(Just beware: this is basically a love story between two star-crossed lovers named Kami and Amsterdam). Let’s be honest. Ever since the Fault in Our Stars came out, I have wanted to go to Amsterdam. I needed to live my Augustus Waters dreams. Duh. (Before we start, I would just like to say no, I did not get to go to the bench they sat on. Next time.) Well, I finally got to go and it was more amazing than I could’ve imagined. My friend Nate told me I was going to absolutely love it, but I had no idea I would love it this much.
I took the train up to Amsterdam from Belgium for literally 7 hours. But those 7 hours were worth it. I got there and walked out of the station and saw: water, boats, and BICYCLES. I’ve never seen so many bikes in my life. They literally have a bike parking lot with thousands upon thousands of them. The city has its own bike roads everywhere. They have their own stop lights. Like you can literally ride your bike everywhere. How cool is that? The city is unlike any city I have ever seen. It’s built throughout canals, so there is water everywhere you look, which is beautiful. The city is somehow so hip and so classy and historical at the same time. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I decided to walk everywhere because it’s beautiful and also I didn’t want to figure out the public transit system lol. I also just thoroughly enjoy walking. So I started out to where I was going to go on a walking tour. As I was walking I found a street fair/market type place at Waterlooplein. It was awesome. They had everything from food, to vintage post cards, to clothes of all kinds. They had second hand everything. Piles and piles of winter coats and denim jackets and shows. It was amazing. Too bad I have no room in my suit case for any of that lol. Next time. I spent a while there just browsing. The vendors were very nice and talkative, and everything was pretty cheap! I got a few things, which shall remain a surprise since some of them are gifts. On the same little square of area I found a vintage store called By the Kilo. They literally sold everything by the kilo. You weighed it and it told you how much it was. This store was my heaven, and had more things I had no space for. (you might not know, but vintage stores, record stores, and book stores are my weaknesses). I cried a little bit when I stepped out of the store empty handed. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. As I kept walking everything started looking a little older, and I ended up in the Jewish Quarter which was where my walking tour was. I went into the Jewish Historical Museum for the remaining time I had left before the tour started. It was beautiful and thought provoking with art pieces and videos and stories. I wish I could’ve spent more time there. The walking tour started (Anne Frank and the Jewish Quarter) which was so awesome. Our tour guide, Talia, was born and raised in Amsterdam and brought the stories of Jewish heritage and Anne Frank to life. She showed us the memorial, and statues, and walked us by many important places. She told it through the eyes of Anne Frank and he diary, which was an interesting and beautiful perspective of the city. I also found out that she used to be a film editor, so we talked about the business for a while. That was awesome and unexpected. She felt creatively stuck as a film editor after 15 years, and started teaching and guiding tours. She is a gem. We walked to the Anne Frank statue (beautiful and pure) and to the Anne Frank Hius. I didn’t have enough time to go inside, but Talia gave us all of the information about the house so when I do get to explore it, I’ll have an insiders perspective on it. After, we were done I only had a little bit of time left, so Talia suggested I walk around the area we were in before heading back, so I did. Whatever Talia says goes. I walked by the tulip museum, cheese museum, cafes, bars, countless canals and bridges, and ate a crepe along the way (with strawberries and Nutella). It’s a peaceful town, while also being full of love and so many interesting people. I learned so much just from being amongst the people. Learning about the city through the eyes of World War 2 made the vibe of the city make a lot more sense. They were tricked by propaganda and split up from their loved ones. Now, they just want peace and happiness. I want to stay there forever.
At the end of the day, Nate and I were gushing about how in love we are with the city. It feels like a theme park, but you can LIVE THERE. Everyone seems happier there, and rides bikes and boats everywhere. Everyone is friendly and will talk to you. They’re not in such a hurry to get places. There is a tulip museum and a cheese museum. Coffeshops, cafes, and pancakes and crepes on every corner. And they have richest history which they are so proud of. Moral of the story: I wish I had more time in Amsterdam. I’ll be back soon.
Have any of you ever been to Amsterdam? What were your favorite places? Anyone who hasn’t been want to go?
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Hi friends! I'm 20 and don't know what I'm doing with my life, so I'm embracing life full-force and moving to France for a bit.