First off, I am sorry for the very delayed post! This week has been nuts with school (see Mom, I promise I am studying). So, this past weekend the mates and I decided we needed to get out and travel. We have officially been here for a month and it was time for a change of pace. The only question was: What city to go to? We could only spend a weekend away since we all have class on Monday morning. After many options, we decided that Amsterdam was the place for us.
After our LCF lecture at 6, we headed to the bus station. We decided the bus was the cheapest way to get there since all of us are trying to save our money for spring break (we get 10 days off). The bus was cramped and completely full. I am fortunate enough that I can sleep anywhere but my mates were not as lucky. We all just looked at each other and realized that this was going to be a long night. Just when we all start to fall asleep, we are woken up and told to get on the ferry. I’m sorry a ferry? Who said anything about a ferry? To our mistake, our travels did not include just a calm ride on a bus through the Chunnel. Our initial thoughts were great because this meant we could walk around, get a pint and relax during the 2-hour boat ride. Wrong. We started to feel the boat rock side to side and it wouldn’t quit. I was so sea sick that I have to lay on the ground to even feel ok. Plates were crashing, people were getting sick and you couldn’t even walk straight. If this was an indication of how our trip was going to be, we were in trouble. After the 12-hour journey, we arrive at the bus station a little outside of the main center of the city. We navigated the metro and finally arrive at our hostel. Now, for the record, we have never experienced a hostel; we had only heard it was a great way to save money. Let’s just say, I experienced it and thank my parents that I normally get to stay in nice hotels.
Now to the fun part! Amsterdam was like something out of a movie. The cobble stone streets and canals were even more beautiful in person. Pictures do not do it justice. We spent Saturday exploring the city, walking in an out of cheese shops and pastry shops and stopped at the Rusk Museums IAMSTERDAM sign to have a photo shoot. At night, we decided to go to the famous Red Light District just to see what it was all about. For those who do not know, the Red Light District is famous for Amsterdam’s legal prostitution hub. It is intriguing and unlike anything I have ever seen. If anyone ever is curious about the unique aspects of Amsterdam, the Red Light District is worth the look. Sunday, we got up early and ran to the Anne Frank House. With my fascination about WWII, this was the number one thing I wanted to do during my time there. The house is perfectly preserved and not furnished do to Otto Frank’s wishes back in the 1960s. It has an eerie feel but is an eye opening experience to the world they lived in for 2 years. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, this should be a priority. The last activity for the weekend was the canal tour. Amsterdam is famous for the numerous canals throughout the city and is the best way to see the city hands down.
Saying goodbye to Amsterdam was difficult. From the moment I stepped onto the main strip, I fell in love. It is a place where anyone is welcome and anything goes. The few hiccups we had along the way are going to be memories that really do last a long time. I will never forget thinking I was going to die on that ferry. I will never forget the look of the hostel. And I will never forget that the journey was totally worth it. Here’s to many more adventure filled weekends! Amsterdam, I will be back.