Monday, February 9, 2009

Amsterdam Adventures

Amsterdam, a weekend full of interesting adventures. Where to begin! 
Our trip began on Friday morning at 3am. A "reliable" cab was supposed to pick us up to take us to our 
bus that would then take us to the airport and finally our destination, Amsterdam. However we had a few setbacks... The cab almost didnt make it to pick us up, and paige begged her way onto the bus for the last seat!
When we arrive after a long journey and no sleep our friend Fernando picks us up to go and get settled in his flat that over looks the city. We started our day by renting bikes for 7 euro and explored the city! We first went to the Anne Frank museum, what an 
experience. It was so interesting to be standing in her house where she and her family were in hiding for almost 2 years, it was very powerful. After a long day, Fernando made us dinner and we got to hang out with the "boyesh" (boys) for a night.

A night on the town.

Our sweet rides.

Thought I would document the best goat cheese sandwich I have had in my entire life. That face is pure joy.

On our second day, we headed back into town for lunch and the Van Gogh museum! Again we explored the city, admiring the beautiful architecture and interesting culture. The city reminds me of an upscale Venice. It is in area small, but the buildings are grand and industrial however they still have a certain victorian charm about them. The city is very clean, something they take pride in especially their canal water. The three of us then ended our day by returning the favor to "Nando" and making the "boyesh" dinner. It has been an experience thus far in shopping at the grocery store and not being able to read the language its written in! It is
 especially challenging with the food allergy. However if I do say so myself, we came up with a nice pasta concoction, and pear dessert. 

Outside our yummy sandwich shop.

cooking the boyesh dinner.

On our last day the girls headed to the city once again. The first of our day was spent inside a popular 7 floor, department store with an amazing brunch on the top level. Of course it was easy for us to spend a while in there! But we had to brave the cold and explore more of the city while we had the chance. The highlight of my trip was definitely this last night where we took a canal night cruise that toured the city from the water. It was beautiful at night and from a view that many do not get to see. To complete our trip, we had to see the famous Red Light District. At first it was funny and very crazy. But then after seeing the prostitutes posing in windows selling themselves as a product for the next interested customer I realized it was not funny at all but, a very sad and more than unfulfilling lifestyle. How blessed am I that I have the choice not to resort to a job like those in the Red Light. 
photo from our canal boat.

At the brunch on top of Bijenkorf department store.

Our travel on the way home was just as interesting as on the way there! We flew on a small BOUNCY CRAZY plane ride to Genova airport because of the fog in Pisa, we were unable to land. So we took a bus ride to Pisa with about 50 male "flame throwers" it was an..... experience. Finally 12 hours later we made it home safe!

I am so glad that I got to experience Amsterdam and all of its unique qualities and people! And also be able to tell others that the city believe it or not is not just drugs and sex, but full of history and beautiful architecture. All in all, a fantastic weekend.

Next stop: Vienna, Austria


(Photos by: Paige Hansen)

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