As much as I didn’t mind or even slightly enjoyed the coach journey to Brussels, I hated the one to A’dam. Firstly, it was significantly longer -we took the night bus and crossed the sea by ferry, which takes an hour longer than the tunnel and well, Amsterdam is further away. Secondly, this time the coach was completely full, there were no empty seats. And the last, but definitely not the least important reason for my hatred of the journey-the bus was full of drunk and loud young Brits, who were extremely, and I mean extremely annoying. The journey back was a bit better, because they were all tired and slept, but the bus was still completely full… If you’re thinking about buying a ticket, think twice. Or at least don’t go in the Summer, I guess loud youngsters aren’t that keen on partying in the Netherlands in the colder months.
The main reason for this trip was neither partying (too old or at least too granny-like for that) nor all the wonderful sights and museums you can visit there. Those are left for another day. The main reason was to meet up with the core group of my high school best friends, who live scattered across Europe. Vegerafinja Lives in Brussels, where she has a fancy EU job, N. lives in Zwolle (a small Dutch city), where she has a beautiful family, and D. lives in Berlin, where she has a much better chance of making the world a better place (she enjoys working for non-profit organisations). (And I’m in London, doing nothing.) Another high school classmate of ours lives in Amsterdam, and she was kind enough to offer us accommodation and showing us the not so touristy sights of the city.
Most of the time we didn’t do much. We ate approximately a ton of Cheese (no, really, no kidding, I’m pretty sure I ate more than a pound in the four days). We also watched the NED-MEX game in a very cool abandoned factory next to a beach like setting (B. brought us there and I’m sure she told us how it’s called, but Dutch words are the worst).
Then we drank a reasonable amount of beer, most of it in the awesome Brouwerij’t IJ, which is a tiny craft brewery right next to a windmill. Drinking beer next to a windmill while eating cheese was probably the most touristy thing we did.
We also went to one of the markets, the very famous one, the one that also has a Dutch name. It’s great for fabric shopping, if you don’t need to save money as much as I do. It’s even better for buying cheese, especially if you do need to save money, because one of the stands offers large pieces of AMAZING cheese for 2.5€. They also make poffertjes there…
The highlight was definitely meeting all of my friends in one place after a year and a half, then watching the game, seeing the Dutch win and celebrate and then walking back from the venue to the city centre right before a short storm, roughly around sunset. I don’t think I ever took this many pretty phone pics in such a short amount of time. Afterwards, some of us were happy enough to stay in the centre for some more beer and a stroll through the Red light district (it was D.s first time in A’dam).
Amsterdam is incredibly pretty in sunshine, D. noted that it mostly looks fake, because it’s so close to what you see in pictures. There’s beautiful houses, millions of canals, everything is small and everything looks more or less the same. Without a tour guide, you’ll definitely get lost. But that’s not that bad- there’s always a tram or a bus going back to the central station and there’s always something adorable to discover among the wobbly streets. Like pretty street art or delicious pommes frites.