Enough Amsterdam action in one study abroad weekend to last me a while
Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one – I just got back from my two day excursion to Amsterdam. It’s a crazy city, and even though we were only there for two days, I’m pretty sure I experienced everything Amsterdam had to offer and then some. Two days was more than enough and I don’t think my body could take any more. It’s the most tired I’ve been after a weekend trip.
For a city that’s not that cosmetically appealing, I think I can say that it has been my favorite city so far. It’s a canal city, which overall is pretty sweet, although I had a love/ hate view of them. They’re ridiculously dirty, and they’re filled with run down boats that looked like they haven’t been touched in twenty years, but at the same time, there’s a ton of decked out house boats lining the banks and seeing canals in the middle of the city in general is pretty cool.
I’ve never seen so many bikes in my entire life, I kid you not. There are bike racks literally on every street corner, and at busy points they have multi layered bike rack/ parking garages for bikes only. The bike lanes on the road are bigger than those for cars. Just like some of the boats in the canals, I’m pretty sure some of the bikes on the racks haven’t been touched in a few years either – some are rusted beyond repair.
When we got into the train station, we got lost on our way to our hostel – which was in the middle of nowhere – so we decided to check out some of the coffee houses. Pretty crazy stuff. Even if you don’t plan on taking advantage of any of the amenities yourself, it’s still cool just to watch people nonchalantly buy drugs over the counter that are illegal in the US. We eventually found our hostel, checked in, and explored another coffee house.
In actuality, there are probably plenty of things to do in Amsterdam, but all we really cared about was the Heineken factory, the Red-light district, and the Van Gogh Museum. So first on the list was the Heineken factory, which actually turned out to be more of a museum. It was run by guys about my age, who didn’t exactly seem like experts, but the museum itself is sick and you get two free pints of beer at the end.
Before the Heineken factory, we got some Doner kebabs for lunch. They seem to have those in every European city, which is good for us because we’re addicted at this point. Gotta love street meat.
We did a lot of walking around that afternoon, and that night, we hopped over to the Red-light district. Talk about crazy, I have never seen anything like it. It’s just straight up neon lights, fast food joints, euro rave bars, and any form of erotic entertainment you could possibly think of. I’ll leave it at that for now, if anyone wants to know more, send me a message.
There are these fast food bar type restaurants where they sell fries in a paper cone, which most locals have with mayonnaise. A couple of the guys got some fries sans mayo, and we called it a night.
We hit up the Van Gogh Museum Sunday morning. It’s no secret that I hate art, but since I haven’t paid to go into a museum since I’ve been abroad, I figured I might as well suck it up and go in. For a guy who doesn’t like art, I could appreciate it for what it was – he does actually have some pretty cool paintings. If you are into Van Gogh or know anything about art, you’d be in heaven. Anyways, we flew home Sunday night, and that was the weekend. Can’t say I’m in any rush to go back right this second, but if the opportunity did come up at some point in the future, I’d go in a heartbeat.
On another note, I played the Old Course again on Wednesday. It seems like it might just become a weekly thing. Had one of my best nine holes on the front and totally tanked it on the back, but whatever, it’s the Old Course. I just try to enjoy it.
Keep a look out for the pictures from Amsterdam; they should be up in the next few days.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!