If you haven’t read part 1 (UK) yet, you can find that here.
If you haven’t read part 2 (Paris) yet, you can find that here.
We woke up quite early and headed to the train station to catch our train from Paris to Amsterdam. We got baguettes and croissants and coffee in the station. We boarded the train and had a nice 3-hour long train ride, stopping in Brussels, and then on to Amsterdam.
The train station in Amsterdam was SO cool. Like quite pretty. We stepped outside and it felt spectacular! It was such a beautiful day. I had been told about the bikes in the Amsterdam, but it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. There were ferry boats just for bikes, bike lanes all over, and really intense bike parking lot things.
We got on our way to where we were staying, which was in the Southeast part of the city, at the home of a friend. Victor had not seen Jeff since Jeff was a munchkin, and it was very cool that we were able to spend time with him and his family (munchkins included).
After dropping our bags, we went to go on an Amsterdam tour, but we stopped for lunch along the way at Cafe Brasserie Meuwese. It was just a nice little cafe with really tasty fresh food. My favorite food we got were the frites and mayo (french fries and mayo… mayo definitely was different but was really good)!
We then made it to the tour meeting spot – the National Monument at Dam Square. Our tour guide was a nice Kiwi, and just hearing him talk made me realize how much I want to go back to New Zealand. On our tour, we walked all over, seeing things like hidden Catholic churches, the Jewish Quarter, the Royal Palace, the New Market, the world’s first stock exchange, the Dutch East India Company, the Begijnhof Convent, the Homomonument, and my favorite the Red Light District (I know, I know but I have my reasons, but first, pictures).
After the tour, we walked over to the Anne Frank House, which we didn’t have tickets for because we were too late, huge bummer. We then hopped on the tram (amazing!!) and went over to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, which is a brewery in a windmill. It was pretty cool; they didn’t have any cider so I couldn’t drink any of the drinks, but I think Jeff enjoyed the drink he got. We then hopped on the tram and went to Vondelpark. It was really beautiful, filled with people out and about and enjoying the gorgeous weather, and it was massive! We found a nice spot and sat in the grass. Jeff fell asleep.
Once Jeffrey woke up, I was hungry and needed some dinner. So we walked toward Leidseplein Square and found a bunch of restaurants. We decided to eat at one called Palladium, which was really, really delicious. We shared tempura shrimp, he got a tuna poke bowl, and I got chicken satay. Also, our drinks were great – I had some delicious Sauvignon Blanc and he got a Moscow Mule. Our waiter was also quite hilarious. He was full of energy and really wanted to party. We enjoyed talking to him.
We then went and walked around the Red Light District at night, just to see what it’s like – it was packed with people, scantily clad women working in their windows, and even some families! It was a very interesting mix.
So the reason I particularly enjoyed the Red Light District is because it is SO different. The entire concept of it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The women would flirty-wave at Jeff if we weren’t holding hands, and then they’d move on once Jeff walked passed their window a little. I want to do an interview with some of the women who choose to work as sex workers – I’m literally so intrigued by their life stories and while I don’t want to hear any particularly intimate details of the job, just like how did that become their career!?! SO MANY QUESTIONS.
After walking through, we stopped and ate a stroopwaffle, hopped on the tram, and went back to Victor’s home. It was a long day.
The next day we woke up and Jeff went for a run. I enjoyed a cup of tea with Victor, his wife Nadine, and their three kids (Sophia, Phoenix, and Vivian). The family was fascinating and I don’t mean to make a spectacle of it but their family unit was just different than my own. Victor is natively from Bolivia, so he speaks Spanish. Nadine is originally from Germany, so she speaks German. They both speak in English to one another. The three children know Spanish, German, English, and Dutch. It was so cool. I have a hard enough time speaking English.
We then went to a pancake house and got individual pancakes (mine was apple honey, his was banana almond) and we got poffertjes – SO AMAZING!
After breakfast, we walked to the Rijksmuseum. We spent a lot of time exploring the different exhibits. It is a massive museum and definitely worth a visit. After the museum, we were both tired, so we walked out to Museumplein and just hung out. Our feet hurt, so we sat and people watched. Eventually it was lunch time and we decided to eat waffles from a waffle stand nearby. We each got individual ones (mine was nutella, his was covered in white chocolate flakes) and then we got a plain one to share (we didn’t need it, still ate it). We hung out a little more – there was a band playing in the square and they were really great to listen to!
We then decided to head back to Victor’s house to spend some time with the kiddos. They were hilarious. It was nice to visit with them! They kept us laughing. Obviously, I was also in love with their dog.
Our final adventure was dinner at a restaurant that came highly recommended called Haesje Claes. So after playing with the kids, we got all dressed, and took the tram to the restaurant. We were told to get Strompots… I didn’t, but Jeff did. It was a really delicious meal. The people at the table next to us had been to the restaurant before and started telling us all about the place and their adventures – they had been all over and were heading up to Norway for a cruise!
We then stopped at a bakery, got waffles, and got on the tram back to the house.
The next morning, we hopped on a plane and came home! Our trip was dunzo – time to start planning our next one… Iceland, here we come!