I Amsterdam

Lauren and I had flown from Aberdeen to Amsterdam to begin the trip, but we were only able to walk around the city centre for a few hours upon arrival. Since we were flying home via Amsterdam, we decided to take train it back up there from Den Bosch on Thursday, giving us another day and a half to check out this fantastic city. Upon arrival, we immediately did the most touristy thing you can think of and hit a canal tour. It was definitely worth it because it gives you a glimpse of many different sites from a different perspective. It was very hot that day, so we hit the Palace square and got some Frozen Cappuccinos, which were awesome.

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One thing that we were very keen to check out was the Anne Frank House, the house where Anne, along with her family and four other people, hid from Nazi persecution in hidden rooms at the rear of the building during WWII. It was a fascinating place to visit, especially the fact that you can go through the secret passageway behind a bookcase leading to the rooms where they hid. You can also enter the exact room that Anne stayed in and see the pictures that she pasted onto the walls to brighten up an otherwise dreary situation. Totally worth checking out.

We were famished after that, so we took a walk to the Nieuwamrkt area of the city to look for some sustenance. Once there [and after mistakenly finding ourselves in an infamous and very weird/creepy part of Amsterdam], we found a seat on a patio at a Thai restaurant. Aberdeen is not known for its international cuisine, so this was an awesome treat. On the way there, Lauren stopped to take some pictures of the city’s cool architecture, and this was one of her favorite shots.

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We went back to Lauren’s second cousin Jan’s house for the night, and woke up the next morning to the sound of heavy rain and thunder. Boo. Luckily, by the time we were ready to hit the town, it was starting to clear up. Our first stop [after taking a look at the Heineken brewery and an international market] was the Van Gogh Museum, the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. Some highlights were Sunflowers, some self-portraits and the bedroom painting. Outside in the museum square, there was a cool ‘I Amsterdam’ set up that we were able to take a picture of.

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After hitting those two big attractions, we decided to walk around a bit and see where the wind blew. We stopped at a coffee shop near a huge book market, hit a patio to have an adult beverage by a canal, and then grabbed some patio pizza to finish off the day. For the record, we are totally patio people, and Scotland is not rich in this area, so we were loving it. Before heading home, we stopped at an big old Dutch mill which is now a brewery. Here are a few pics from that afternoon.

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Overall, I would say that Amsterdam is pretty awesome, very unique because of its architecture and canal system. It was nice to hit the cafes and patios and to see all the bikes. We loved it there, and hope to be able to go again someday.

And that, in a three post nutshell, was our trip to Holland.

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