Molly and I walked Will to the train station this morning and then went to some of the Saturday markets. The thing that stuck out to me was all of the cheese vendors. I ate an entire meal’s worth of cheese cubes by the time we finished browsing through the tents. (As a student, I can’t turn down free samples!)
I will definitely miss Amsterdam’s cheese. There are so many cheese shops here, and they have shelves upon shelves of perfect wheels of cheese. It’s almost at the same level of walking past a really nice bookshop. Some people come to Amsterdam for the drugs; I would come solely for the cheese!
Molly and I are going to the train station now to catch an overnight train to our next destination.
Love, Elizabeth

Molly and I walked Will to the train station this morning and then went to some of the Saturday markets. The thing that stuck out to me was all of the cheese vendors. I ate an entire meal’s worth of cheese cubes by the time we finished browsing through the tents. (As a student, I can’t turn down free samples!)

I will definitely miss Amsterdam’s cheese. There are so many cheese shops here, and they have shelves upon shelves of perfect wheels of cheese. It’s almost at the same level of walking past a really nice bookshop. Some people come to Amsterdam for the drugs; I would come solely for the cheese!

Molly and I are going to the train station now to catch an overnight train to our next destination.

Love, Elizabeth

After walking through the city centre for a while last night, we finally found a bar that looked nice, so we went in for a drink. It was definitely the right choice, because it was the only quiet pub we found. It had wooden tables, Baroque artwork on the walls, and reminded me of the Snuggly Duckling pub from Tangled (leave it to me to find Disney parallels). The only people there were two English blokes and a kooky Dutch guy siting at the bar.
The crazy Dutch man proudly displayed a rat that he had with him for some reason. Through a mixture of hand gestures and broken English, he conveyed to us that the rat was a female who had recently given birth. She was such a cute rat, and the man let us (and by us, I mean me) play with her as we sat down with our drinks.
It was such an unexpected part of the night, and it’s just one example of all the crazy things that could happen in Amsterdam.
Love, Elizabeth

After walking through the city centre for a while last night, we finally found a bar that looked nice, so we went in for a drink. It was definitely the right choice, because it was the only quiet pub we found. It had wooden tables, Baroque artwork on the walls, and reminded me of the Snuggly Duckling pub from Tangled (leave it to me to find Disney parallels). The only people there were two English blokes and a kooky Dutch guy siting at the bar.

The crazy Dutch man proudly displayed a rat that he had with him for some reason. Through a mixture of hand gestures and broken English, he conveyed to us that the rat was a female who had recently given birth. She was such a cute rat, and the man let us (and by us, I mean me) play with her as we sat down with our drinks.

It was such an unexpected part of the night, and it’s just one example of all the crazy things that could happen in Amsterdam.

Love, Elizabeth

This is a post that my family probably won’t like, but I would like to address some of the things that Amsterdam is known for. So don’t read any further if you don’t want to hear me talk about sex and drugs.
Last night, we got to see Amsterdam in the dark. It is the only city I have ever seen that is drastically busier at night than it is during the day. The red light district is probably safer in the dark because the alleys that are shady during the day are suddenly illuminated with neon lights. Because prostitution is legal, there were many women in the windows of some streets. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about that, but it seems to be a good system. Prostitution is one of those things that will happen whether it’s legal or not. So rather than spending their resources on criminalizing the women who are trying to make a living, the police actually help the women. If a customer gives a prostitute any trouble, she has a button she can push to immediately summon the police.
The same idea is applied to pot here. Drug addiction is seen as an illness rather than a crime, and it’s treated as such. Things like marijuana and magic mushrooms are technically illegal but they are seen as soft drugs, so the police turn a blind eye to the coffeeshops and smart shops. Instead, they focus on getting help for people who are addicted to hard drugs. There are free voluntary clinics for addicts, and since the 1970s, Amsterdam has gone from having over 10,000 heroin addicts to less than 300.
Despite the heavy presence of pot and prostitutes in some areas, Amsterdam has so much more to offer, and it is the variety of the city that I absolutely love.
Love, Elizabeth

This is a post that my family probably won’t like, but I would like to address some of the things that Amsterdam is known for. So don’t read any further if you don’t want to hear me talk about sex and drugs.

Last night, we got to see Amsterdam in the dark. It is the only city I have ever seen that is drastically busier at night than it is during the day. The red light district is probably safer in the dark because the alleys that are shady during the day are suddenly illuminated with neon lights. Because prostitution is legal, there were many women in the windows of some streets. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about that, but it seems to be a good system. Prostitution is one of those things that will happen whether it’s legal or not. So rather than spending their resources on criminalizing the women who are trying to make a living, the police actually help the women. If a customer gives a prostitute any trouble, she has a button she can push to immediately summon the police.

The same idea is applied to pot here. Drug addiction is seen as an illness rather than a crime, and it’s treated as such. Things like marijuana and magic mushrooms are technically illegal but they are seen as soft drugs, so the police turn a blind eye to the coffeeshops and smart shops. Instead, they focus on getting help for people who are addicted to hard drugs. There are free voluntary clinics for addicts, and since the 1970s, Amsterdam has gone from having over 10,000 heroin addicts to less than 300.

Despite the heavy presence of pot and prostitutes in some areas, Amsterdam has so much more to offer, and it is the variety of the city that I absolutely love.

