Friday, May 31, 2013

Amsterdam

After a month of Norwegian holidays, the Americans got their turn with Memorial Day so I decided to take the opportunity to travel on a 3-day weekend when everyone else had to work. With a ridiculously cheap airline ticket ($160 RT Oslo to Amsterdam) I headed to the land of "coffee shops" and red lights.

Of course I wasn't going to be experiencing either of these things, I was there mainly to visit the newly reopened Rijksmuseum, float along canals, and see the Anne Frank house. And sleep in a super comfy hotel bed (one of my truly favorite things to do). In addition to doing all of these things, I also discovered that just outside of the touristy central area there is an awesome residential Amsterdam, filled with independent shops, street markets, and cute little pubs. And this is also where I realized that traveling alone is great when you want to spend hours wandering through a museum or go to bed early, but it's not so great for sitting down to a great dinner and a few beers in a neighborhood bar. Note for next time, bring a traveling companion.

I stayed at Citizen M and loved the compact little room with massive bed (and friend)

I was lucky that the weather was mostly wonderful. A little cooler than Oslo, but sunny. 

It's true, Amsterdam has a mind-blowing number of bikes, and people on bikes. 

Saturday morning I wandered through a local street market (no tourists there) and had the most amazing made in front my eyes stroopwaffel. The precision it takes to cut this thin waffel in half while still warm and spread gooey carmel in the middle before reassembling was impressive. 

Above I mentioned the downside of traveling along. Drinking alone. But given Norway's sad selection and high prices, I swallowed my pride and enjoyed a few pints of American micros and The Beer Temple. It was so worth it. 

Van Gogh Museum. I learned so much about the Artists' short life, and really appreciate his range of styles. 

Van Gogh

More Van Gogh

Yup. 

In addition to bicycles, there was a ton of Vespas! And they are allowed to use the bike lanes (which I think is a little crazy).




Above: Newly opened atrium of the Rijksmusuem and The Merry Drinker by Frans Hals


The Milkmaid by Vermeer. Absolutely Breathtaking in person. 

One last exception to the no drinking alone rule. A sunny day and an outside patio. A wonderful way to end the trip. 

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1 comment:

  1. 1. Stroopwaffels RULE!

    2. There is such a difference in seeing a Van Gogh painting in real life. The texture of the paint swirls, the precision of color swaths, the feeling that the painting holds.

    3. Amsterdam is just an amazing city. Period. So glad you got to enjoy it for a get away weekend!

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