We’ve made it to Amsterdam! It’s the most tolerant of cities (or so I hear). Cycling friendly, and great views.
So apparently the Dutch are really big on their cycling friendly environment. We decided to get bikes of our own for this stay. We went to the closest bike rental but the guy didn’t speak any English! So we had to get by with common words between the two languages. The most common things we had to say to each other was whether something was good/gut (he didn’t understand ‘okay’) and kaput (bike was broken in some way).
Yea the rental place was a super budget place for cheap bikes. The tourist bikes were usually fluoro green or yellow but we got normal looking bikes. This was actually a problem because the locals now didn’t know to avoid us when we were plodding along on our bikes!
New Years Eve
We arrived on New Years Eve. It was… Quite stressful to say the least. Basically fireworks are a big thing here, but we’re talking fireworks that are bought by everyone and launched everywhere, from the streets, ACROSS the canal aiming at the other side, from the rooftops, from the boats. It was basically a warzone all night!
I thought it was awesome but Steph had trouble sleeping for some reason, maybe because of constant explosions.
Broek in Waterland
Waterland is apparently a nice day trip near Amsterdam. So we decided to take our bikes since everything was closed on New Years Day. The map said it is a 25 minute ride with bikes. It ended up taking about 2.5 hours (each way) because of various delays!
The scenery on the way there was really nice though.
We only got to our stopover point (Broek) and decided not to go all the way to our destination (Marken). Otherwise we’d never get home.
Almost worried that we wouldn’t get any food because everything was closed, we were lucky enough to find a pancake shop in the middle of Broek that was open!
We ate our lunch and began the extremely long trek back to Amsterdam. We almost didn’t make it actually. It was long, and cold, and depressing on the way back. We crossed a suspension bridge of some sort and the wind chill up there was extreme!
There is a daily market called the Albert Cuypmarkt which has been closed (like everything else) over the New Years holiday. It’s finally open on Saturday so we went to get some tasty street food!
Our final day in Amsterdam was spent in the most touristy of tourist towns, Volendam.
We did the stereotypical thing and dressed up and had our photos taken in traditional Dutch clothing. I wanted to do a stupid Sailor Moon pose or something but the reviews said that these photographers work at a breakneck speed and will whack you into a generic pose if you try to do something silly.
The food there was really good too.
We had a Ethiopian dinner the day before we left. Interesting stuff! We had Indonesian food the night before and it was absolutely horrendous.