As a woman decidedly set on a mission to travel as much of the world as possible, it is without shame or shyness that I present yet another Arguably Abroad post. Ready? Great. I hope you have a cup of tea ready.
The start of my Amsterdam adventure really wasn’t a great one – I was basically stuck on a coach for at least 2 hours because of a multiple-car pile up on a highway in Utrecht. Not exactly what you want after a 5:00 am wake up call and 3 hour flight. But I survived (and mostly napped), eventually making it to central Amsterdam. The sight of row upon row of adorable canal boats was the first thing to catch my eye as the coach from hell pulled in to its last stop, but I was entirely too dazed to snap a photo of it.
After a quick (late) lunch and with the help of a really lovely public transport representative, I eventually made it to the AirBnb apartment near Rembrandtpark in Slotervaart (tip: avoid Easter period if you’re looking to visit – accommodation is a pain to sort out otherwise).
The 2 hour delay meant I didn’t really have enough time or energy to do much, but on Sunday morning I woke up early and set out for breakfast at a place called Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen. The quaint little working farm is a fair bit away form the city centre, but worth the short bus ride or cycle if you’re interested in a hearty meal and friendly faces. The food was tasty and fresh (and exactly what my body needed on a cold March morning), but one of my favourite things about the place was the pitcher of water packed with fresh mint and juicy red strawberries available to customers at the bar. Points.
Later that day the following things happened in rather rapid succession:
- Went to The American Book Center
- Bought 2 super geeky t shirts and a Fallout sweatshirt
- Rented a bicycle
- Had hot chocolate
- Got lost
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I got lost. On a bike. In the rain. In a foreign country.
With a dead battery.
As the 21st century tech-junkie that I am started to panic, the inner 90s kid rallied and remembered that I had a map, a bicycle, and a sense of direction. To cut an excessively long bike-ride short, I eventually arrived back at the apartment drenched, cold, and wary of ever cycling again. Can someone please invent windscreen wipers for specs? Oh, and at this point I need to mention just how kind and friendly people are in Amsterdam. One guy just thought I looked a bit lost (I did) and asked me if I needed directions. More points to Amsterdam!
Monday meant meeting the lovely Luz Cubas for a few hours at the Van Gogh museum (followed by breakfast at the ‘T Blauwe Theehuis in Vondelpark). Being an arts-lover, I knew this would be one of the highlights of the trip; the sense of awe you feel when you’re face to face with a piece of art that you’ve only seen in films or online is tough to beat. The relationship between Vincent and his brother, Theo, was incredibly interesting, so I’ll definitely need to buy a book of their letters to each other.
After an early night and a morning of casual sightseeing, I popped over to stunning SkyLounge Amsterdam for some oysters with a view before making my way to Luz’s art exhibition.
She’s a photographer and visual artist (and make up artist, and hair stylist…) who was exhibiting her work in print production at the Amsterdam Grafisch Atelier. Here’s her Behance, just in case you were wondering!
The remainder of my short time in Amsterdam basically involved
- Praying that my suitcase could handle everything I’d bought
- Checking and re-checking bus routes and train times
- Waking up at 4:00 am to start the journey back home
Until the next post.