Lovely, Lovely Amsterdam

Our friend, Brooke, messaged us while we were in Amsterdam to say, “I’M SO EXCITED THAT YOU’RE IN AMSTERDAM. Isn’t it the best?” Answer: heck yes it is! Amsterdam was one of my top cities to visit on this trip and after staying there for six days, it exceeded our expectations.

I think it is the prettiest city I’ve ever visited – every few minutes we were out walking with the camera, I stopped to take photos of the leaning houses and the bridges over the still canals.

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The Vondelpark, the main park within the city, was one of our favourite spots. There were lots of people and families enjoying the sunny, warm, fall weather.

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I really liked Amsterdam for their amazing museums. The Anne Frank House is an emotional experience, especially when you see how small and cramped the attic actually is. And at the Rijksmuseum, I saw some amazing masterpieces, including paintings by my favourite artist, Johannes Vermeer.

Walking through the Red Light District was also an interesting experience. I was amazed by how the prostitutes’ itty-bitty clothing managed to stay in place. Number of nipples I saw: zero!

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The only downside that I experienced was near the end of our stay in Amsterdam, I contracted a strange stomach bug that stayed with me for almost a week. Thankfully, I had with me antibiotics for travellers that cleared it up.

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Amsterdam was a refreshing change from the cities we visited beforehand. It was new to us, as we had already visited Edinburgh, London, and Bath before this trip, and it was warmer and dryer than Reykjavik.

We couldn’t get over how many people bike around the city, and how fashionable they look while doing it. We also saw trams, drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians all safely yielding to one another. I wish that Toronto was more like Amsterdam, where people want to share the road with everyone else, not matter which mode of transportation you’re taking.

Also, Toronto could use more Dutch waffles and street fries.

– Lauren

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