I could definitely live here :)
03.01.2013 - 06.01.2013 8 °C
I'm sorry I didn't post sooner, but Amsterdam is so amazing that I haven't really been at the hostel long enough to sit down and write a post until now!
I arrived in Amsterdam after an interesting train ride from Paris. Let's just say I missed my stop and the 4 hour journey turned into a 7 hour journey haha
Amsterdam is beautiful, but in a very different way from Paris. All the houses are 3 stories high or more and they are so skinny! Apparently that's because they are taxes according to the width of their house. The staircases are also death traps! They are very small and steep, so much so that it is impossible to move furniture up them. To solve this, all the houses are built with a piece of wood sticking out of the roof with a hook on it. They put a rope through it and move the furniture to the upper floors using the pully and putting it through the window. Some houses are also given a tilt forward to give more space so that the furniture doesn't swing in the wind and break the windows.
I arrived in Amsterdam around 2pm and checked into my hostel. I met a nice guy from Israel in the common room. He was going back home that evening, but he offered to go for a walk with me and get some food. We went to a pancake house where we got some Dutch pancakes. They are like a mix between American pancakes and crepes. They are a little thicker than crepes but it has a big diameter. I got mine with chocolate and ice cream. It was delicious!!
That pretty much finished my day. By the time I got back to the hostel, I was so exhausted that I went to sleep at 9pm. I'm pretty sure that's the earliest I have gone to bed in a very very long time.
The next day (the 4th) I did the New Amsterdam Free Tour. I made the mistake of doing the New France tour on my last day and it gave me ideas of things to do when I didn't have time to do them, so I need to make sure I do it first in the rest of the cities I visit. I learned a lot about the history of the city and heard some interesting stories.
That afternoon I just wandered around the city. It's a beautiful city with so many different alleyways and shops to see. That night I did a guided tour of the Redlight District. I learned a lot and saw a lot... after that tour I hung out at a bar with a few other people who did the tour as well.
The next day (the 5th), I walked around the city again. I've walked so much in the past 8 days, it's ridiculous! I noticed that Amsterdam has a major addiction to the store H&M. There are multiple on every major street! There are also a lot of Macdonald's. They have a lot of cheese shops in Amsterdam, and every one does samples of all the different cheeses. I ate way too much delicious cheese that afternoon...
That afternoon I did a canal boat tour where I met a guy from New Zealand and a girl from somewhere else in the Netherlands. The canal tour was ok, it was beautiful but a little boring because they gave the same information that I had gotten in the walking tour. Later on the three of us met up with 2 people I met on the tour the day before, Steven (from Scotland), and Merryn (from Australia). The 5 of us hung out for the rest of the night.
That brings me to today (the 6th). I had a relaxing morning and then went for a walk again. It was the first sunny day since I've been in Amsterdam and it was awesome! I made my way to the Hermitage Museum, which is where the Van Gogh exhibit is while the Van Gogh Museum is being renovated. I'm not really an art person, but I have to admit that his artwork is amazing. The other part of the museum is dedicated to impressionist art, which was good.
That's it for now! Keep an eye on facebook for pictures