Love, Elizabeth

Will, Molly, and I started our day with a coffee in another cute cafe. Then we checked out the Spui Book market that’s on every Friday. Molly and I were in heaven strolling down the cobbled lane surrounded by tents full of old books, about half of which were English-language. We then peeked in a few nearby bookshops that sold English-language books.
At that point, it was mid-afternoon, so we walked along the canal until we found a nice place for lunch. We walked around for a few more hours, admiring the sights of Amsterdam, and now we’re back at the hostel. It’s our last night here, so we’re going to go grab dinner and a drink and see some of Amsterdam at night.
Love, Elizabeth

Will, Molly, and I started our day with a coffee in another cute cafe. Then we checked out the Spui Book market that’s on every Friday. Molly and I were in heaven strolling down the cobbled lane surrounded by tents full of old books, about half of which were English-language. We then peeked in a few nearby bookshops that sold English-language books.

At that point, it was mid-afternoon, so we walked along the canal until we found a nice place for lunch. We walked around for a few more hours, admiring the sights of Amsterdam, and now we’re back at the hostel. It’s our last night here, so we’re going to go grab dinner and a drink and see some of Amsterdam at night.

Love, Elizabeth

We ate lunch at a cafe on the canal. My aged Amsterdam cheese ciabatta was so Gouda!

We ate lunch at a cafe on the canal. My aged Amsterdam cheese ciabatta was so Gouda!

Yesterday was another fun day in Amsterdam. We left our hostel first thing in the morning and had a delicious coffee at a cute sidewalk cafe near the Albert Cuyp market. Then we spent a few hours walking through the market. It was a long street of stalls that sold anything from clothing to food to antiques, and it reminded me a little bit of Camden Market in London.
While walking to the city centre, we found the Bloemenmarkt, which is Amsterdam’s Flower Market. The stalls were full of beautiful flower arrangements, and the stall owners that I talked to were so enthusiastic about what they did. (I would probably be that happy too if I spent all day in a tent of flowers!)
Our final market stop was Waterlooplein, which was a huge vintagey market that also reminded me of Camden Market. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the canals, peeking at a few museums, and stopping for several coffees in the cute cafes. (Don’t confuse “cafe” with “coffeeshop” which is where you buy cannabis!)
Love, Elizabeth

Yesterday was another fun day in Amsterdam. We left our hostel first thing in the morning and had a delicious coffee at a cute sidewalk cafe near the Albert Cuyp market. Then we spent a few hours walking through the market. It was a long street of stalls that sold anything from clothing to food to antiques, and it reminded me a little bit of Camden Market in London.

While walking to the city centre, we found the Bloemenmarkt, which is Amsterdam’s Flower Market. The stalls were full of beautiful flower arrangements, and the stall owners that I talked to were so enthusiastic about what they did. (I would probably be that happy too if I spent all day in a tent of flowers!)

Our final market stop was Waterlooplein, which was a huge vintagey market that also reminded me of Camden Market. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the canals, peeking at a few museums, and stopping for several coffees in the cute cafes. (Don’t confuse “cafe” with “coffeeshop” which is where you buy cannabis!)

Love, Elizabeth

I don’t know where to start. Amsterdam is my new favorite city. Molly and I got the train from Belgium this morning (Brussels was just a one-day thing) and arrived here around ten. We went on a walking tour as soon as we got here and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city.
Tonight, Molly and I went to the Anne Frank House, where the Frank family hid during the war. It was incredibly emotional (yes, I cried), and having read Anne’s diary made it seem all the more real. The house where the Franks and four of their friends stayed was actually where Anne’s father worked. They converted the upper levels of the tall canal house into a living space, where they stayed for almost two and a half years. The non-Jewish, Dutch employees who worked in the building helped the families upstairs in the Secret Annexe.
Anne kept her diary during the time they stayed there and hoped it would be published after the war. Her dream was to become a writer. Unfortunately, someone reported them, and the families were taken to concentration camps. Anne and her sister died of cholera a month before the liberation, and her father, Otto, was the only member of the family who survived the war. He found her diary and published it, giving a face to the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.
That’s just a brief summary, but I would recommend that everyone read Anne’s diary.
Will just arrived, so we’re going out for a drink and then coming back to bed so we can start off early in the morning.
Love, Elizabeth

I don’t know where to start. Amsterdam is my new favorite city. Molly and I got the train from Belgium this morning (Brussels was just a one-day thing) and arrived here around ten. We went on a walking tour as soon as we got here and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city.

Tonight, Molly and I went to the Anne Frank House, where the Frank family hid during the war. It was incredibly emotional (yes, I cried), and having read Anne’s diary made it seem all the more real. The house where the Franks and four of their friends stayed was actually where Anne’s father worked. They converted the upper levels of the tall canal house into a living space, where they stayed for almost two and a half years. The non-Jewish, Dutch employees who worked in the building helped the families upstairs in the Secret Annexe.

Anne kept her diary during the time they stayed there and hoped it would be published after the war. Her dream was to become a writer. Unfortunately, someone reported them, and the families were taken to concentration camps. Anne and her sister died of cholera a month before the liberation, and her father, Otto, was the only member of the family who survived the war. He found her diary and published it, giving a face to the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.

That’s just a brief summary, but I would recommend that everyone read Anne’s diary.

Will just arrived, so we’re going out for a drink and then coming back to bed so we can start off early in the morning.

Love, Elizabeth

I think Big Potto loves Amsterdam as much as I do!

I think Big Potto loves Amsterdam as much as I do!