Europe, Netherlands

Amsterdam — Venice of the North

This being my second time here in Amsterdam, I was pretty excited to be back in this city. Despite my last experience here involving a disgusting hostel and bed bugs, I wasn’t reluctant to come back…as long as we stayed in anything BUT a hostel. Which we did, a fairly nice hotel actually. Equipped with a pool we intended to use but never did. We had originally booked 3 nights at an Airbnb in Delft, about an hour train ride outside of Amsterdam. When we had arrived, it was 40 degrees outside and no wind or anything to break up the humidity. This turned our room into a hot box. We spent one sleepless night there and decided to book into a hotel. The weather has been so hot lately that we hadn’t had a proper sleep in about 3 days. No sleep combined with walking around on cement roads for hours to see everything in the short time you are there can make anyone cranky and exhausted. Keep in mind we have been non-stop for 4 months straight, staying no longer than 7 days in one spot. Yes, I am actually complaining about traveling around the world…

Our visit to this beautiful city was not short on walking over canals, trying delicious Pannekoek, (Dutch pancakes) Stroopwafel (Dutch dessert) and pit stops at the local “coffee shops”. We spent most of our time in the city centre walking along Damrak and dipping into the side streets looking in souvenir and head shops. You could spend all day doing this as Amsterdam is not short on these types of stores. I always love to laugh at the paraphernalia, mushy kits, toys and edibles when going into the shops.amsterdam (18 of 22)amsterdam (6 of 22)

Camembert, Ham and Raspberry Pannekoek

We decided to check out “Body Worlds” while we were here to break up the walking in 40-degree heat. Neither of us had been to it and both of us were extremely interested so we figured it was a good place to check out. We got a deal for booking an after 4pm entrance that cost us 17 euro each instead of 21. Worth waiting to save a bit of money if you’re on a budget like us. 6 floors of real human bodies, organs, blood vessels and muscles on display. All were donated to science for the purpose of education. I had to remind myself several times that these were real. Its amazing what they have done to show you how the internal body works from just positioning muscles to the effects diseases have on our organs. It’s a great way to spend a couple hours if you’re looking for something to kill time, I highly recommend it. There are a ton of different things like this to do in Amsterdam from several historical museum choices, parks to lounge in to the famous Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. So regardless the weather during your stay, there is always something to do.

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Amsterdam’s Flower Market

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Our last day was a bit cooler out which made walking around the city much easier. We stopped for photos at the I AMSTERDAM sign which for some reason people love to crowd around the front taking pictures one letter at a time. This makes it almost impossible to get a full shot of the entire sign. Ridiculous if you ask me, ill never understand people. We chilled out at a park in the area enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze while people watching. We did well breaking up our day stopping for photos on the canals bridges, enjoying a latte at a café and sitting in the busyness of Dam square being entertained by a pretty awesome street performer named “Bucket Boy”. Click here to check him out, its worth watching!

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“Self Portrait of a Dreamer” statue in Amsterdam

Our last evening, we walked through the polarizing Red Light District. Depending on your feelings of how Amsterdam portrays their sex trade work, you might want to do a little research before attending this type of tour. They have museums dedicated to its history and there is no lack of information if that is what you are looking for. Be prepared for busy crowds of all types of people from bachelor parties, families, young and old walking through the narrow streets. Everyone peering into the glowing red windows to catch a glimpse of the women on display trying to entice whoever walks by. It is a huge part of Amsterdam’s culture, so I do suggest taking a walk around the area. Make sure to go at dark to get the full feel of the Red Lights sparkling along the waterfront.

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View of Red Light District

After having the sensor cleaned in my camera, I was ready to take pictures of the anticipated blood moon. My battery was charged, and my memory card was empty. It was a clear sky all day so the chance of seeing it seemed quite high. But mother nature had others plans I guess and just before the sun was setting the clouds rolled in and completely covered the entire area. I was pretty disappointed as I got up to check the sky several times over the course of the hour and 40 minutes it was supposed to happen. No such luck, so a photo of a regular moon will have to do.amsterdam (22 of 22)

After getting two solid sleeps I felt much more refreshed and ready to finish off our last 6 days of Europe. Its hard to believe that our 4 months here is already coming to an end. We are now heading towards our last 2 countries, Sweden and Denmark. I have a few friends we will be staying with and visiting in these places so not only do I get to see some old faces, but we are lucky enough to save a bit of money along the way. amsterdam (5 of 22).JPG

As always, I’m grateful to those of you who take the time to read my blabber as well as support my blog and photography page. If you have any questions about traveling, places to see or how to get started, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Traveling isn’t as hard as it seems and if you want it bad enough its extremely simple to make happen! Start with research! Read up about a place that interests you. That will light a fire under your butt and get you excited!

Cheers,

 

 

Top Pannekoek places in Amsterdam

Tour Packages

Consider using Airbnb instead of Hostels

Best area to stay in Amsterdam

#1 Bike Rental in Amsterdam

 

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Click here for Lonely Planets guide to Amsterdam

1 thought on “Amsterdam — Venice of the North”

  1. Enjoyed this blog and the images. Noted that you had your camera sensor cleaned…this reminded me that I use to clean my own from a dust free chamber that I created and still have.

    Like

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