Amsterdam, Netherlands – 2015

Amsterdam: a maze of canals, bikes, greenery, and good eats.

After our one night stay in Nantes, we departed to Amsterdam. The Blablacar (ride-share) we had arranged fell through, which forced us into a pricey train ride, though visiting Amsterdam was worth every euro. We nearly missed the train, but luckily we managed to jump on with a couple minutes to spare. Arriving mid-afternoon, we exited the train station to find ourselves walking down an incredibly busy street. Reminded me of Times Square, but without the height of skyscrapers to balance out the mass of people. I regret not snagging a photo of the train station, but Chris and I were in a hurry to drop our packs off at the hotel and begin our journey amongst the canals.
We stayed at RHO Hotel, which was right off of Dam Square. The room had basic amenities and was fairly small, but most importantly, it was clean. A very kind woman at the check in desk gave us a helpful map on our way out. Since we were tired from the train ride, we decided to keep the evening relaxed. Our first meal was at a traditional Dutch restaurant called The Pantry. We ate outside and enjoyed people watching while stuffing our faces with meat and potatoes and sauces and beer and dessert.
The next morning we had the hotel’s complimentary breakfast, which offered a surprisingly enjoyable variety of foods. After breakfast, we walked to the Rijksmuseum. Surrounding the museum were beautiful gardens with both modern and less abstract sculptures. The museum was huge with impressive collections that included nearly every kind of art imaginable, even a multicolored, fuzzy, and interactive vagina (have fun looking through the pictures for that one).
Our second day in Amsterdam included shopping around for fancy clothes. The goal was to go to a Michelin Starred restaurant and we primarily packed clothes that were suitable for the french countryside. The restaurant we chose was Ron Gastrobar.
On our last day in the city we decided to go the the Van Gogh Museum. Unfortunately, it was a 2 hour wait to get in and we had a train to catch. No worries though. Chris and I passed a few hours indulging in macaroons while relaxing at Museumplein, one of the most interesting and beautiful parks I have visited. We took one final stroll through the city. Dodging around bicyclists and walking over the canals, we returned to the train station, dreading leaving Amsterdam but ready for a new trip.

Places: RHO Hotel, The Pantry, Rijktsmuseum, Ron Gastrobar, Museumplein