walked through some streets that were already decorated for Christmas, and that night we walked through a fair and got street food. Mayonnaise and fries is also a Dutch thing, and way more delicious than I expected!
We took a canal cruise that night, which was really cool. Although it was harder to see stuff in the dark, the lights were gorgeous.
We got up early the next morning, and I went with one of my friends to the Anne Frank House, where Anne and her family lived in the secret annex before they were captured and taken to the concentration camps. I would highly recommend going.
We then went to the FOAM museum, which had photography and modern art. It was really weird, let’s just leave it at that.
The next day we took a tour of the areas around Amsterdam with a lovely tour guide. I found out she has a daughter with Down syndrome, and we had a nice conversation. Our first stop was to the Zaan district, where we walked around and saw some windmills, as well as a clog-making demonstration. It was a beautiful area! There were also little shops with cheese and such that you could sample. The Dutch eat fancy mustards with their cheese, which is actually delicious.
We then took a walk through a charming town called Edam.
We then took a little tour of a cheese making farm, and got to sample some more cheese and mustard!
We then went to another town and walked along the shore of the lake that used to be a sea. I got fried cod, more delicious street food that was recommended by our guide! We shopped a little here too.
That was the end of the tour, so we were dropped back off in Amsterdam. We went back to the area of the Rijksmuseum, and I explored the gardens and park with one friend while the other went to the Van Gogh Museum. While I do love Van Gogh, I was a little museumed-out and was looking forward to taking a little time to relax. It was really nice.
That night, we went to a brown bar, which are big in Amsterdam. They are called that because of their cozy, wood panelly interiors. We went to a small one with an old man as the bartender who was staunch about not mixing drinks. We sat upstairs by the fireplace and drank a honey beer that he recommended. It was much better than Heineken.