Amsterdam (…or how I got lost in the Netherlands)

I think I’m going to jump back in time again and tell you a bit about the travelling I did last year. I keep thinking how to put all the experiences I had in an order that would actually make sense, so I think I will keep talking about the travelling in the mainland for now and once I finish I’ll go back to Scotland – there is so much I want to tell you about it.

Ok, let’s get started. So in June 2015 I went to Amsterdam. One of the reason’s I was going there was to visit my friend (and the best flatmate ever) who was on exchange there. I kept promising to visit her and it was one of the last chances to go.

I genuinely hated the fact that every time I’d tell somebody I was going to Amsterdam, the stupid grin on their faces would appear and they would always ask me about the amount I was planning to smoke. I don’t even do drugs. Amsterdam is so much more than just that. It’s an absolutely gorgeous city with plenty of exciting architecture, art and beautiful canals.

I went there a few days after I completed West Highland Way and half a marathon in Edinburgh, so I kind of felt like I needed some rest. But I didn’t get that much rest and it turned out to be a pretty active holiday. And it was a perfect time for the visit as well – the weather was so good and the temperature even reached +31 degrees one day (dream about it, Scotland).

I probably won’t surprise you with this one, but one of the best things in Amsterdam was cheese shops. Some of them were better than others, but they were all pretty amazing. I ate sooo much tasty cheese while there and mostly for free 🙂

The second best thing in Amsterdam was a cat boat – a cat shelter. There were loads of cats, some of them were more excited to interact with people than others, but it was so nice and refreshing to get to play with them.

Van Gogh museum was definitely worth a visit, but don’t try to cheat and borrow your friends museum card (especially if she’s Asian and you’re not) – it’s not gonna work and as soon as they find out you’re cheating they will be super extra mean to you. Although I had a few other times when people were rude to me for no reason – making fun of me because I didn’t understand what they were saying. But there are mean people everywhere and I probably just got a bit unlucky.

Did I go to the red light district?-people kept asking me. Yes I did and I’m going to talk a bit like a granny now, but I hated that. Streets were full of drunk British tourists, the type of guys I hate the most – loud, stupid and arrogant. I think the district just ruined the city, but at the same time nobody forced you to go there and the place could be easily avoided.

Should I tell you my biggest failure while in Amsterdam? Well, it happened within the first hour while there, as I was slightly confused with the trains while going from the airport to the city centre and ended up in Utrecht (I know I know it’s embarrassing….). Yes it was embarrassing, but not until the time when I was going back from Utrecht to Amsterdam city centre (this time for real) and the controller asked for my ticket – just before my stop. My face was all red while I tried to explain that I got lost and thus I was travelling just with the airport ticket. Anyway, he turned out to be nice and I didn’t get a fine for travelling with a random ticket. Well, it wasn’t that bad anyway; I got to see some of the countryside after all.

It was a perfect weather for cycling and I spent a lot of time doing that in the city. One day we also decided to cycle to Zaanse Schans (just a bit outside of the city) with some of Emma’s friends and it was a pretty cool trip. I couldn’t believe how well cycle paths were developed and it was such a pleasure to cycle there. Zaanse Schans was really touristy, but hey it’s not the worst thing ever. I loved playing with chicken, eating cheese and taking photos of windmills – a perfect little escape from Amsterdam.

The trip back to the airport was quite an experience as well. Apparently sometimes they close the lines going directly there (for some regular maintenance works) and at some point you have to leave the train and get the bus. But you can imagine how many people there are in the train and they don’t always make sure they have enough buses at the same time. I got lucky to get a bus quickly, as I was following a flight attendant – she’d clearly been in this situation before and knew how to go about it.

Anyway, Amsterdam is so much more than what people usually imagine. Go, visit and get the best out of it!


7 thoughts on “Amsterdam (…or how I got lost in the Netherlands)

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