What is a trip to Holland without the customary windmill pic? I started off my Amsterdam visit with a tour of the countryside. I visited a stereotypical Dutch village, rode around on a bike, visited a dyke, met a cow, watched some cheese and clog making and then indulged in a Gouda cheese tasting. What a wonderful start to the trip! :)
Next up was the wondering around the city during the day and checking out all the city's highlights. This included taking a tram ride through the city, pictures with the 'I Amsterdam' sign and walking past many important landmarks. I spent most of the day checking out the Rijksmuseum, which was awesome and totally worth it. I walked past other tourist trap-type places, but I didn't waste time standing in the long lines, including Anne Frank's House and the Van Gogh museum. What I really enjoyed was wondering around the city and checking out the Flower Market.
Amsterdam was very cute and normal seeming during the daytime however the city transforms at night into something totally different. The evening was spent wondering around the city once again and checking out the red light district and spending time in a cafe pursuing the past-time that makes Amsterdam so famous.
What struck me so about Amsterdam is how wholly it transforms once night falls. My suspicion is that the majority of people who live and work in the city are not the ones that I witnessed roaming the streets of Amsterdam after dark. I have no problem with the legalities involved in making Amsterdam famous in several respects but what did disturb me is the circus-like atmosphere of the whole thing. I found it so strange that someone's chosen profession has become such a tourist attraction and a spectacle the world over, simply because it's different.
Overall I felt like Amsterdam is one of those cities that does need to be experienced at least once in one's life however now that I've been there and done that and gotten the t-shirt I'm feeling over it. If I am to return to Holland it would be to see more of the countryside and to explore other Dutch cities, such as Rotterdam.
The start of my European Trip 2014 was definitely an uncommon adventure into the heart of Amsterdam. Have you ever been to Amsterdam, what were your thoughts on the city? Stay tuned for more stories of adventure and intrigue next Thursday. Until then here's to your uncommonly wealthy life! :)