Amsterdam was fantastic! I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to go there but now I fear that I have the travel bug. Must go EVERYWHERE! Right now! Why can’t I be paid to travel and see the world? Back to Amsterdam now…
My friend and I almost missed our flight because there was so much traffic in St. Petersburg. It took about 2 hours to get to the airport and both of use started to worry. When we arrived at Polkovo 2, we ran inside and some lady told us to go to some information desk. Then the lady there told us to go upstairs and we were just confused. Both of us almost fell running down the stairs with out luggage. The lady upstairs told us to go to passport control so we did and we forgot our boarding passes. We ended up being some of the last couple to go through security and both of us were really relieved when we were seating on the plane. Both of us had wine and ended up a little tipsy on the plane. The flight attendant gave us two little bottles of wine. I don’t know why but they were mighty tasty.
After my friend and I arrived at the airport, we tried to purchase train tickets to get to Central Station but it just rejected our cards. Then we found a ticket booth so we bought tickets there and hopped on the train. Once we reached Central Station we met up with our friend who is studying there for the semester. While we were walking to her place, we instantly noticed some major differences from St. Petersburg. 1) A lot of people ride bikes there 2) there is a bigger diversity of people there 3) police officers are helpful and do their job 4) the city looks cleaner.
After like 10-15ish minutes, I was glad that we finally arrived at her dorm because my shoulder was starting to hurt from my bag. Then she told us that she was on the top floor and that there was no elevator. Of course, it wasn’t ideal but then we saw how steep the stairs were. I was out of breath when I reached the top floor and it was evident to me that I am out of shape.
I felt like I could just climb up these stairs.
Then we went into her room and she asked us if we wanted to order pizza. We said yes so we ordered some pizza and it was yummy. However, I think that the sausage pizza upset my stomach a bit. It wasn’t cute. We called it an early night because we were tired and wanted to get up and explore the city tomorrow.
The three of us woke up and my friend, N, asked us if we wanted anything from the store. We said that we wanted omelets for breakfast so we made some for breakfast. Well….we just helped N out because we don’t know how to cook. Also we didn’t do such a great job of cutting. N was so sweet and was the mom for the days that we were there.
Finishing my yummy omelet.
After breakfast we showered and N left us to work on a project for school. It was raining so L and I were hesitant about going out. We went out and first found a souvenir store so we could buy umbrellas. Then we asked around for an ATM because we couldn’t find any. They’re hidden here and I really needed to take out money. When we found an ATM, my card was being stupid and wouldn’t let me take out a lot of money. It kept saying insufficient funds but I knew that I had money. I had made a transfer to that card right before the trip. I only was able to take out 100 Euros which was better than nothing. Then we wandered around the city and our down coats got soaked. We stumbled across Dam square and decided to go into Madam Tussauds to get out of the rain. Since our coats were wet, we really wanted to take them off but were shocked to find out that there was no coat check. Why would you not have a coat check? Of course, we took a lot of pictures with the wax dolls and some of my favorites were: Bon Jovi, Prince, Albert Einstein, Lenin, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, and Charlie Chaplin.
Of course, I had to take a picture of Lenin.
I though it was amazing how real some of these wax dolls looked and that they actually looked like the real person. Some of the dolls didn’t look exactly like the person they were imitating. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was that made them look odd but I know it was something in the face. Maybe the proportions were off but still it was still great. After the wax museum, we went back out and our coats were still not fully dried. It was about dinner time so we called N and she asked us to meet her at Central Station.
We couldn’t find each other and it was cold. I think she got a little annoyed with us but then we saw her. The she said that the Thai restaurant that we were going to have dinner at was just a short walk away. I was really happy because I wanted food and to just not be outside.
Dinner was delicious. We all shared an order of spring rolls but we probably should have each had our own. The spring rolls were so yummy but they were miniature spring rolls. In the photo menu, they were portrayed as normal size and I was disappointed to see that was incorrect. False advertisement. For my main dish, I had beef with some red curry sauce, fried rice, and white rice. It was oh so good. The sauce was a bit spicy and I loved that. I loved that there was flavor which isn’t something that Russian food has. I was in heaven. Then of course I had to treat myself to dessert because I was on vacation so I ordered deep fried ice cream. It was one of the greatest things I have tasted. I’m addicted now. They probably don’t have it here in Russian so I guess I will just have to wait until I am back in the States to find some. I wish I had taken pictures of dinner to show you all this delicious food.
