Friday, December 07, 2012

Canals, bikes, & cheese.

Baby went to Amsterdam. She put a little money into traveling. Now it's so slow.. so slow. My relationship with Amsterdam wasn't great at first. Partially because we had been up since 5am, had nearly missed our flight, were exhausted from carrying our luggage everywhere, and still had to deal with the heat. Asking for directions was pretty difficult since my attempt to pronounce Warmeostraat was absolutely horrid. Our hostel was the typical hostel people talk about when describing hostels. Bunk beds, foreign youths who stay out til 4, coed showers. It was two blocks down from the Red Light District, full of university students traveling and partying on holiday. We talked to some Brits in our room, who said our accent was cool and asked us various questions about American culture and whether we would be voting for Obama or Romney. (In case you were wondering, John Mayer is very in there.) They decided to take naps before going out that night, and we ventured out into the city and experienced a tour through the canals, visted the Van Gogh Museum, found some dinner, and ate a sandwich or two.

I fell in love with the city about 5 minutes into our cruise through the canals. The houses, though all quite similar to each other at first glance, had their own personalities to them. It was interesting to learn how to distinguish which houses were once warehouses in the 1700's by the hooks hanging 4 or 5 stories up, which allowed traders to move in boxes through the windows rather than carrying them up 4 flights of narrow staircases. The amount of bikes, cheese and tulip bulbs that people describe is not an understatement. It was the perfect transition on our European tour since most people still spoke English, but we still faced some language barriers when attempting to pronounce street names. I wouldn't change a bit of it. The brick sidewalks, bikes that are about to run you over, even cigarette butts everywhere.

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