July 12th, 2016
Amsterdam has always been, and will always be, one of my favorite cities in the world! I could easily walk up and down the canal lined streets every single day. If I was to move to Europe, this would be one of my top two spots (hello, Ireland – you’re still #1).
Brad and I arrived the night before, and headed down to the Red Light District. I must admit, I’ve never been there with a boyfriend before, and it can be either disconcerting or highly entertaining. It’s a bit odd to be looking at scantly clad prostitutes while they’re beckoning your boyfriend, you, or the both of you. That’s the fun of Amsterdam though!
The first morning there, we had prebooked tickets for the Anne Frank house. I had been before, but I just re-read the Diary of Anne Frank last month to better prepare myself for the visit. Let me tell you, if you haven’t read that book in a while, you really should. It’s completely different to understand and process the diary as an adult than as a child or early teen. The museum is more of a walk through, as it was ransacked after those in hiding were discovered and deported, and Anne’s father didn’t want anything replicated inside. However, the original bookcase is still in place, and walking up the narrow stairs to the annex where eight people were hidden fearing for their lives – chilling.
We spent the afternoon enjoying Amsterdam as it should be – on foot. I can’t reiterate enough how pleasant I find strolling these streets. I love the style of brownstone buildings pushed right up against each other, and I love watching the boats pass within the canals. We also made our way to Vondelpark, a sprawling expanse in the heart of the city – and got to enjoy some live music in a beer garden!
Our hotel was booked based on price, but I should note how wonderful it was! If you ever go to Amsterdam, stay at the Volkshotel! It has an eclectic vibe to it, with a rooftop restaurant, a nightclub, and a bar downstairs that is open until 9am (you read that correctly).
On the next post, we explore windmills, flowers, and more city streets!