Then we headed back to the dorm and were so happy. We stopped at a store to buy a bottle of wine, which we didn’t even drink. At some point we just fell asleep even though we had plans to go out. It was a good day.
We woke up early and got ready to go out. Both of us felt that we had to do a lot today so we can make up for yesterday. We have to go to so many places and take lots of pictures. The weather was nice and our friend told us how to get to each place. She was very helpful. Our first stop was breakfast.
Our friend pointed out this really cute little place and recommended we go there for breakfast. The lady that worked there was so nice and sweet to us. The whole place was so cute and nicely decorated. It was simple but cute. With the mentally of “we are on vacation”, I treated myself to an English breakfast and chocolate milk. It was just so good and filling. Also I was really happy to have beans because I have not had beans in so long. It made me miss home a little. After breakfast, we went to the tram stop so we could make our way to the Anne Frank House.
The Anne Frank House was touching and moving. I loved how it was organized and that they had different quotes from her diary on the walls. It really made you think and it made me a little sad. There was a video about Otto Frank talking about Anne and it made me really sad. My friend and I didn’t really talk much while we were inside. The stairs there were even steeper and I almost fell because of the heel of my boot. They had some pages from her diary and a copy of the diary. They original diary is in storage in order to perserve it. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but I don’t think I would have taken any even if I could. Sometimes I feel disrespectful taking pictures. Then we went to the cafe and had some ginger ale. We slowly started talking again and decided what the check out next.
My friend said that she really wanted to go to this toothpaste store there because she need some toothpaste and a new toothbrush. We walked there and it took us less than 10 minutes to get there. It was such a cute little store and the man that owned it was so nice. My friend ended up purchasing this toothpaste called Marvis that is just great. It really leaves your mouth feeling super fresh and minty. Plus I love the packaging and I regret not buying some for myself. Oh well. I’m sure that I can find that toothpaste somewhere else too.
Large variety of dental hygiene products.
Then we walked to the nearest tram stop and took that to the Museum District to get cultured. We were going to go to the Van Gogh museum but I decided we should go to the Rijksmuseum instead. My friend had no preference because she doesn’t really like art. The only reason that I wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum is because I knew that they had The Night Watch by Rembrandt. We quickly went through the museum and I was disappointed because we were near the end of the museum and I hadn’t seen it yet. Then I saw it and I was so happy. No, I don’t really know anything about art but there are some paintings that I really like. I did take pictures of it but they don’t look so great. I’m not a professional photographer. I’m just an amateur.
Of course, we stopped at the I amsterdam sign and took pictures. It was smaller than I thought it was going to be. Also the white letters were a bit dirty. Still a pretty sign. It was fun to watch kids climb on the letters.
I amsterdam sign
After Museum District, we headed towards the Heineken Brewery, which was such a great and entertaining brewery. I learned about the beer, I learned how to properly drink it without drinking the head, I had two free beers, met some cool people, bought souvenirs. Also I tried wort which isn’t bad but it’s not great. However, it was strangely refreshing. Overall it was great. I’m not a giant beer fan and I never really cared for Heineken but my opinion has changed now. The workers there were also very nice and informative. I’ve only ever been to two breweries but this one is the best so far.
We were a bit hungry so we decided to stop at an Argentinean restaurant to get dinner. We started off with garlic bread with tomatoes and then I ordered a steak with some fries. It was all so good. I was a very happy camper. The steak was so juicy and soft. It was perfect. Also the waiter/owner was very nice. He recommended what we should get and was very sweet. My friend order calamari and I tried it. It wasn’t bad but I don’t like sea food. Amsterdam has such good food and I’m sad that I can’t bring it all back to Russia.
We decided to go back to the dorm and we wondered into Red Light District by accident. There were a lot of people there and a lot of sex shops there too. It was interesting. Then we somehow made it home without getting lost. Woohoo for us.
Of course, I wish we had done more things in Amsterdam but overall I’m happy with what we did do. We walked a lot so I saw a lot of the city. It is such a cute city. It’s like a pop up book!