Our 3 hour bus ride dropped us off at a tram station outside of Amsterdam. I’m not quite sure why the bus didn’t take us all the way in… Anyway, we jumped on the tram and we were in Amsterdam in no time.
Our hostel was pretty close to the Central Station, but my bag decided to crack at the base and I couldn’t drag it anymore. So sadly, we cabbed it to our location. Our first mission would be to find duck tape to fix this bag!
Our hostel was pretty cute. We were located in the loft, aka the very top floor of a 4 story building. No elevator. After climbing all the way up, we knew that if we ever leave for the day, we stay out all day to avoid going up and down those stairs!
We didn’t do much after dropping our bags. The day was already lost on us. On our travel days, we also opted to not do too much for the day. A 3 hour bus ride can certainly drain a gal. We also have 2 full days here in Amsterdam, so we weren’t too concerned about time. There was a little restaurant across the street from our hostel. After dinner we called it a night and got some shut eye.
I was pretty excited for our first day in Amsterdam. We woke up early because we knew we wanted to see the Anne Frank House before it got too busy. We set off looking for some breakfast. It wasn’t long before we learned the difference between a ‘coffee shop’ (to buy weed & hash) and a café (to buy food & coffee). Thankfully we found a nice café and had a great breakfast. And bonus! It was just around the corner from the museum.
A definite ‘must see’ is the Anne Frank House. It blew me away. We’ve all read the book (right?!) and we know the history, but to be standing in the very spot where she and her family hid is deeply saddening. It’s also eye-opening. They’ve not changed it too much. There was a bit of refurbishment in order for it to be a workable museum.
I can’t even imagine what she had to go through. The living conditions seemed almost unbearable. The spaces we walked through we sometimes tight and awkward. All in all the museum is very well done. I was deeply moved by the whole thing.
Once outside the museum, the que to get inside was insane! It was just about noon and people were lined up down the street. If there’s one tip to give about this place, get there early!! From the museum, we made our way to the Royal Palace then down to the Jewish Quarter. We stopped for a bite to eat just off the beaten track. After lunch, we just kept wandering. We didn’t have a particular destination in mind, and the walk was interesting enough. Without really knowing it, we saw almost every attraction on the map. Who knew we could cover so much in one day?!
We made our way back to the hostel. Two of our hostel mates are from Denmark. We ended up hanging out with them for the night, trading travel stories.
Today we’re up early and not by choice. Being in the loft of the hostel, it gets so damn hot! It’s hard to stay in bed when you’re uncomfortable. Bleh!
We decided to head out of the city in search of windmills! It actually was pretty easy getting to them. Just a quick 30 minute bus ride and a short walk later, we’re in the midst of several windmills. It’s set up like a little village along the water way. The sun was out and there was a nice breeze coming off the water. Just an all around beauty of a day!
The village is cute. You can buy fresh bread, cheeses and meats in the store. They’ve got a little restaurant as well. We didn’t wander into all the windmills as there was a fee to do so…a little strange. But once you’ve been in one, you get the basic idea of the rest. We enjoyed the warm day checking out the wooden shoes and how they’re made. The restaurant was buzzing full of people. With crepes on the menu, we definitely understood why…they were delicious FYI. After lunch, we stopped in the store to pick up some goodies for the hostel. After what we thought was a full day at the windmills, we jumped back on the bus to find out only 3 hours had passed by.
Once back in Amsterdam, we decided to hit up the local stores for some treats and snacks for tomorrow’s journey. It would be a long day what with our 6 hour train journey to Berlin. We found some cute shops and bought little knick-knacks. All in all, it was a good day! Back at the hostel, we cracked open the cheese, meat and fresh loaf of bread from the windmills. We sat in front of the large open window in the loft and just enjoyed our last evening in Amsterdam.
Next up…Berlin! Stay tuned for a dark history, a concentration camp and emotional turmoil.