What Happens in Amsterdam… (Photos from the ‘Dam & Brussels)

What Happens in Amsterdam… (Photos from the ‘Dam & Brussels)

It was Anthony’s idea to go to Amsterdam. I’d visited once in college when I was backpacking with friends and figured I’d seen it, check. Then a girlfriend moved there for work a few years ago and loved it, so that made it easier to get excited about going back. Of course, we arrived and I realized that, like anything you did 20 years ago, it’s a completely different rodeo this time around. I loved it. Amsterdam is BEAUTIFUL. Not at all what I remembered. And nothing like anywhere else we’ve visited yet, which is how I judge whether or not a place makes the cut. The entire world is on bikes. There are more bikes than cars. More bikes than people on foot. The bicycle garages/parking lots are crazy. Then there are the canals, and outdoor cafes, and shopping, and music on every corner. So much music. It was like Paris’s Fete de Musique except that the occasion is just a warm Sunday afternoon in June. There are parks and so much green space and bridges and the Van Gogh museum which made all my dreams come true and the city really is just like this little utopia with everybody running around saying words that sound like flurgen. Of course there’s also sex and prostitution and red lights in windows and blue lights too (for the women that used to be men) and coffee shops (which is really such a stupid name as I saw nary a coffeepot, but one did have a lovely koi pond underneath the floor) and space cakes and mushrooms and did I mention live porn shows? (I’m still scarred) And it all makes the city even better because there you have the edge. Otherwise it would just be this bright little cheery Dutch world straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Which it is, but with porn. Also Amsterdam is home to some amazing food, who knew. My favorite was Blauw, an Indonesian restaurant that serves rijsttafel, or rice table — each bite is like a little Christmas gift of happiness. Actually if I could get the fried cod in spicy coconut milk for Christmas this year I’d need nothing else in life. There’s also this sick (you can take it both ways) late-night fast food chain called Febo, and basically you put a few bucks into a giant wall of mini-windows and you get a snack. I chose breaded veal nuggets. Say what you want, THEY WERE DELICIOUS. We had dinner on a boat called Supper Club, recommended by friends in Paris, where everyone sits on a giant white bed surrounded by pillows, and another night met up with a family friend at Pasta et Basta, where the servers sing and Anthony got his Sunday night Italian dinner. The place we stayed for the majority of our trip was shady at best, as it was in the back of a real estate office, where two people worked a few hours a day and then disappeared. It was next to the beautiful Vondel Park, where we spent lots of our time, so the location was perfect and the room itself was fine. But still WE WERE LIVING IN A REAL ESTATE OFFICE. We would lock ourselves in at night and if anyone was watching from the street, they’d see a man with no shirt and a girl in a nightgown running around the office getting a glass of water or eating a late-night snack. We changed places after four nights, moving to a hotel that was actually a hotel and closer to the city center. Then, after six fab days, we bid adieu to our our little slice of Netherlandic heaven and took the train to Brussels for a night. We saw a bit of the city (actually I think we saw most of it, as it’s the size of my thumb) and bright and early the next morning flew to Moscow. RUSSIA BABY. We are here for the next couple of weeks and are sooooo excited about it. Well one of us maybe more than the other, but the other one just got to go to Amsterdam so you win some you lose some. Post from Russia on the way…

Where we stayed in Amsterdam:

Hotel Espresso (this is where we moved after 4 nights in the real estate office – location much better and it’s not a real estate office)

Where we ate in the ‘Dam that we really liked:

Blauw (one of my top 5 meals of our trip)

Where we stayed in Brussels:

Hotel Aris (fine for one night)






























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8 Responses

  1. Very Interesting and beautiful as always!

  2. Ah….Holland is heaven. Glad you guys enjoyed it! Dank je wel!

  3. Bikes, canals, flowers (I suppose tulip season has come and gone), lodging in Dutch version of Remax, all great adventures. One photo of a canal with tall building with spires in the background looks exactly what I saw on HGTV(this channel could take the place of Geography in school). Anthony, did you try the Dutch chocolate?

  4. Gina artese

    Just simply amaze balls. And a real estate office lol?!?! Have a wonderful time in RUSSIAAAAAA!!!! Xoxoxo

  5. Mary Leone

    Love, love, love all of these VERY cool pictures! Have fun and be safe!

    “Aunt” Mary

  6. Tita Kathy

    How absolutely fantastic!!! Love yous

  7. I’m already miss you guys (and envy you, ofc). So, I’ll be right here, refreshing page until I see post about Saint-Petersburg and Trans-Siberian!

    With my heart ripped off,

  8. staci blank

    I have a really really funny bike story from Amsterdam….well, I thought it was really really funny..My husband-not so much because he was the one that got run over… You have to be so freakin careful ESPECIALLY if you visit a Coffee shop that doesn’t sell coffee…

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