Travel recaps: My brief affair with Amsterdam

Visiting Amsterdam has become a rite of passage for young travellers around the world, myself included. Synonymous with partying, drinking, 'peep' shows and space-cakes. Though that might be a thing in the past, seeing as the new law, which came into effect early this year, bans the sales to tourists.

Last winter, during my 5-day stay at this gorgeous apartment, I fell hard and fast with the city. The canals, the houseboats, the buildings and the enthusiasm of the people charmed me. The city was buzzing with excitement and I was in good spirits. However by the end of the third day, I was very much over it and wanted to move on.  My clothing constantly smell of weed (seeing as the apartment is situated between a sex museum and a "coffee" shop) and I had 4 near-death experiences involving bicycles in less than 72hours- I've never encounter so many bikes in my life.  Lastly I had an allergic reaction to alcohol during my visit to the Heineken Experience. I was sadly bedridden for the remaining part of the trip.

But it wasn't all bad. I love the historic buildings and old vibe of the city. The highlight was the trip to Anne Frank House. Highly recommended. It's not something enjoyable but incredibly powerful and moving. I teared up considerably. The only other place that affected me more was Dachau.
Amsterdam, it's not your fault. I like you but I don't love you. We just... didn't connect. Maybe if I was staying in a less touristy area or have different travel companions (Guys, I'm not saying you were bad travel buddies except I was the only female in the group, so the theme of the trip was possibly more guy-oriented), I would find you much more appealing.

I hear Rotterdam is less touristy and more modern. One way to find out? A second visit to the Netherlands and get reacquainted with Amsterdam in the not-so distance future.


Elle Sees said...

I've visited Amsterdam 1 Christmas many years ago and I liked it

laura said...

hi jo, thanks for visiting my blog! i normally get my films developed at ted's camera in the city, just because it's convenient for me since i work around the area. i don't think it'll be a hassle to develop your film when you get a diana, it costs a bit of $$ tho! nice photos of amsterdam btw!

Jo N said...

Your blog is lovely, esp your India pics. I'm still tossing between a holga or diana.

Maxine said...

For some reason, bicycles seem more dangerous to me than cars or more traditionally dangerous vehicles! I was in Amsterdam in 2005 and I didn't find it too bad, but I've had some not-so-pleasant experiences in bicycle-heavy cities, like Denver, Colorado. Maybe it's because I'm not familiar with bicycling etiquette, but it just seems like I'm always in the way of a cyclist!

Sometimes we just run into bad luck on a trip and it ruins the trip. I think that was my experience in Tokyo this year ... I know I should give it another shot, but since I'm back over on this side of the earth, it probably won't be for a long while. I feel the same way about some American cities, like Chicago ... but then again, there are just so many places to see in the world and not enough time. :)

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