Saturday, February 4, 2012

winter vacay 2011 - amsterdam pt 1

I arrived here on the night of December 26th from my 12 hour flight from Narita Airport in Narita, Japan. Needless to say, I was worn the heck out! To make matters worse, I got lost on my way to the hostel by taking the wrong train to Amsterdam Central. I didn't realize I was going in the opposite direction until I asked a passenger if this train was indeed going to Central. Yeah, this almost always happens to me when I'm in an unfamiliar area. I seriously have no sense of direction, but hey, I like to just write it off as being part of the experience!

When I arrived in city I was surprised to see how filthy it is. I dunno, maybe I've been too used to living in sparkly, clean Japan, but seeing cigarette butts on the ground everywhere wasn't a pleasant sight.  Anyway, as soon as I arrived at my hostel, I went to bed. Yup, straight to bed without eating dinner, I was simply too exhausted! I felt fully refreshed, however, the following day and set out into the city with a Bolivian girl I befriended at the hostel.

You cannot go to Amsterdam without eating oliebollen (it literally means "oil balls")!! They're deep-fried, sweetened dumplings that can be eaten plain, with raisins and/or topped with powered sugar. It's sooooo yummmy!!!! Not good if you are on a diet. I ate at least two of these almost everyday while I was in Amsterdam. I just couldn't help myself!  Sadly, these pastry stands are only around between early November until at least New Year's Day. Expect to see long queues around NYE!!

On the left is a monument on the ground dedicated to all the homosexual/transgender victims of the Holocaust. On the right is the entrance to the Anne Frank museum, which I highly recommend visiting!

I absolutely love the architecture in this city! Amsterdamers don't seem to care too much about privacy because many of these buildings have huge, clear windows that are hardly ever covered with a curtain - even at night. I saw a lot of really nice Christmas trees (and wonderfully decorated homes at that) though these huge windows. It's so easy to become a spy here.

On a separate night, I headed for a walk in the city with three other friends. We spent most of the evening at a "locals'" bar and had an amazing time. (More on that in a later post.) Amsterdam is such a photogenic city - especially at night! I love how the lights from the buildings glow through the windows.

More on Amsterdam in a later post!


  1. awesome looks like u had a great time. Which hostel did you use and how did u feel about it?

    1. I had a lot of fun!! I was actually surprised (and thankful) that it wasn't too cold when I went. I even brought a few kairo with me and I didn't have to use them.

      I stayed at the Cocomama Hostel, which is about a 30 minute walk from the city center or a 10-15 minute tram ride (2,60 euros). I really, really enjoyed my stay at this hostel! I met soooooo many people and out of the seven days that I stayed there, I went out on my own for only half a day!

      The hostel is a bit more expensive than the typical hostel, but I rather pay a bit more for a much nicer place.