Finally, I got a little bit of fall. It was so nice to finish my fall break in a city that felt a little more like home because of the changing colors. This post is a little past due, but I still want to make sure I tell you about my fun adventures.
Amsterdam might have been one of the more complex and *ahem* interesting, cities that I have visited. The Amsterdam people built their whole town on swampland, so all the buildings sink and are leaning in different directions. It was interesting just to walk around and look at the houses because it told you the history of the families that used to live in them. The houses in Amsterdam are tall and skinny because the wider your house was, the more you had to pay in taxes. We found the smallest house in Amsterdam, which was barely wide enough for a door frame. Amsterdam also has amazing street food like fries and stroopwafels. Stroopwafles are a thin waffle sliced in half and then filled with caramel in the middle. It quickly became one of my favorite foods abroad.
Amsterdam is also known for its winding canals and bikes. The canals are shaped in a U which made it a little confusing when you were walking around. People used them as transportation and a way for products to be sold and shipped in the past. The bridges and trees hanging over the canal during this time of year were amazing and gave me an opportunity to take pictures after every corner I turned. There are currently 780,000 people that live in Amsterdam but over a million bikes. It is easier for people to bike than it is to walk. Actors, celebrities, and even their Prime Minister will bike to work! Imagine seeing President Obama casually biking to the White House without security. That would be an experience.
For those of you that know me pretty well, you are probably wondering how the heck I know the history about Amsterdam… I took a very informative tour and actually listened to the history portion of it. (I know, mind blowing) I thought Amsterdam was a highly unique city. The tour was through this group called SANDEMANs New Europe. The tour was free! The tour guides just worked for tips, so you were able to put your choice of value on the tour. I loved it because the tour guide was energetic and filled with information because he knew he had to work for people’s money. I have been able to notice, by going on other tours, that New Europe’s mentality is very successful because other tours I did were horrible, like the one in Rome, which I’ll talk about in a later post.
I didn’t get to make it to the Van Gough Museum or Rijksmuseum. I walked by them, and the buildings were huge, and I am sure they would have been great. However, with only two full days to do things, I spent the first day on the super cool tour; then on the second I visited the Anne Frank house, which was incredible and took up a majority of the day.
Sorry for the delay in posts! I have Rome, Paris, and Venice to still catch up on so stay tuned.