https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqjXK533ork (so you understand my latest title)
It’s now been a few weeks since my post on exams, and funny enough exam time for semester 2 is approaching! So I have been busy trying to finish assignments and seeing friends before we depart, and I know that is a poor excuse for not writing in my blog, so my apologies!
In the middle of march my lovely Australian friend Shu-Ren (who in no way looks like the creature in the video, but is a great companion just like the character in the show) suggested we go away during the week after exams since we had no classes! I was excited to her suggestion, but the only question was…where to go!?
Shu told me she had a friend named Laura who was working in Amsterdam for a few months, and said Laura had invited her and me to visit! Laura was only staying in Amsterdam for a couple more weeks before traveling the rest of Europe and Canada, so we thought it would be a good time to go!
With that we booked our flights, and headed to Holland the 17th of March! We caught the train to Copenhagen and got our flight no problem.
Laura had directed us to her apartment which in a city on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Amstelveen. She got the opportunity to work in Amsterdam because KPMG (the company she works for) offers to send people from other locations to work in other countries to help with busy periods. So her and another co worker (along with the co-workers boyfriend) went together to work in Amsterdam for three months! KPMG helps pay for their fights, accommodation and even gives them an allowance during their stay! Their apartment was a very nice flat with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, living room, and kitchen, and it was fully furnished! They had two comfy large couches for us to sleep on which was nice!
We arrived late in the afternoon to their house and waited for Laura to come home from work before heading out with her friends to an Australian restaurant called Coco’s Outback! It was 50% off night which was awesome, and we all got some delicious food and drinks! I tried Kangaroo!!! (very different taste, but good!)
We went back to Amstelveen and chatted for awhile before turning in (we were so tired)
The next day was when the extensive sightseeing began! We took the tram into the city and walked around for a bit before getting some breakfast!
We ate at a nice cafe that had an awesome breakfast! Coffee, orange juice, yogourt and granola with a croissant…delish!
We stayed for an hour or so before going to Anne Frank House. I always had wanted to see the house as Shu-Ren did as well, and we only waited in line for 15 minutes!
Anne Frank House is the house where Anne and her family went into hiding during WWII. The Frank’s also shared living quarters with another family and a dentist. They were able to hide in the attic of factory and Anne’s Father, Otto Frank’s friends provided them with food and other supplies. They stayed there for a few years before unfortunately being discovered and were shipped to extermination camps.
The house is now open to the public for viewing, however the furniture has been removed as requested by Otto Frank (who is the only one who had survived).
The museum displays were very well done, and sometimes it was quite emotional. I managed to keep it together until the room where Otto Frank speaks about returning to the house and seeing Anne’s Diary. He said he and Anne were close, but he had never knew or discussed anything that she had written in her Diary with her. He said at the end of one video “Parents never truly know their children”, which I found very emotional.
At one point in the museum, there is a display where you can see the original diary, which I thought was amazing. I have great respect for Anne Frank and I was always moved by her story, and even more so now. I highly recommend anyone to go to this museum. It will open your eyes to what life was like during that time, and show you how strong these people were.
Moving away from the sadness…towards the end of the museum Shu and I got separated which was a bit funny. When I was little they always said “If you’re are lost, always stay in one place!” So that’s what I did, however it seemed to not be working because I stayed in one place for 45 minutes. I decided to go down to the gift shop in case Shu -Ren had left the building and couldn’t get inside. Sure enough, she was tapping on the glass window outside the shop!
I quickly browsed the gift shop before meeting her and bought some postcards and a replica diary.
Afterwards we walked around the city and saw some amazing squares, the red light district (no comment) and then met Laura back in Amstelveen to go out for a traditional Dutch supper!
We went to a restaurant called Pantry and had awesome food! I got a meatball with three different kinds of mashed potatoes. One had sauerkraut, one had kale and one had beef and carrots in it. For dessert we had poffertjes which are small pancakes and they were nice also.
(Shu -Ren and Laura!)
We went to a bar after supper and watched some Karaoke. Those people were amazing! We had so much variety of songs sung. Bob Marley, Beyonce, Queen…it was fantastic. One girl sang Drunk in Love and I swear it was as good as Beyonce.
We went back to Amstelveen on the tram and had a nice chatting time before going to bed.
The next day was our last full day in Amsterdam. We decided to go to the Van Gogh museum (he is one of my favourite artists) and then head to the Heineken Museuem! The Van Gogh paintings were amazing…I bought so many postcards!! There were only a few floors of his paintings and then the next two were of another artist. We were so hungry that we left a little early to find some lunch.
We found a Kiwi breakfast and lunch place down the road which Shu-Ren was quite happy about! We both got breakfast, and it was amazing. I love the food every time! Mine was a tortilla wrap with sunny side eggs, avocado, beans, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes with potato hash on the side. It was the best!
After our bellies were full we went to find the Heineken museum which was really close to the place we eat at!
We did not know what to expect on the brew ride…and by the looks on the faces on the people behind us, they felt the same. But it was fun! They just showed you how the beer was made with some simulations that made you feel like you were actually in the machines!
We spent a few hours in there and learned a lot about the famous beer company. We got to read about its history, see how they make the beer, went on a ride (not kidding) and then got to sample some of the beer at the end). We even got to go on a free canal tour afterwards! We got a lot for our money!
We went shopping for the next few hours and I bought some things at my favourite store Monki (funny because there is one right down the street from Delta house in Jonkoping….sillly me).
It was a pretty full day for us, and we were quite tired after our long day. We met Laura and her roommates back in Amstelveen for some sushi and it was nice.
When we got home we packed up and turned in early since our flight was at 10 the next day. We were so lucky to have had a nice accommodation and friends to show us around! I am so grateful to Laura and her friends for their hospitality! I told them if they were ever in Canada to look me up and I would do the same 🙂
Amsterdam was definitely one of my favourite cities i’ve ever been to. I think everyone should go at some point in their life, especially if you’re on exchange in Europe, just do it! Check it off the list (hmm I’m sensing some Nike references…)
I hope everyone enjoyed this post and I hope to post about my trip to Prague next! Stay tuned my friends.