Tuesday, December 28, 2010

holiday-ing [2].

On Friday of Thanksgiving break we took a train to Amsterdam. After getting delayed for an hour due to a fire at the airport, we made it to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is such an incredible city. They call it the "Venice of the North." There are over a thousand bridges and hundreds of canals... Amsterdam charmed me.

One of the cutest things about this city is that everyone rides bikes. There is no way you can even comprehend how many bikes there are until you see the parking garages full of bikes and are almost hit by a bike every time you cross the street.

We went to the cutest flower market that was right on a canal. I bought 40 tulip bulbs that aren't legal to import into the US (shhhh) so I am having a friend ship them home... but they are beautiful! I met the cutest Dutch man (below), he taught me how to say a few Dutch words, gave me a euro off my price, and kissed me on both cheeks. 

We went to the Anne Frank House and saw street performers at Dam Square:

I started re-reading the Diary of Anne Frank in preparation for this trip, and it made the experience so much better. Visiting the Anne Frank House was one of my favorite things about the trip and gave me so much more respect for her family and those who fought in WW2 to stop the Holocaust.

Of course we ate Dutch Pancakes:

Devri, Brianna, Caroline, and I ordered a pancake each and shared. We had one chicken and cheese, one bacon and cheese, one apple and banana, and one with cinnamon ice cream.

I wanted to make sure that we conquered all 4 of them, but unfortunately the other girls got full pretty quick. I decided to bring up the rear and finished them off... it was a little painful but worth it. They were so delicious and victory looked sweet when we saw 4 empty plates!

We may or may not have gone back for round two Saturday morning. 

We also went to the Van Gogh Museum and saw tons of wooden shoes:

The Van Gogh Museum is my favorite museum I have ever been to. It starts out showing the artists that influenced Van Gogh, follows his paintings chronologically through the cities in which he painted, and ends with his contemporaries. Absolutely beautiful and very informative.

We went to the IAMSTERDAM sign:

One of my favorite spots was a little Christmas market. Of course I loved the lights and ice skating rinks, but if I am being completely honest... I loved it for the olibollens. They are heaven in a fried roll of dough topped with powdered sugar. Absolutely incredible! A great way to end the trip and warm us up... we may or may not have had two...

Although some people find Amsterdam to be a little obscene, we were lucky enough to not run into anything of the sort. I absolutely loved Amsterdam. It is completely different than any place I have ever visited. I was absolutely charmed by the cute dutch architecture, the beautiful canals and bridges, the plethora of friendly English speakers, and the vibrancy of the culture. 

More to come!

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