Amsterdam

img_0514A 9-hour layover in Amsterdam gave us about 6 hours to spare. When I book travel, I tend to look for great layover opportunities! What constitutes a great layover opportunity? Let’s see. You need a). a great location always helps. I tend to look for places, I haven’t visited yet or places I’d like to revisit and b). Time to actually move around in those particular locations.  Amsterdam matched both criteria, so what to do?

When I chose a flight itinerary that allowed exploration in Amsterdam, there were a few things that immediately came to mind. The Anne Frank Huis, The Van Gogh museum, The Red light district, and a canal ride! We’d all read the Anne Frank story as children and we know the history of the Holocaust. Van Gogh was one of the first artists you learned about in art class as a child. At least he was for me. If you forgot his name, his work or any of the other teachings learned, you never quite forget the story of the artist who cut his ear off. The Red Light district… well. I think we are all quite familiar with that. I wanted to witness this first hand. However, I crossed that out early on as the real experience comes at night when the red lights are actually on. Next time!  Amsterdam is equally known for its canals and that was a staple that I certainly didn’t want to miss out on.  In the end, we (my best friend and I were only able to check off 1 1/2 if the four! It will make sense later.

 

The Anne Frank Museum

Anne Frank House (Huis)

So, this is where the 1/2 comes in. I did all this research on how we would get to the Anne Frank House from the airport and even the costs of tickets.  I mean your girl had it all together! At least, I thought! I chose to go with the taxi option because it seemed to be the best considering the time window. We tell the taxi that our destination is the Anne Frank House and he asks if we’d already purchased our tickets. um… hm. We hadn’t. In a nutshell, he basically informed us that if we hadn’t already purchased them, there was a good chance that we wouldn’t be able to make it inside. Awwwww mannnn! Say it ain’t so! So… sadly, he was right and it was so! lol, When we arrived at the museum there was already a line. we quickly logged on to nearby wifi to access the website as it’s the only way to purchase tickets. We were hoping we’d be lucky! Welp! we were lucky enough to see the outside of it! The end. lol All good! I will know next time and for anyone who is reading this, you know NOW!

 

The Canal Ride

img_3067With the museum being out of the question and the canal in plainBoat Stop sight, we decided to make that our next move. There was a ticket counter a few steps away from the Anne Frank House, so we stopped in and purchased a 1-hour small open boat tour with KINboat.  I’m so happy that I was able to experience the canal ride! And when I say “I”, it was literally just me that experienced it. My bestie was OUT LIKE A LIGHT (in my sicko mode voice). She was mufuckin TIDE! lol, I took a photo which I’d love to share but, she’d kill me! Let’s just say that as she viewed the photos and videos in this entry from the canal ride, it was her first time seeing them! The tour guide was pretty knowledgeable and found room to humor us along the way, which is always a plus! Did you know that the stock exchange started in Amsterdam? 

img_0572The houses alongside the canals, lean… a lot. They were built on stilts because of the “mud-like” soil and thus causing them to lean. The corner houses have it the worst. One of the dopest things about the canal ride was the houseboats. Some of them were completely open allowing us to take a pretty good look inside. I couldn’t help but imagine life on those BEAUTIFUL boats. Even though I don’t think I’d want to take permanent residence on a boat, having one to escape to would be heaven! The sound of the boat coasting down the canal was SO peaceful! I completely understand how this could work like a sleeping pill. No pun intended! IJS… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was quite HOT in Amsterdam that morning with little to no shade coverage along the way, so as much as I loved the hour-long canal ride, I was happy to make my way back on dry land. Now for some food! One of my favorites parts of travel is trying out the local food. Out of all of the things I’d heard about Amsterdam, the food never seemed to be a part of the conversation. We walked around until we arrived at a little cafe called Mondial Pancake House. The staff was pleasant and our food was served pretty quickly.  One of the staff members asked, “Are you from Africa?” When I responded with, “No, we are from America.” he seemed rather surprised. Black people only live in Africa? lol, That was my first thought. Now, I could have taken offense to this and perhaps there was a time when I would have, but travel has a way of forcing you to seek intention and also understand that oblivion is a real state.  The gentleman wasn’t at all rude in his delivery, In fact, he had a smile the entire time. Little did I know that this would only be the first time of many when I was asked this question along my trip. Now to the food…

img_0611
Tea
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Breakfast

The breakfast was good. The small cafe was located right around the corner from the Anne Frank House. Looking at the menu, I was reminded of my trip earlier this year to London & Wales. This made me smile a bit. Our waitress for very friendly and she made sure to check in with us often to make sure all was going well. After breakfast, it was time to grab another taxi and head on back to the airport. Our taxi driver to the airport spoke great English and was very personable. Once I finish unpacking everything, I will post his information, so that if you ever find yourself in the Amsterdam area and in need of a driver, you can make arrangments with him ahead of time. To Bangkok we go!!!

But, not before…

 

 

 

 

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