03 Mar 2008
Greetings to all – I just got back from a long weekend in Amsterdam! We left Thursday, Feb. 28th – we took a 6 hour bus to Madrid (not fun), from there we took a later flight from Madrid – Amsterdam. We got in around 11 pm and we had to take a train from the airport to Central Station (basically the heart of Amsterdam). From there we navigated our way to our hostel via the tram system – very cool system they have…it was easy to use and they had them EVERYWHERE!! We stayed in hostel Orfeo – it was disgusting! The room smelled awful – there was three of us girls and we shared with one other girl we didn’t know – we barely ever saw her/talked to her, so that was fine! The bathrooms were disgusting! We basically were only in our hostel to sleep – which was painful enough!
We woke up early Friday morning to start our touring! We first had amazing bagels at a place called Bagels and Beans – these were our first bagels since we have been abroad! Sevilla definitly does not have bagels – such a shame!
After our amazing breakfast, we headed over to the Van Gogh Muesum. It was a cool muesum – very informative and interesting. It was 10 euros to get in, but only 2.50 euros if you were under 17, so we decided to try it – and yes I passed for 17 – no surprise there huh?
After that, we decided to walk around for awhile and see the city! First, we walked past Rijksmuesum – a very big muesum of Dutch Art.
After, we decided to walk around Vondelpark – it was huge! I assume it would look very pretty when everything is in bloom as well. We also walked down one of the best shopping streets – it had every expensive designer you could think of – I felt ritzy just walking down the street!
So after we were planning on doing a tour of the Heineken Brewery – but it turned out it was closed until summer 🙁 We were very disappointed!
Instead, we made it back to the Central Station – it took over an hour to walk there! Great time to see the city though.
After exploring the city, we checked out the Red Light District. I could not even believe it! I have never seen anything like it before – there were windows and doors everywhere filled with dancers, ladies, etc. It ended up raining really hard and the wind was so strong! The wind was so strong it broke my umbrella 🙁
On Saturday, we made our way to the Jordaan neighborhood. It was a gorgeous part of the city – it seemed like the residential area. We went to a farmer’s market called Noodermarkt and walked around for awhile. We also enjoyed the city’s best apple pie at the Winkel Cafe – it was amazing! After, we went to tour the Anne Frank Huis – it was very interesting and cool to see (although we had to stand in line forever). It was also cold and windy again – but it was sunny! It was so windy you could lean forward without falling over because the wind would hold you up! We definitly enjoyed many hot beverages while here – we really liked the hot chocolate they had here – it was different than in Spain!
After having a lazy afternoon relaxing, we walked back to the center of the city and explored a bit more. We wanted to get some pictures of the city center and Red Light District since it was bad weather the night before!
We then headed back to the area near our hostel for dinner. As we were sitting and eating, some creepy looking guys came into the restaurant and our waitress warned us to watch out for pick pocketers! We got really nervous, so we ended up switching tables – although the guys still stuck around and were watching us – looking like they were waiting for us to leave. Not a good way to end the trip, but we made it out safely! We put our purses on under our jackets and made a run for it out of the restaurant!
On Sunday, we had to get up bright and early to get to the airport. This was a crazy day of traveling! First, the man at our hostel said there would be plenty of trams to take us into the city center to catch the train to the airport – he was wrong. Nothing was running and no one was around. We luckily found a cab, and made our way to the train station. Everything ran smoothly from there until we got to the airport. From there, our plane was delayed two hours! We landed in Madrid around 2:15 pm – and we had to get off the plane in the middle of the tarmat, and all file onto a bus to transport us into the airport. At this point, we had to wait for baggage. By the time we were ready to leave the airport, it was 2:45pm. We had a bus to take back to Sevilla that left at 3 pm. We literally sprinted out of the airport and into a cab. The cab ride was supposed to take 20-25 minutes to the bus station (it was on the complete opposite end of the city) and it ended up only taking 10-15 minutes. Our cab driver FLEW through the city!!! When we got to the bus station, we RAN around trying to find our bus, we flew down the stairs and made it JUST in time! The bus driver was about to climb into the bus! We could not believe we made it – we thought for sure we would have missed the bus! We all felt like we were on Amazing Race or something! After all that craziness, we relaxed on our 6 hour busride back to Sevilla – and without any more obstacles 🙂
Overall, it was an amazing trip! It was fun to travel to a country that spoke a different language – although almost every spoke English there. The people were also very friendly and willing to chat with you. It was also a very diverse city – lots of different people and different areas of the city were all very different from eachother. The canals were beautiful too – very fun to see! Now back to Sevilla – I have midterms next week – which means I actually have to study 🙂 Adios!
posted Monday March 2008