Everyone knows that Amsterdam is famous is for its canals. What no one tells you is how many actual canals there are. If you aren’t going over 15 bridges per thirty minutes I fear you are doing it wrong. Not only are the canals absolutely beautiful, but they all resemble each other. This makes it extremely difficult to 1) find that one famous spot everyone takes a picture at and 2) know where you are when you are perpetually lacking wifi. While exploring downtown and making as many “dam” jokes in my head as I could, we turned the corner and stumbled upon the Royal Palace. This would have been enough in itself, but no, there was a fair. There was a full on South Florida Fair complete with the slingshot deathtrap, huge swings, and cotton candy. A fair, in the middle of Amsterdam, and I was not complaining. I haven’t been home for the fair in years and I immediately remembered all the fun I had there, so naturally I went on a rampage and ate as much sugar as I could to fuel my day full of sightseeing.
If you are an art lover, I suggest you do two things: 1) go to the Rijksmuseum and admire Rembrandt’s creativity and 2) go to the Van Gogh Museum and realize he is a fraud. I could speak for thirty minutes on how Van Gogh just decided to be a painter and conned ideas off his “friends” through his brother and only had real talent when he became insane, but I digress, that’s a conversation for another time with my grandmother that will probably get excitingly heated. The pope could have walked five feet away from the “I amsterdam” sign in front of the Rijksmuseum and people would be too preoccupied by hoisting their five year olds onto the letters to notice…… it was that crazy. One particular five year old jumped from letter to letter over my head and gave me one hell of a photo as a memory as I struggled to climb the hardest letter of all, the “s”.
Despite all of the “coffeeshops” around town, it was particularly hard to find a good cup of joe. If you just got that joke we can be friends forever. But, there was no shortage of beer. In fact, we found a microbrewery in an old windmill right outside of downtown where we spent a few hours and racked up about ten dirty glasses. Dutch beer names are particularly difficult to pronounce, especially when you are three beers in, so make sure you’ve got a sassy bartender to complete the experience. Beer was certainly not lacking at the Heineken brewery either, but the information and show and tell of how it is actually made was lacking. The whole building was more of an ode to the sports and teams Heineken sponsors than to their beers, but who can blame them, their beer is equivalent to corona (AKA “mexican piss” as my father so eloquently described to me as a five year old). BUT they did give us three free beers, and I did successfully steal a glass to make my parents proud…. so overall it was a success.
This post about Amsterdam has less details and more sass than the others because, to be honest, I am tired. I am sitting in a cafe across the street from my apartment in Copenhagen drinking a beer from Midtfyns Bryghus trying to remember my trip. But this is exactly where I want to be, in Copenhagen. Although it snowed yesterday, (while sunny, in the middle of April) this is my home now and I miss it while I am away. The friends I have made here have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly within a few months, and they are nothing short of accepting. This is an interesting life lesson applicable to “friends” back home. I came to Europe to travel and see the world, and while some people do it professionally, I can’t see how it is sustainable. Travel is the most valuable lesson you could have, but it is damn tiring, and anyone who is being honest and who has basically lived out of a suitcase for five months can attest to this. So for now, I’m gunna go drink this beer in the new Scandinavian sun on a canal with my friends.
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