After a successful first week in Barcelona, my roommates and I decided to venture out to Amsterdam for our first trip in Europe. We learned the hard way that it is much better off to book your flights well in advance because the closer you get to the day that you want to leave, the flights escalate in price. So off we went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We followed tips from people who have previously studied abroad about places to visit and eat at in Amsterdam along with places to stay and what to pack. After enjoying the beautiful weather in Barcelona, the 40 degrees and rain in Amsterdam was not so nice. On the other hand, the city was beautiful and resembled a doll house, so this definitely made up for the weather. When we landed in Amsterdam, we immediately got into a taxi to our hotel. Much to my surprise, every single taxi was a Mercedes-Benz and the price of the taxi went up approximately 1 euro every 30 seconds. You could only imagine how expensive a 25 minute taxi was!
This is the reason that most people in Amsterdam travel by bicycle. The bicycles were so scary as my friends and I almost got hit by one that was moving so quickly!
The first thing that we did once arriving in Amsterdam was visit the notorious Anne Frank House. While this was a site to see and I was glad that I went because it was so interesting to see this historical home, I was a bit disappointed that they did not give much of a back story to Anne Frank´s story and rather just showed artifacts of her diary and short video clips from her father, friends and acquaintances. After this experience, we all ventured off to The Pancake Bakery. This restaurant was like nothing I had ever experienced as we ordered both savory and sweet pancakes that you likely would not be able to find anywhere else but here. For example, I tasted an apple and cinnamon pancake with whipped cream and a friend of mine ordered a caprese pancake that included mozzarella, tomato and basil (how different!).
The next day, it went without saying that we had to visit the famous tourist attraction in Amsterdam, the i AMSTERDAM letters. My roommates and I took pictures that were perfect to post on Instagram and Facebook with the letters. It was so entertaining yet scary to climb up the letters just to simply take a picture but it was worth it! The picture taking was followed by a relaxing canal cruise where we were able to see all of Amsterdam by boat.
Later in the day, we had to try one the delicacies of Amsterdam, french fries. They were quite possibly one of the best things I have ever tasted and worth the calories! I even got to take a great picture to post on Instagram and got over 100 likes (so exciting for me)! After leaving Amsterdam, I was able to appreciate Barcelona for the weather and culture even more but I definitely loved Amsterdam and I can promise you that I will be back one day. I absolutely recommend traveling to Amsterdam to people of all ages, just watch out for the bikes!