Monday, February 8, 2010

Un Weekend à Amsterdam

It was super foggy the second day of our trip
This is the room Kelsey and I stayed in, in our boat-hostel
This is the bookshelf behind which the Frank family resided in secret for 3 years
There was randomly someone dressed like the grim reeper standing in the middle of this plaza
Another pic of the same plaza
Me, Amanda, Kelsey, and Annie in front of the canal
There was some cool graffiti around the city
Lots of swans in the canals. I was surprised at how big they are in real life!

On the dock where our boat-hostel resided

So this past weekend three of my friends from IES and I took a bus to Amsterdam. We left Thursday night at 11pm and arrived at 5:30am at the Amsterdam bus station. We then proceeded on a small adventure to try and get to our Hostel which is actually a house-boat hostel called Vita Nova. We took a taxi but the driver had no idea where on the dock our boat was so he just dropped us off near the dock. We then walked for about an hour or so in the freezing cold Amsterdam weather with all our luggage to find our nautical home. At around 7am we finally arrived and had to wake the hostel manager up to check into our rooms ( I still feel bad about doing that but he told us it would be okay to check in that early!) We took about an hour long nap in our 7x7 ft. squared room. This time of year in Amsterdam it doesn't get light until about 8:30am and then starts getting dark again around 6 or 6:30pm which took some getting used to.

Amsterdam is a really fun city full of lots to do. It was a nice break from the expensive city of Paris but I somehow managed to spend a lot of money anyway. Two of the best touristy excursions we did while there was 1) Visit Anne Frank's House and 2) The Heineken Brewery/museum. I highly recommend both of these attractions to anyone who is thinking of going to Amsterdam. In the historical Anne Frank house we got to see the actual hiding spots of the Frank family and got to experience a bit of the life in hiding that they lived during 3 years of the Holocaust. It's a very interesting story and fascinating to be there in the actual place where they lived. The Heineken Museum, on the other hand, was fascinating in a very different, less depressing type of way. We got to tour the brewery and taste what the different stages of the beer were. There was also an interactive part of the museum where we got to "get brewed" into a Heineken beer bottle. Basically it was a platform we stood on and a big screen in front of us showing what stage of the brewing process we were going through and there were special effects (such as splashing water on us) at different stages of the "ride" to really feel what it's like to become a beer.......kind of like Heineken's version of the Disney ride "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", if anyone has experienced that one. At the end of the tour we got free samples of freshly brewed Heineken. Needless to say, the whole experience definitely brainwashed me to become more of a Heineken fan.

The above photos only capture the first half of our Amsterdam adventure because my camera died at the beginning of our second day...ironic because my dad had e-mailed me and told me to make sure the battery was charged before the trip.

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I'm currently a student at the University of Puget Sound and will be going into my senior year this coming fall.

la tour eiffel

la tour eiffel