The Big Trip: Amsterdam


Jetzen and I flew to Amsterdam on Easter Monday. It’s so close to London, I can’t believe it took me a full two years to get there.

Like Stockholm, it was cold. In fact, it was warmer than Stockholm until we arrived. Then it was colder. I know incessant comments on the weather conditions don’t usually give a good picture of a visit to a city, until you know that being cold makes me miserable. It’s a fine line between wandering a city in amazement, and coffee shop hopping through the downtown core to avoid freezing.

Anyway, this city is something else. Usually as a tourist you spend most of your time in a tiny centre of the city you visit, surrounded by other tourists, McDonald’s restaurants, and pickpockets. If you were to venture much beyond this centre, you would find something much more…plain and boring. You know, the boxy apartment buildings where the locals live.

I expected Amsterdam to have a handful of cute houses on the canals, and the rest to be much the same as other cities. But we walked, and walked, and walked, and took the ‘longest canal cruise in Amsterdam,’ only to find that all the houses looked the same! It was fantastic. The image is never ruined with an accidental wrong turn. 

I would highly recommend a canal tour, preferably at the beginning of your stay, because you learn so much about the little things that you’ll see around town. I even got to see the smallest house in the city – it’s one meter wide (but five stories high!).

We found the ‘I Amsterdam’ signs before my camera card started to corrupt images. Unfortunately, my favorite shot of these was one of the ones that had to be deleted.

Jetzen made me visit the Heineken Experience tour with him. We spent several hours walking around the company’s first brewery. Surprisingly informative! 

I’d definitely go back. In the summer.

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