It’s currently midnight and I’m writing this in a little 24-hour food stop in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, waiting with Ross and Amanda for our 8am flight to Berlin.
There are some things you should know about Amsterdam:
Amsterdam surprisingly is not too large. 6 days almost felt too long for us, but we didn’t explore many museums. The history in Amsterdam though is rich; the idea that the canals you walk along were once used by merchant businessmen 400 years ago is a thrill you can’t find mimicked in many places in North America.
My favorite bit of Amsterdam though was happening across this beautiful used book market. For about two streets, books were sold starting at €5 in all sorts of languages. There were recent paperbacks, ripped pages from old atlases, to 70-year old volumes of fairy tales, all nestled under tents. There are also very few cities where you can enjoy a delicious apple tart by the canals with the warm sunset behind you.
I’m actually looking forwards to Berlin. Amsterdam has an old world charm that London the metropolis couldn’t muster but Amsterdam also felt too commercial with its numerous chains and stores. Seedy could also describe the atmosphere but not necessarily because of the sex industry or the drug industry; it’s more the way tourists treat the city or little the sidewalks with their cigarette butts, or the way they blow smoke around. The budget-breaking points of the city were also a distraction to me from fully loving the city.
Regardless, Amsterdam is a charming European city; attractions like the numerous tulip stores or cheese shops show that Amsterdam lives and thrives beyond its more infamous appeal. I’ll miss Amsterdam … Once we get out of this damn airport! Until then!