After my escapades in Utrecht I moved to Amsterdam for some more hearty tourism. I spent two days there and almost all of that time was spent walking around the very touristy city center. Arriving just before lunch time I went on the now customary free walking tour. Which once again, provided and excellent starting point and history crash course.
In the evening I did a bit more exploring before heading back to Utrecht to hang out with game developers. The smarter (and cheaper) thing to do would have been to stay in Utrecht that night and do Amsterdam as a day trip, but I didn’t do that. Instead I had some drama getting to my hostel when I got back to Amsterdam late. I missed the last connecting Metro and ended up stranded in a random Metro station. Eventually I managed to stumble into my dorm room via a series of walks and buses. Presumably to the annoyance of the various people that were already trying to sleep in said room.
The next day was more of the first, ie. mainly just walking around tourist soaked streets of central Amsterdam. I did make some more interesting stops though. One of which was the royal palace on Dam Square. The building, and in particular: the balcony, is still used on occasion buy Dutch royalty today. The palace used to be the town hall, and as such it sports a massive main hallway with maps of the world etched into the floor and a statue of atlas towering over everything. Definitely my favourite part.
I also decided to choose a museum to visit. I wasn’t particularly interested in the exhibits (or queues) at Madame Tussauds and I didn’t feel like I needed to do the Van Gogh after visiting the Louvre and Orsay in Paris. This just left the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijks. I chose the State Museum, partially on recommendation and partially because I hadn’t seen much modern museum stuff. Definitely want to come back and do the Rijks though, it looks great.
The Stedelijk was pretty dang awesome though. It’s more focused on modern art and design, which made a nice change from all the more historical and traditional stuff I’d already seen. I loved the design bits in particular. Its really fun to see every day objects, but done in an elegant, aesthetic or unusual way.
So what about Amsterdam as a city then? Eh, it’s alright.
I can’t really make a fair judgement because I only visited the really touristy areas (and Amsterdam’s brand of tourism is particularly obnoxious). I’d like to stay with some people in Amsterdam to see what the City is really like, but I definitely didn’t like it as much as Utrecht. That said, I did still have a really great time and saw a lot of interesting things.
I had an overnight bus to Copenhagen to catch and spent a lot of the evening roaming around looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth while I waited it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to pay four and a half euro for a Nutella Waffle and had to repeatedly move on unsatisfied. Then, as luck would have it I discovered the deal of the century while getting some groceries: a pack of 8 Cornettos for 2 Euro.
Still feeling chuffed with my purchased, I quickly realised I couldn’t really travel with 8 ice creams and certainly shouldn’t bring them on a warm bus. So I did what any responsible adult would do and ate all of them in a single sitting. I definitely felt a little sick after the first 5 or 6, but my resolve is not broken so easily.
I have no long-term regrets.