Monday, 13 April 2015

Traveling diaries: The Netherlands

Before I settled down in London my friend and I took a Top deck tour around Europe. Our group met at the Burns Hotel in London at Earl’s Court. We all said our quick hellos and introductions and made a bee line for the bus to get a good spot. This begins our 6 hour bus trip from London through Calais over to Amsterdam. Get comfy with the bus because this tour has a lot of driving. In Canada it takes about 9-11 hours to drive from my home in the Fraser Valley to Edmonton or Calgary. In Europe you can go from one end of the country in Amsterdam all the way to Munich the other end of Germany and be there in 8 hours and 8 minutes in the current traffic at 10 pm CET. (not that I googled) Speaking from a Canadian’s point of view to be in another country in the same amount of time is INSANE! The EU is extremely fortunate to be that close. Anyways back to my trip, we drove to Dover in Kent hopped on a ferry to Calais then drove to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a great city, this is my second time being there and it was just as wonderful as the first. It was familiar which was nice to have that feeling.
 Amsterdam's street food is a must for any foodie. Of course when you’re in the Netherlands you cannot leave without trying their amazing fries and mayo!  Another food that they do well is waffles. We picked up some packaged stroopwafels and they were delish. It is a yummy dessert made of two baked dough layers with caramel syrup filling in the middle.

Being a tacky tourist is a lot of fun, asking for directions all the time and doing all the main attractions. If you love flowers you have to check out the flower market, the tulips are gorgeous and are as little as €5.00 for 50 tulips, what a steal. (If you live there, or close by) Other main attractions include the traveling iamsterdam letters, Anne Frank house (I extremely recommend this!), Van Gogh Museum (or any museum for that matter, there are some gooders!), and vintage markets.
My number one recommendation is to get lost traveling the canals (don’t physically “get lost”, because if you’re not from there it’s not fun getting lost) but take your time walking or boating on the canal. Amsterdam has some great architecture so explore some of the churches. The shopping is also fantastic in Amsterdam, so don’t skip on that. Pictured below is the Magna Plaza, a must for any fashion lover.
My top tip for Amsterdam has to do with biking. Take a bike ride; it’s their number one form of transportation in the Netherlands. Be aware of the bikers if you’re not on one, you’re probably more likely to get run over by a bike than car, or train in my opinion!
 Have you been to Amsterdam, or any city in the Netherlands? What are your tips for seeing the city? Leave a comment 

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