Last week we were in Italy with days packed full of pasta and museums. I have never felt more culturally and physically exhausted in my life. We were coming up on a three day weekend, and it sounded like a good time to catch up on some sleep and Netflix bingeing. Did I do that? Of course not! Alexa and I decided to push through and take advantage of our time for our last excursion: Amsterdam.
We spent all day Thursday making our way back to Frankfurt (Oder) from Florence. We even had a flight layover in Amsterdam! I joked with our professor to allow Alexa and I to miss class in the morning and just stay in Amsterdam then. He didn’t think it was a good idea, so we reluctantly continued back to Frankfurt (Oder). Friday morning, we got up, quickly packed up a backpack, and rushed out the door to class. We sat in class, took a quiz, and headed out to catch our tram to the bus stop. One tram, three trains, and one plane later, we were back in Amsterdam Schipol Airport, but this time for adventure.
We had some helpful advice from our Air BnB hosts on how to make it to Almere Centrum Train Station, and after a couple language barriers, we got our train tickets and rode over to this station. This whole trip, I feel like I’ve constantly been on trains. Three trains every time I need to get to or from the airport, one train if I need to get to Berlin, tons of trains last week in Italy whether we were going to the Cinque Terre, Pisa, or even traveling down to Florence. Trains have been such a big part, and then Amsterdam brought in a new prevalent factor to my travels: canals. Amsterdam is very surrounded by water. We stayed about twenty minutes from City Centre in Almere, and that city used to be underwater. They ended up drying the area and paving roads in order to provide more living space for the people of Northern Holland. Now, City Centre is covered in canals, and it just adds to the simple beauty and small town feel of this very touristy part of Amsterdam.
Paris went really well when we just adventured without any thoughts or plans, so we decided to try that again. We took our time waking up, and enjoyed a really nice breakfast from our hosts. We made it out to City Centre at a reasonable hour, and started the day with some humor at the Sex Museum. The museum was full of pictures, sculptures, and some moving mannequins—let’s just say you have to experience that for yourself. No pictures or videos from me in the vlog!
Moving on from our educational stop, we enjoyed some dutch waffles in sweet and savory. I’m not a big Nutella fan, but it’s everywhere here in Europe, so I figured I would give it a shot as I tried the nutella and banana waffle. My goodness, I’ve never had a better waffle! Alexa enjoyed a rather traditional breakfast with a waffle topped with eggs, cheese, and ham. Also, quite tasty.
Food was something we never passed on during our time in Amsterdam! We enjoyed all that this city had to offer from waffles to french fries! I had no idea that fries were so big there, but there were stand alone fry shops all over City Centre, and I could never say no! French fries, waffles, and coffee galore, this place was meant for me!
Another thing that Amsterdam wasn’t short on is flowers! Though it wasn’t exactly prime tulip season, there were succulents and flowers of all variations lining the canals, filling the Bloemenmarkt, and there was even a Tulip Museum in Jordaan! The flowers were beautiful and stretched as far as the eye can see! Even the pollen—as irritating as it was to my allergies—was pretty! The fields were covered in this fluffy white pollen that gave the whole park a dreamy feel to it!
Though we passed on the purchase of some flowers, we did make time to stop for some much needed retail therapy! Alexa and I ventured in to some of our favorite stores which somehow got cuter and cheaper on this side of the pond! LUSH, Zara, and Urban Outfitters made our bank accounts very sad, but our closets very happy. We tried on outfit after outfit, and made our final decisions on what to buy.
Two hours later, we realized we spent so much time shopping, and not enough time in the rich museums this city had to offer! So, we made our way to the Rijksmuseum—home to the iamsterdam sign— and Van Gogh museum. These two special museums were a little higher than we had budgeted time and money for, so we decided to get our cheesy pictures, hit the gift shop, and save these experiences for our next trip to the Netherlands. One museum that we just couldn’t pass on was Body World : the happiness project. And I am so thankful that we didn’t!
This six floored museum walked you through all the systems of the human body and explained how they related to your happiness. There were interactive aspects of each floor, and then of course, human bodies. Each level was based on a separate system including everything from reproduction to digestion, and there were organs, muscles, nerves, and bones from real human donors! So cool!
Once we made it through the entire museum, we caught a beautiful sunset, and then enjoyed our train ride home. The next day was full of canal after canal after canal, and of course, TONS of walking! I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much in my life.
Our main goal for our last day in Amsterdam was to visit the Anne Frank House. So, the two of us grabbed some food, took advantage of some touristy photo opportunities, and grabbed a spot in line to wait to enter the Anne Frank House. Now, photography and videography is strictly prohibited within the walls of this historic landmark, so again, this is something you’ll have to experience for yourself. It is a truly beautiful and heart wrenching journey through the house and annex, and I highly recommend the trip. It was honestly so worth every second of the two and a half hour wait.
By the time we exited the museum, it was getting close to when we needed to be at the airport to return back to Berlin. So, we filled out some postcards for home, grabbed one last thing of french fries, and hopped aboard our final dutch train. Once at the airport, we enjoyed another beautiful sunset, boarded the EasyJet plane, and we were off for Berlin. One hop, skip, and a jump later, and we were back in Germany for the final two weeks of our program. Welcome back to Frankfurt (Oder)!