The Travel Bug

Finally, Another Adventure!!!

Sometimes I don’t have much to write about on my travel blog, because well I (sadly) don’t always have time to travel! But I finally got my butt out of Dijon and went exploring! And where to? Wait for it…. Amsterdam! That’s right, 48 hours in the beautiful and amazing Amsterdam.

First of all, getting to Amsterdam from Dijon isn’t all that hard, or expensive, if you plan in advance. I had already planned on going up to Lille for the weekend, so the train tickets were bought, but from Lille to Amsterdam, only 2-3 hours by car!

Blabla car is a carpool service that you can use for free online. People post their journeys, and then you can reserve a seat in the carpool. From Lille to Amsterdam, round trip for two people is only about 80€.

Blablacar website

If carpool isn’t your thing, there’s a bus called IDbus that takes you to Amsterdam for only 25€ a trip (one person, one way).

Once you get to the city through, be prepared for the most co fusing public transport you’ve ever encountered, best stick to renting a bike!

Staying there is a little more difficult… If you don’t plan way in advance, hotels fill up quickly, so I booked a room with airbnb. A site where people rent their extra rooms!

Airbnb website

Another great travel tool for Europe 🙂

First impressions

The city is absolutely beautiful.

For me it was a mix of Strasbourg, and Lille. The brick style of Lille and the northern cities, and the charm of Strasbourg. The houses and buildings are tall and beautiful, the canals add character, and the changing fall leaves gave it a charm that is indescribable. Walking through the city almost feels like you’re walking through an old movie set. Everything about it was just enchanting! On every street there is something to awe at and enjoy. But that might just be my tourist side speaking.

Seeing and visiting the city

We spent the majority of the weekend on foot. Not a bad way to see the city, yet rather tiring. We visited only a few museums, seeing as the entry was 7-9€ for each one.

The first museum was the torture museum! No, it wasn’t exciting, or worth 8€. Don’t go. Just don’t.

The other museum we saw, and that was worth the 2 hour wait in line and the 9€ entrance was, the Anne Frank house. I read the book when I was younger, but never did I imagine that I would see the very place she lived at. The house, the small space, the  bookcase. All of it was just so moving, and sad. The house has been turned into a museum, and the tour is set up in a way that you are taken through the story of their hiding. You climb the narrow stairs, and see the tiny living spaces that hid 8 people for two years… You can’t even imagine it until you’ve seen it. An Amsterdam must do.

On a happier note…

While we were near the Anne frank house we ended up taking a canal cruise through the city. A beautiful way to see the city and sit back and relax. Not only that, but along the way the boat driver tells you interesting facts about the city! I’ll leave those for you to discover!

What about the food?

I didn’t really get the opportunity to try a Dutch dish, but then again the Dutch aren’t necessarily known for their culinary dishes (except for their pancakes, soooo delicious!).  But on the contrary, Amsterdam is a great place to eat food that isn’t Dutch! I got to eat Mexican, and Chinese… And American style pizza… All foods that I haven’t been able to get in France!

However, cheese. Oh my goodness is the cheese good! Cheese stores on every street, and free tastings. Gouda gouda gouda!!! A yummy delicious, orange cheese that comes from Holland.

Mary-Jane

Now that lingering question… What about the coffee shops? Is that real? Yes, yes it is. The Dutch have a lot more of a laid back view on marijuana than most of the world. But no there aren’t coffee shops on every single street, and no people aren’t walking around the city smoking joints. It’s a legal substance, but you buy it and smoke it in the coffee shop.

I’m not going to turn this blog post into a marijuana opinion column, so ill briefly say that legalizing it and selling it in a safe place is such a better idea than letting people buy it from an unknown source.

Amsterdam has been by far one of my favorite cities to visit. We aimlessly wandered the city without any set itinerary and ended having the most amazing time. I would recommend visiting Amsterdam to anyone!

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