Well, friends, it’s officially my last full day in Amsterdam. What a trip this has been! Again I have to thank the boyfriend greatly for making this possible in every way. I thought, since today we decided to spend most of the day camped out in a cafe, that I might tell you about the first two days I spent here.
The flight was uneventful. My seatmate was chatty, but nice. I only slept an hour, but as I spent most of the flight trying to sleep, I was still resting my eyes and body. There was a family with a baby and a small child on the flight as well, but whatever those parents did worked, because I forgot until we landed that there was a baby on the flight at all, and only remembered then because I saw them!
We landed at seven Friday morning. We were on track to arrive sooner, but had to circle a bit in the sky, as Amsterdam has a law that says planes can’t land until at least seven a.m.! But it was because of this that we got to see the beautiful sunrise over the clouds, so I wasn’t too upset. The boyfriend came to get me in the airport, though we just kept missing each other. Once we’d located each other, we took the train to the hotel.
The Jaz Hotel Amsterdam is in a quieter part of the city, south of city center. It is about a half-mile walk to the train, and a ten- or fifteen-minute train ride into downtown. Once there, we relied on trams. We’d purchased a five-day pass for each of us, which ensured we could ride the train and tram an unlimited number of times during those 120 hours for under 30 euro (Nice one, Amsterdam!).
I took a nap, having only slept one hour on the plane, and then we went into downtown. We got lunch at the Food Hall and walked the area around the Palace. We stopped in H&M, because it’s cheaper over here, and I got two shirts (Side note: the sheer number of H&Ms in Amsterdam is ridiculous. It was the one thing that kept confusing me about all the neighborhoods we visited, because, I kid you not, every single one had an H&M, usually on the corner of two streets. Otherwise, I naturally find my way around new places very quickly.). The exhaustion of the day began to catch up with me, and we decided to return to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner.
We ended up sleeping five hours, and woke up hungry. There was little open around the hotel, and we knew the trains stopped running at midnight. That left us with only one option: the dreaded hotel restaurant. The food was good, but overpriced. We returned to sleep almost immediately after dinner.
We actually got up in the morning on Saturday, and rode the train and tram to a cute cafe called Small Talk. We found, to our dismay, that tickets for the Van Gogh museum were already sold out for the day, but managed to purchase tickets for the Rijksmuseum. We looked at every piece of art, except for that from the Middle Ages (we’re both not as interested in it).
Because walking the massive museum was apparently not enough, we walked some more to a bar on a canal. We sat alongside it, the canal just below us. We shopped at H&M, this time for Ben, and spent awhile in a bookstore, where I bought an English book and a book in Italian. We dined at Cafe Gasthuys, a charming restaurant in the Old World style, then walked through the red light district. After sitting and drinking at a bar on the canal (Mankind), we headed back to bed.
More to come on days 3-5 later!