I arrived in Amsterdam ready to see the city. I looked up how far away the hostel was from the train station and it was only about a 1.5-2 mile walk. I was used to walking at this point and I wanted to see the city, so it was go time!
I stepped outside of the train and was about to cross the street and then out of nowhere a bicyclist flew by me. I looked around… bikes were everywhere!
In this city the bicyclists had the right away and they knew it. If you’re in their lane, you will get yelled at very quickly.
I learned quickly how it all worked and kept walking. There were canals everywhere and boats going through them just how I imagine Venice will be. I walked around with a smile on my face as people. There was a great energy about this place!
There are bikes, mopeds, and leather jackets everywhere!
After a half hour or so I arrived at my hostel. It was huge like a hotel. I got into my room, met some of the guys staying there, and then went back 0ut into the city.
I walked around and found the I Amsterdam sign, the Red Light District (sorry, no pictures), and walked around the city for a bit just admiring how cool it is.
After a while of this I headed back to the hostel and went to sleep.
I woke up a bit late so I missed breakfast since I wanted to see the walking tour. We walked through the streets of Amsterdam and learned about Amsterdam’s history.
No one really knows the meaning of Amsterdam’s 3 “X”s that is the city flag.
We learned about this guy Multatuli that wrote about the horrible injustices that were happening to workers in other countries and helped get it fixed.
I also learned about the pictures above houses that were used before numbers since not everyone could read.
I decided to do an audio tour of the Red Light District that I downloaded from Rick Steve’s app (he has a lot of great info on his website about tons of places across Europe).
After the brief audio tour I got some food, walked around a bit, and then went out with some people from the hostel that night.
The next day a friend I met from Brussels and I decided to go on a day trip to the Waterland district. We bought our Waterland day pass and off we went on the bus.
First we stopped at Broek. It was a really neat little town where everyone has boats. There are street signs in the water so that everyone can get around when they are in their boats.
There were also really awesome houses!
Next, we went to Edam, which is another cool little town. This one had some cheese shops that we stopped at.
Next we went to Volendam, which is a harbor town.
Here we had some fish and a beer before we continued on to Marken.
Marken used to be an Island, but then a roadway was created to get out to it. We walked to the harbor at Marken and then we walked back to the bus station to figure out when the last bus left just so we weren’t stranded out in the middle of nowhere… always a good idea!
Then we decided to walk to a lighthouse that was about 1.5 – 2 miles away from the bus stop.
This is when it got interesting. The wind picked up and the clouds started rolling in.
We got to the lighthouse and then it started pouring rain. The wind was blowing so fast I could lean against it.
We decided to head back, but we wanted to take a different route so that we could walk along the ocean.
We stopped and ate some cheese and crackers I bought earlier in the day. Yes… it was still pouring rain!
We saw these little bunches of houses that are called “Werfs”. They would build little clusters of houses on stilts to keep the houses from flooding.
On the walk back I was freezing cold. My jeans were 100% drenched. After about 30 minutes of walking in this crazy weather we got on the bus that was leaving just as we arrived.
After we got on the bus, the weather cleared up again and we headed back to Amsterdam. Whew! What a day.
The next day I woke up and knew I was leaving around 2:30 in the afternoon to go to Germany. There was one more thing I wanted to do before I left: ride a bike.
I packed my stuff in my bag, walked to the train station, and rented a bike from a shop right next to the train station. I started cruising around the city and I immediately felt safer as a bicyclist than I did as someone that was just walking. Now people had to get out of my way!
I rode around the city for a bit, got a picture with the I Amsterdam sign (the dude who took my picture got all crazy with some sideways photos… not sure why haha).
After an exhilarating ride, it was time to get to the train station.
I headed back, bought some candy, and off I went to Germany!
This post was written in a small hostel in Split, Croatia after a long day of traveling on a bus from Plitvice Lakes.