Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Travel Log: Amsterdam

This marks the last installment of my "Travel Log" series. Though I do hope that it will continue in the future. Given that Casablanca is $250 round trip from Romania, Tel Aviv is $450, and Greece is $300, if possible I would like to take a few more trips during my time here. And for sure I will be going to Budapest for a few days in June. SO. More travel stories to come. For now, Amsterdam. What comes to mind when you think of Amsterdam? Canals? Weed? Van Gogh? Depending on where you are in life, one of those three might be what characterizes 'Amsterdam' for you. To be fair, since most of the people I know fall into the 20-28 range, the middle answer is often what I get. 

Amsterdam was the only place on my trip that I had been to before. I was there as part of my five-week backpacking journey through Europe with my friend Meesh after I graduated from college. It was the last city on our trip, and it was by far my least favorite place we visited.  I think a combination of fatigue, World Cup drunken debauchery, scrambling to find a hostel AFTER we got to the city on apparently THE most booked weekend of the year, and seeing random sketchy people do random sketchy things tainted the city for me. And I was hoping that with a few more years under my belt that I would find Amsterdam to be a more pleasant place. And indeed I did. While I didn't really DO anything while there other than wander about the city, sit in parks, and shop a bit, I found it to be a pleasant place. Filled to the brim with bicycles and really beautiful people. Mostly really beautiful people ON bicycles. I took a few pictures of things that define 'Amsterdam' TO ME. Who knows, maybe the third time around I'll have another completely different view. We shall see.

The obvious- canals. Beautiful buildings and loads of canals

Random dude hanging upside down BY HIS FEET from a tree after smoking something... Yea

I walked by this and thought "Take a picture Liz" because it amused me so much. But I kept walking. Two minutes later I turned around and took the picture. And I'm thankful I did

In one picture this captures many aspects of Amsterdam- lattes (mmm), tulips, bicycles, and beer (sign on wall outside). Ohhhhh Amsterdam

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