Amsterdam: Sights and Scenes pt. I

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I’m back from amsterdam!  Actually I’ve been back since Saturday morning (earliest flight of my life – 6:50am), but I pretty much had to hit the ground running with school and getting back into things for my final few weeks in Stockholm (ahh so soon. so sad).

Anyway, Amsterdam was fantastic.  I only wish that I could have stayed a day or two longer, and that I did not have so many things to do upon my return.  It just adds unnecessary stress to what should be a stress-free vacation.  Ah well, it’s an excuse to go back!

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My hostel, in a canal house!  Great location, but not the best hostel I’ve stayed at.  No bar or lounge, not as social as I usually like.  And a little more rustic, but that I can deal with if it has the social aspect.  Win some lose some.

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After a long day of traveling and a little issue with credit cards, I was in need of some serious de-stressing.  I took a long around the area, then sat down at a cafe for a glass of organic red.  Mmm.

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And hummus.  I packed enough food for the first day, so an evening snack was all I needed.

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One plus side of the hostel – they had a delicious (and not terribly unhealthy) breakfast!  My usual combo was 1-2 apples (they were small, and I like my fruit for breakfast!), yogurt and crunchy muesli (<– they don’t call it granola in a lot of places in Europe. makes me laugh a bit).  I actually skipped the rice cake and went for a little more yogurt/granola for some more nutrition density.  And black coffee, as they didn’t have soy milk.

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Dam Square, the Dutch national monument.  Just moments before a 5 minute rain shower.  One of the strangest things about Holland.

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Taken from the highest point in the city, and still below sea level.

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Skinniest house!

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And now it’s bright and sunny again.

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Canal houses.  They use those hooks at the top to hoist furniture up to the higher floors, since staircases are too small and dangerous (cool!!).

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Canals.  I had no idea how much of the city is made up of canals – they’re everywhere!

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Spuistraat – a street infamous for it’s squatters.

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The Begijnhof – a medieval inner court hidden in the city.

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Inside the court, so amazingly gorgeous. You’d never know it was there from walking around it!  I love finding the ‘hidden gems’ of a city.

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Rocking the self-portrait.

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Poffertjes!  Little mini ‘Dutch pancakes’.  So good.

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A visit to the floating flower market.

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Tulips of all kinds for sale!

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Bulbs too.  One big thing I am kind of bummed I missed out on was going to see the tulip fields.  It was the perfect season for it, but in the three days I was there, I completely forgot about it.  Fail, Rachel.

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Another thing Holland is famous for? Cheese!

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Mmm samples.  Yes, this is a tourist-y cheese shop.  Yes, all the cheeses were still delicious.  The mustard and spreads too!  Probably would have bought some mustard if I had planned to check a bag.  But I didn’t.

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Canal life.  One of the many adorably old-timey boats.

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And something else I definitely would have bought if I checked my bag.  Kind of wishing I had bought it anyway, but I’m pretty sure my waistline will thank me in the end.

I’m leaving you with that for the day!  I was originally going to dump it all in one post, but that would be too many pictures for one day.  So, until next time!

Have you ever had a less-than-relaxing vacation? How do you handle it?

When you travel, do you like main tourist attractions or hidden gems?

Favorite souvenirs to buy?  Mine would probably be food.  No surprise there!

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