Hi Love Bugs! I am currently blogging to you from a train en route to Paris! Oui Oui! We spent two amazing days exploring Amsterdam, and let me tell you–I absolutely loved it. The city is gorgeous. I 100% believe the world has judged Amsterdam too quickly. I am guilty of it myself. The city is surrounded by canals, beautiful row houses, and wonderful shops with so much character and beautiful architecture overflowing into the streets. Before landing in Amsterdam, three words popped into my head about the city…what are they you ask? Well here, it goes: 1) Weed 2) Prostitutes in the Red Light District, 3) Canals. I owe an apology to the city of Amsterdam. I am sorry and I love you! Those words will never pop into my head again. My list has changed to: 1) Bikes on Bikes on Bikes 2) Pancakes and French fries, 3) Cute neighborhoods and the world’s most friendliest people. SO that was more than 4, but I have so many great things to say about Amsterdam. Dutch people are wonderful, and so willing to help. We harp too much on the negative when it comes to Amsterdam. To be perfectly honest, I never once felt threatened while walking around at night. We walked along the Red Light District, went into some Coffee Shops, and honestly enjoyed our time being in the moment. We took the train, and walked around the city at midnight. Never once were we scared. I have felt more scared walking around my hometown of West Palm Beach at night over Amsterdam. Amsterdam is an amazing city, and I highly recommend everyone make a trip to see how charming it truly is.
I really enjoyed walking around the city, looking at the flowers on each corner, visiting the squares (especially the Dam Square with all the pigeons haha), and marveling at the various architecture around the city. There is so much history in Amsterdam from being the hiding place to Anne Frank’s family during the Holocaust, to housing the very first Heineken brewery. This was our first time truly immersing ourselves into a different culture. For the first time ever, we found ourselves being the only ones to speak English. Luckily for us, The Netherlands uses English as their second language so although someone would start a conversation in Dutch, they would very easily shift to English with ease. We can only hope for the same in the next countries we visit.
The below pictures were taken in the Dam Square. When I got there, I couldn’t help but laugh at how many times the word Dam is used in every day life. The Dam Square is also home to 1000s of pigeons. Everyone in Amsterdam loves the pigeons! There were children trying to catch them, adults feeding them and releasing them into the air. It was all very entertaining. Sean also tried to catch a pigeon but had no such luck; however, it definitely provided me a great laugh! I wish I could watch all over again.
The Anne Frank Huis was incredibly moving. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing the Holocaust even existed. It truly disgusts me. I have many Jewish friends, and it disturbs me to think their family members were apart of such a horrible time in world history. We got to see the original “Secret Annex” bookcase the family used in hiding, as well as the steep staircase to get to the corridors in the attic. They did a wonderful job of preserving the home. Because of this, we were not able to take any photos. We also got to see Anne’s original diary and handwriting which was incredibly sad. I empathized with her desire to “want to be free and laugh outside.” I can’t imagine a life without sunshine. My heart still goes out to her. Along with seeing the corridors, we saw an original Jewish star, and the index cards with original handwriting used to track the deaths of different Jews. The only person in Anne’s family to survive was her father. Anne died 30 days before liberation. A tip for you if in Amsterdam, purchase your tickets to the Anne Frank Huis online. This allows you to skip the line which wraps around the entire block.
We visited the Heineken Brewery and spent a couple of hours walking throughout the brewery and learning about the history of Heineken in the museum. It is highly interactive, and the Heineken crew does an outstanding job of keeping it fun. This is a self guided tour. We helped brew the beer by learning about the ingredients, and turning the barley by hand. The experience also has many photo opportunities which kept it fun and silly. They give you 2 beers for purchasing the ticket, another beer for tasting purposes, and a fourth beer if you choose to take a pouring certification class, which we did. We had a blast, and would definitely go again. It is worth the 17 euros if you ask us!
When researching Amsterdam, I read about the Dutch pancakes and Frites (french fries). They certainly did not dissapoint. Sean and I agreed our Spring Special Pancake lived up to all expectations, and it was the best pancake either of us have ever had. First off, it was gigantic. The picture may not show it, but Sean and I could not finish it. We got a buttermilk pancake with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, homemade whip cream, strawberries, and Belgian chocolate. It was seriously heaven in our mouths. We also tried the famous “Chipsy King” Dutch French fries and they were SO good. We couldn’t stop talking about them. These 2 dishes are must haves on your next visit to Amsterdam.
Overall, we have had an amazing first 2 days of our Eurotrip. I hope you enjoyed seeing Amsterdam through our eyes. If you have any comments, suggestions, or tips about Paris, please feel free to leave a comment below as we are almost there! 🙂
Until next time, Love Bugs! xo