Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. (And not for either of the reasons it’s “famous.”) I love Amsterdam for the ways the canals glisten. I love Amsterdam for it’s accessibility. I love Amsterdam for it’s food, and plant shops, and design. I love how modern of a city it feels like, in the midst of truly historic buildings. I love the overwhelming amount of bikers in the city. I love the art culture. I love it all.
But getting to Amsterdam? Well that was a different story. That I did not love. We were in Hanover, Germany for one night prior to traveling to Amsterdam. My friend Shilo was playing a Sofar Sounds show there. The show was amazing and we made some awesome friends. But the next day was a different story.
We took many hours of trains to get to Amsterdam, and once we were there we had to take just one more bus to get to our airbnb. The trouble started when we thought that bus was another train. So we searched around the train station, found what we *thought* was our train and ran for it (because it was about to take off.) Once we got on the train, we realized we were very quickly heading in a direction far FAR from Amsterdam. And it wasn’t making any stops anytime soon. So an hour and a half later, we FINALLY made it to our airbnb.
We spent the next couple of days wandering around the city, taking pictures at the canals, wandering in and out of stores, and attempting to not get hit by bikers. We ate the MOST delicious pancakes at Mook Pancakes. We ate a thoroughly disappointing meal at Meatless District (maybe I shoulda ordered the burger?) On this trip we didn’t make it to the Van Gogh Museum, but I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s probably my favorite museum I’ve ever been to.
And thennnnn it started raining. And it got COLD. On top of that I started having some stomach pain that lasted a few days. (I think it was some food I ate at a train station in Hannover, or just my stomach adjusting travel and Europe.) Either way we decided to spend the next day and a half hibernating and making cheese boards and choreographing silly dances. It was really special and fun, and had nothing to do with Amsterdam. It was just what we needed.
I found this was a trend over the course of our trip. We spent a lot more time in our airbnb than we expected. There were are lot of reasons for this – we were exhausted from traveling; I needed to work (and that requires a kitchen and internet); we needed to save money, and making food is a lot cheaper than eating out. So for all of those reasons and more, we stayed inside often.
So basically what I am telling you is that if you want a “guide to Europe” this series isn’t it. I think bloggers are expected to step foot in a city and immediately be an expert on it. Well, that isn’t what happened on this trip. I toured around Europe with my best friend who played music, and I attempted to work as best I could. I learned a lot about myself. I grew. I healed. I adapted. But I didn’t become an expert on Europe. Instead I humbled myself to what I needed in each moment and did the most I could. So if you want a journal of my thoughts and feelings and experiences through this trip then read on. But if you need a guide for where to go and what to do and the best places to eat in each city, this may not be your thing.
If you’re interested in seeing more photos from my trip and hearing about the experiences I had and all of the things I learned along the way, then journey with me to Brussels…