Note: Recaps are short tidbits from a trip; quick things I loved (or didn’t), food I ate, people I met or my general impression of a place. I love writing about my travels this way, it’s a cute memento and good way for me to remember what I was up to.
Amsterdam for me was bikes, hipsters and loving a supermarket. How can you love a supermarket?
Easily, if it’s Albert Heijn. Albert Heijn I will always love you and your muesli pots.
If you were looking for a wild tale of weed, shrooms and the red light district, sorry to disappoint you – I didn’t partake in any of that. I did visit the red light district during the day though. And I went on a terrible, touristy pub crawl, where you got tokens to exchange for watery beer or nasty wine. You also got a “shot” of watered down flavoured vodka at each venue, which was poured straight from the bottle into your (and everyone else’s) mouth. It also involved walking home alone at 3 am after my friends left to smoke…needless to say I learned my lesson with pub crawls.
Forget that though, bikes! New Zealand drives on the left, so riding on the right was a bit of a challenge to start with, hence why we stuck to Vondelpark. Those Amsterdam bikers are a little scary, I see why my aunt (who is Dutch, like a lot of my family) told us to stick to the park.
We stayed at Hostel Van Gogh near Museumplein, so of course, we went to the nearby squares and the Rijksmuseum & Van Gogh Museum.
We also ticked off the other touristy things like the Anne Frank House, which was very moving. We were so glad we booked in advance (like 2 months in advance and still almost all the slots were full!) because the line was about a 2-hour wait… in winter…in the rain. We didn’t forget the I Amsterdam sign either, which of course was swarming with tourists – it was quite hard to find a gap to take a photo!
Otherwise, we ate at some very hipster joints, scoffed poffertjes (Dutch pancakes) and stroopwafel. I also went on a very long (but successful) search for oliebollen, which my great aunt always makes for me whenever I visit. We also hit up Albert Cuyp Market, where I proceeded to go into every fabric shop and touch all the fabrics. Lastly, our trip wouldn’t have been complete without a cheesy canal cruise, so made sure to do that as well.