WOW Walking Tour // Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oh brother, I’ve been sitting on my Thanksgiving photos for two few weeks now not because I didn’t want to share but because rehashing them makes me so sad that my vacation is actually over. For one, having our dear friends Ashley and Bryan here was absolutely positively awesome, I love them both and am SO happy they were able to visit. To top it off, our time in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany AND France was amazing. Sure, a cold might have passed itself around the group from shared pints of brew and lack of sleep but it was still one of my absolute favorite weeks of 2013.
To kick things off, I booked a walking tour of Amsterdam that turned out to be TOP notch. Our guide, Terry O’Leary, was an irishman with all the appropriate traits – hysterical and wonderful storyteller, moreover he really knew his stuff about the city and did a wonderful job keeping things interesting without bogging us down with factoids. The ‘Story of Amsterdam‘ tour was perfect – a stroll by all the main sights and the infamous Red Light district with a pit stop midway at a non-cannabis-selling coffee shop. Terry really did an excellent job making what was a drizzly Sunday morning into a great one. I’ve done lots and lots of tours but for the price (24 euro) and quality, this one takes the cake!
The home of the East India Company – does that ring a bell from your childhood? Over the course of three centuries the East India Company established itself as the world’s leader in the spice trade and thus brought substantial wealth to the city.
No, no, that’s not what you’re thinking. Honey tea with mint, mmm…
Our tour took us through (literally) the Amsterdam Museum, each carpet square representing one of the 180 nationalities of Amsterdam residents. It was art that you could walk on, very cool. I also loved that Terry knew what country nearly every tile represented.
The national dish – raw herring sandwich. I did not indulge.
Check out the line for the Anne Frank House, I took a tour last time I was in Amsterdam but Ashley and Bryan were able to reserve tickets in advance and bypassed the 2 hour wait.
It would be the understatement of the century if I said that Dan and I liked Amsterdam. We absolutely positively LOVED the city. Dan went as far as to say that it’s his favorite city in Europe. Setting aside the liberal ways which are starkly different from the US, Amsterdam is so rich with culture and history, it’s hard not to be amazed. Above that, it is incredibly picturesque. As I mentioned, during our walk is was overcast and drizzly, the worst light for landscape photography, yet it was still gorgeous. Thoughtfully laid out, the streets are narrow but cozy making the entire city center pedestrian and biker friendly. You can literally walk to everything you could want to see.
What more could you want?