Updated: Jun 6, 2019
So Europe was not in our initial plan (or budget)...but when we were looking at options and it was literally going to SAVE US money to fly via London back to Calgary, how could we say no?! And once we were in London, it was only 60 pounds to go round trip to Amsterdam...so it just seemed like a no brainer!
Devon arranged a beautiful hotel for us to stay in while in Amsterdam as a belated birthday present. We felt like we were living on top of the world. Our room was so nice it was hard to leave - good thing the canals and the sights of Amsterdam were just footsteps from the door of our hotel! We loved walking around and taking in all the architecture and culture. One of our favourite areas, called "Jordaan", had some really great lunch spots.
I had been to Amsterdam once before, about 10 years ago, on a Contiki tour. It was even better than I remembered! We both could really imagine a daily life in Amsterdam; the city felt so livable. Biking everywhere just makes so much sense!
Unfortunately we were not able to go inside and see Anne Frank's house - they have changed the admission process and now 80% of the tickets are sold up to 2 months before the date, and 20% of tickets are released the day of. After a few days of being number 500+ in line on their website, we resorted to taking the virtual tour, and doing some research and our own reading online. It is unbelievable to imagine what life was like back then. Another reminder of how lucky we are today.
We had met some friends from a city called Utrecht, while we were travelling through Argentina. They gave us a ton of tips for things to see and do! We were saddened and shocked to hear the news of a terrorist attack literally 24 hours before we planned to see Utrecht. Of course we had some reservations about our itinerary, but we carried on, and were glad we did. Surprisingly, one of the highlights was going to the train museum. Now Devon loves a good airplane or train museum, but it’s just not my jam. Despite my reluctance to go, we ended up having a great time! And how could we not, there was a one-man play, a 4D ride, a rollercoaster, and a ton of interactive displays.
We planned to meet up with some Calgary friends during our time in Amsterdam, which was such a treat. We stayed at an Airbnb in a trendy area called “De Pijp”. We rented bikes and explored the outskirts of the city, and even found a beach!! Too bad the weather wasn't nicer...looked like it would have been a beautiful view!
After spending 6 months in Central and South America, we felt invigorated and inspired by such a change in scenery. There is something so magical about Europe, and the Netherlands in particular. It was great to see it outside of peak tourist season, as well. We felt like we really got a flavour of what daily life is like for people who live in Amsterdam.
After our time in Amsterdam we hopped a quick flight back over to London, our final destination before flying back home to Canada.