Amsterdam Travel Diaries: Day One

Friday, 14 April 2017

You may or may not know that I went to Amsterdam last week. I went there for Vidcon Europe but I also spent a few days in the city exploring and taking tons of pictures. So I’ve decided to write different posts for each thing. I’ll write one or two posts for Vidcon Europe and this one for Amsterdam in general with things that I saw and things that I learned.

Our flight to Amsterdam was Thursday at 6.30am so basically, we spent the night at the airport. It wasn't as bad as we thought it'd be though. Arriving in Amsterdam when you haven’t slept for 24h (not even kidding) is not the ideal thing to do but we did anyway. It certainly didn’t stop us from walking around and exploring the city. When we arrived we went directly to our hotel, left our bags there and went back to the center to have lunch and wait for our ‘free walking tour’ to start. We thought we’d be the only ones but luckily we weren’t. We were a group of 23 people from different parts of the world: Germany, Canada, USA, Perú, Ireland and well, Spain (my friend and I).
Our tour started at the center of the Red Light District, right next to the Oude Kerk (old church). Our tour guide was a very enthusiastic woman and she told us a bit about Amsterdam whilst walking around but instead of showing us ALL the ‘touristy’ spots, she also showed us her favourite spots, you know, places that the locals go to and things they do.

We learned there’s a hidden catholic church in the attic of a house because Catholicism was banned for 200 years so people couldn’t be seen going to church. Apparently, it’s massive, it can fit 200 people and it has a huge organ. After seeing the façade of this church, we ventured into small streets with plenty of bakeries and small shops (I wish I could’ve gone inside of every single one). We then arrived to Nieuwmarkt which is a big square with a medieval building called the Waag that’s now been turned into a café.
From there we went to a street with houses that were rebuilt quite recently and architecture students designed them all. The locals call it the ‘lego neighbourhood’ I think because it’s really colourful or something. And to be honest, they’re not very pretty nor as aesthetically pleasing like the rest of Amsterdam but oh well. Like my friend said, Ted Mosby would’ve done a much better job lol.

Then we just kept walking around small streets and the woman told us many other things but some of them I remember more from the tour we did the next day so I’ll tell you about those on another post. And then there are things that I can’t remember because I was too tired to function properly and I just needed food and sleep. Although, the woman did give us food, sort of. She gave each of us a Stroopwafel and it was delicious.
We eventually arrived at Dam square and that’s where our tour ended. I can’t remember what we did after that but I know that we bought food in the supermarket next to our hotel and then went to our room and didn’t do much. You know just shower, check twitter, unpack, eat, the usual. We didn’t leave until the next morning, like we fell asleep at 11pm (very unlike us) so there’s that.

It was a very good start of the trip and everything was exciting. I fell in love the minute we started walking around. The weather was alright too; it wasn’t super sunny but it was bearable, the wind was the worst part though.

That’s it for today's post. The next one will be all about what we did on Friday and facts that we learned thanks to our tour guide. I hope it’s as interesting for you as it was for us. So stay tuned for that!

Hope you have a good weekend!
Anna x

UPDATE: there's also day two, my vidcon experience and a photo diary if you want more!

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