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about the land and the people

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52 hours in amsterdam

April 7th, 2013 by nina · amsterdam, article, netherlands, reportage

earlier this year my friend bella and i decided to go to amsterdam to celebrate her birthday. so in late march i went to her current home in cologne so we can go there together.

          

friday – where is spring?
after a 3 hours ride by train from cologne we arrived in amsterdam at lunchtime. we bought a 48 hour ticket for the local public transport  and went looking for our hotel. amsterdam’s accommodations are really expensive but we made a bargain with the hotel. unfortunately it was not really close to the city and the tramride from the city to our hotel took at least 20 minutes. at the hotel we just dropped our luggage and went back to the city. at this point i have been really hungry and it is never a good idea to let me get really hungry because i get grumpy. so we kind of rushed to the city to find some food. after a felt eternity we found a nice place to eat. stock is a funny place. it belongs to a hostel and you can see through a giant window how the guests of the hostel check in and look inside of the hostel. i ate a very good sandwich and had a hot chocolate. once i had eaten, i was much more calm and ready for the city. the rest of the day we strolled around the jordaan quarter with its little streets around the three famous canals – prinsen-, keizers- and herrencanal. we also saw parts of the famous red light district which was fascinating and disturbing at the same time. since it was horribly cold, we went back to the hotel early and watched the football match holland against estonia at the lobby and drank some wine.

          

saturday – i love this city
since we got to bed early we also stood up early. we decided saturday is shopping day. of course not only shopping and going through the main shopping promenade. more like looking at the small shops which make the jordaan quarter so special. to get the day started we had breakfast at screaming beans. they serve fantastic croissants. from the café we started strolling through the small streets and smaller shops. although the sun was shining it has been really really cold. we have been freezing the whole day long but we invented a plan. we just went into the next shop when it started to get to cold. we have been to some really nice places. i wish my hometown had so many wonderful little shops. at de weldaad i bought a perfect present for my sister and a knob for my dresser. later on we found that amazing boutique called unicorn. the place is chock-full of beautiful things. we took a long time inside and finally both bought a scarf. the owner is a very friendly woman who helped us a long. she said we should have a look at the local market and step inside winkel to eat the best apple pie in amsterdam. we haven’t to be told twice. at the market we bought some cheese for our families and i bought smoked mackerel since my family loves them. and of course we went into winkel and this place seriously sell the best apple pie i have ever eaten, and i have eaten a lot of pies in my life. it was served with cream and it was excellent. after our stay at winkel we felt reinvigorated to queue for the anne frank huis. this was something i really want to see. i read the diary of anne frank some years ago and for me it was important to see were she and her family hit from the nazis until they got betrayed in 1944. it was really weird and touching to walk on the same floors like she did. the saddest thing for me will always be the fact that anne died at kz bergen-belsen from typhus one month before the liberation. in a little movie a friend of her who survived the kz said that if anne had knew that her father was still alive she probably would have made it through. it was hard to see all this but it also is very important. since we needed to arrange our thoughts we decided to run some errands at albert hein and have dinner at the hotel room. we had cheese and fish and some vla for dessert.

          

sunday – tulips in amsterdam
our last day was as cold as the others. after some pain au chocolate we checked out from the hotel we locked our luggage in at the central station and went to the i amsterdam landmark to take some pictures. afterwards we went to the flower-market to buy some tulip bulbs for this is what i think of when i think of amsterdam. fries, coffee-shops, red-light district, canals and tulips. yes i know it is a bit prejudiced. of course amsterdam has much more to offer then that. but tulip bulbs it had to be. i bought a mixed bag and i am so curious to see which colours i got. since we had a lot of time we walked through the city and had some fries for lunch at the lovely frietsteeg. the fries there are really good. our last point on the list was the canal-cruise. we went on an one-hour-cruise. it was interesting and nice to see amsterdam from the water but nothing i need to do twice. during the remaining time till our departure we drank some coffee at a dodgy café and went inside some shops.

    

amsterdam is a lovely place and worth visiting. the small streets and the canals made me fall in love with this city. it is definitely a city were i can imagine to live. and the people are so unbelievably friendly. i am still not over how friendly and warm they are. the whole time i felt i am welcome and safe. next time i come for a visit i’ll make sure it is warmer then it was now.

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