Naturally, a trip through the Netherlands would not be complete without a visit to her famously naughty city, Amsterdam.
Now, absinthe, hookers, and a city in a haze of pot smoking splendor always sprung to mind when thinking of Amsterdam. This was mainly a result of pop culture and movies like euro trip that depicted it as such. The city was a short metro ride from the campsite and so we hopped in on a rainy Monday to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about.
Arriving in the city we were immediately greeted by a good amount of construction that has apparently been ongoing for a few years now. The city streets however were very cool. Cobblestone, canals, sex shops, bikes and massively important looking architecture in every direction made our first few moments in the cities grasp memorable.
The rain created a very authentic shine off the city streets as we walked and took in the alleyways and storefronts. We were both shocked to find out that the house in which Anne Frank was in hiding for nearly 4 years was situated only a few blocks from us so we took the opportunity to take the tour. Now, this was fairly special to me since on of the only books i had legitimately read in high school was the Diary of Anne Frank. So, being familiar with her story i was particularly intrigued.
The project to maintain the home was initially made possible by the mayor of Amsterdam who allowed the location to remain as a historical site and Anne’s father Otto who lead the restoration project. The tour was very powerful and quite moving as we entered what was the small space that Anne and Fritz Pfeffer had kept quiet for so long. We left the tour with a strong visual of the place where Anne’s remarkable writings came to be and how her story of inner strength and powerful human spirit continue to inspire.
After our tour we met up with Marika (who, if you have read our Vietnam blogs you might remember) who now lives in Amsterdam. As a refresher, we met Marika and her friend Mariella in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and traveled with them for a few weeks. We grabbed a drink with her, hit the grocery store and headed back to her place for some traditional Dutch home cookin.
Marika whipped up some delicious Dutch mashed potatoes and bratwurst that was topped off with an appel cinnamon yogurt and homemade cheesecake that her roomate had prepared. We had a really nice time spending time with Marika, her boyfriend Vessel and her roomies.
The next day after Nicole and I strolled around the less rainy city, we met up with Mariella who had traveled over an hour from her home town to Amsterdam just to meet us for lunch! We all then met up with Marika and to grab some dutch sandwiches.
After our departure from our Dutch friends we made one final stop at the Van Goh museum. Unfortunately, he’s pretty famous so photography inside was a “no-no”.
So yes, Amsterdam does have a few dirty secrets but it was a rather beautiful city with alot of energy and style. The Dutch are also some of the friendliest people on earth and so for that, we say, “dank u wel” Netherlands, we enjoyed your beer, food and hospitality.
Oh, and dank u for readin,