Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2018
I’d made it a point to finish up my relevant blog posts before going on my next blog-worthy trip…but my girlfriends and I just spent a long weekend in Sedona (more on that later) and I am still putting together the pictures from the Europe trip from last month (almost two months ago at this point!). Time flies in the summer, especially with all the trips & work & wedding planning & personal projects, sprinkled in with some friend & family time. Sometimes I wonder when I’ll be able to not worry about anything except for my normal day job, but it’s probably just a personality issue rather than life – I suppose I’ll always have something “else” to work towards.
This long weekend in Amsterdam was right after a long week of work in London back in June, with one of my girlfriends who still lives in London. I’m slightly jealous of how easy it is to travel to other places in Europe from LON…we are possibly considering spending a few years overseas when M finishes grad school, as our next big move!
London airports are such a headache, and I always try to minimize time spent flying out as possible – I took a KLM flight from City Airport for the first time, and I was actually able to take a taxi to the airport rather than spending hours on a train! It’s certainly not as easy as flying out of LGA from NYC, but I suppose better than nothing. After a quick 45 minute flight, I arrived in Amsterdam!
There is ample public transportation from the Amsterdam airport to the city, although it was a bit confusing how to buy a bus pass. Once you have a bus pass, it’s honor system to use it on the bus as the driver won’t sell you a ticket. I took a public bus straight to the center of Amsterdam, and was surprised by the comfort, timeliness, and wifi – America has a lot to learn!
The first day I spent working, then wandering around the area around my hotel. Accommodations are quite expensive since AMS is trying to curtail tourists, so my mediocre hotel was $200 a night! But, it was in a great location – walking distance to Rijjksmuseum &Museumplein. I spent my day wandering around the canals, going to the Anne Frank Museum, and eating a delicious dinner in the Jordaan district.
Once my friend arrived the next morning, we set out to explore even more, after dropping our stuff off at our Airbnb (which was much, much nicer than my hotel, and cheaper too!) We started off by eating our way through the Albert Cuyp Market – including trying raw herring, which wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be, although we took the lazy way out and ate it with bread. The only real plans we had all day was going to the Van Gogh Museum in the afternoon (highly recommend buying your tickets online beforehand), where we spent a few hours. It’s also in Museumplein, so we enjoyed the area while we were waiting as well – so many locals riding their bikes and having lazy picnics on the grass.
Other attractions were the various flower markets (no tulips, they weren’t in season), wandering around the 9 Streets, stopping at every cheese museum, and even strolling through the Red Light District. Amsterdam is so walkable, the day just passed in a glance. We didn’t want to take our chances on riding a bicycle though…everytime we crossed a street we thought we were going to get run over.
We finished the night with a one-hour open boat canal cruise, which I highly recommend, and having a delicious seafood dinner!
The next day was more eating, more hanging out, and visiting some gardens – I had an afternoon flight which I left relatively early for (although I still ended up missing my connecting flight in London and getting stuck in London for a few more days rather than returning home). The best part was hanging out with J, who I’ll get to see again in October! Maintaining cross-country relationships ❤