Friday, May 13, 2016

Canals And Clogging Around

My first time in Amsterdam! As we all know, my dear father likes to stalk me around Europe, so when he and my stepmom planned another trip abroad, the decision was made to skip a subsequent romp around Paris and instead meet up in Amsterdam for the weekend. I gladly accepted the offer, as this famous city of cheeses and charm had been on my list for quite some time. Happily for me, I was able to hop a high speed train instead of taking aerial transport and spent a stressless few hours en route to Holland.

My father and stepmother were flying over from Scotland to meet me, so I had time to navigate myself to the hotel and grab some lunch before they would be in town. I took a taxi from the train station so I could drop my bag and get out and about more quickly. My first plan was to walk past the Anne Frank house, which ended up being only a twenty minute walk from where we were staying. I knew perfectly well that the lines would be epic and intolerable, so I was prepared to view the exterior, take a moment of silence, and be on my merry way. During my walk from the hotel, I was able to cruise along the canals and spot a very cute little lunch spot, so I made my way back there for some well needed nourishment.

The sun was shining, despite weather predictions to the contrary, but I decided to dine inside by the window instead. I ordered a yummy looking sandwich, a glass or two of white wine, and readily enjoyed my independent moments of self-indulgence. When I got back to the hotel, I was finally able to get into my room, which was a mild disappointment only because I basically had to scale the wall to get around the bed, and the shower head was placed precariously above the sink. It also turned out that the "free wifi" only applied to the common area three floors below. But as luck would have it, when I went downstairs to make use of this modern piece of technology, my parental units were simultaneously pulling up to the entrance. Kismet!

They essentially threw their bags into their room and we bounced back outside to go catch a canal cruise around town. I like boat tours in an any new city, even my own, so it thoroughly satisfied my desire for beautiful views. We saw monuments and bridges, bikes and boathouses galore. And after our visual feast, we wandered the flower mart with its endless stalls of bulbs to covet and a swarm of cheese shops with samples to taste. 

At long last, it was time to put up our feet for a while and settle into some food and drinks for dinner. Our original plan to seek out a traditional dutch restaurant was an epic fail because the restaurant in question was fully booked for the whole weekend and even at the early bird hour of 6pm, was unable to accommodate. We quickly discovered that most restaurants in the neighborhood we were traversing refused to allow us a table due to an abundance of reservations. This was only insanely annoying because none of those reservations had yet turned up, so we were greeted by empty chairs and tables glowering at us for not having thought ahead. Don't worry dear furniture, we didn't make the same mistake on Saturday night.

We did finally manage to get some food, a drink or two, and a rest for our overly weary hooves. After what felt like a marathon's worth of walking, my feet no longer felt like supple human paws but more like the traditional Dutch clogs, all wooden and rough and unyielding  I could see why cycling is such a popular pastime. If I wasn't completely convinced I would have died within moments of mounting a gear-controlled steed, I would have found it a delightful way to end the evening. Instead, we finally made it back to the hotel and I collapsed in a fog of exhaustion, ready for a new day.

No comments:

Post a Comment