Amsterdam was a complete dream. I quickly learned that I couldn’t take in the city like a New Yorker, rushing from place to place. I really had to soak in every bit of it. The canals helped me to make that connection – they’re still, beautiful and reflect the daylight right back at you. The city lives around, in, and through them.
You cannot, and I mean absolutely cannot visit Amsterdam without riding a bicycle. It’s the ultimate local experience. I was so surprised to see how essential bikes are to the culture of the people (I heard that there are more bikes than people in the city). They are transportation, decoration, navigation, calibration, commemoration, conservation, habitation, hateration, holleration (just kidding on the last two but all other relevant “-ations” apply). My most memorable, and scary, activity.
I’ll admit, I did 80% of my pre-trip research from a Frommer’s travel guide I found on a stoop in my neighborhood (that’s BK for ya). But nothing prepared me for Stroopwafel, a crispy, gooey, caramel-y cookie thingy that I fell in love with. They are my new obsession. While in the city, I couldn’t help but enjoy the simple pleasures in the markets, eateries, architecture, soccer and art museums. I left Amsterdam knowing for sure that 4 days cannot do a place justice. I must return, if not for the amazing city then certainly for the stroopwafel.
Where should I go next? Perhaps London.
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