Amsterdam ' 18 !
I usually feel the pressure to document everything I did on a trip - from the time of day things happened, to the name of cafes I ate at and how I was feeling then. Whilst I do enjoy being thorough in documenting an experience because it almost allows me to re-live that holiday, I often find myself making excuses to start writing because of the effort it takes to find photos that capture that memory I want to talk about and just being too detailed in documenting the whole trip. It's just the time and effort that makes me almost dread the start of the post. Of course I feel really satisfied after writing it but sometimes I think - why put so much pressure on yourself and make documenting such an amazing trip feel like a chore? It shouldn't be that way! So here is the first time where I am not going to be thorough in documenting my holiday with mum in Amsterdam and write however I want to write! I feel sort of liberated and free, which is great so here goes:
Amsterdam 13/12/18 - 18/12/18
I flew in from Edinburgh and mum flew in from Singapore and we met in Amsterdam! First thing was to put my bags down in the hotel - it was such a treat staying in a hotel because for most of my travels during uni, I stayed in hostels or air bnbs. and this hotel was so lovely! The room was the perfect size and the decorations were just beautiful - would definitely stay there again if I have the chance in the future! It was also so nice and warm (sometimes even too warm that we had to open the windows) compared to my flat in Edinburgh where heating is used sparingly hehe
We first had lunch at Meatless District. I had this Mexican jackfruit taco dish which was delishhh and a chai latter as well.
Mum and I then walked around Dam Square and visited the Body Worlds exhibition, which was fantastic! It is incredible how they managed to preserve all these bodies and to extract and display certain 'systems' in our body such as the digestive system, the network of veins and even the nervous system ! Definitely recommend if you are visiting Amsterdam.
Mum and I then had our Chinese fix for dinner and went to the Red Light district to have a peak at what it looked like! I was surprised at how the women were properly asserting their authority by banging against the glass windows when strangers were taking pictures of them - which I figured was not allowed based on their reactions. Surprised just because it was something unexpected and that I have not given any thought to, but I'm glad that they have the authority to do that. Mum was saying how it was so sad that these girls are in here, but I wasn't really sure how to feel about that. Maybe they want to be prostitutes because it is good money and they are protected in some sense due to the legality of it in Amsterdam; maybe they don't think it's derogatory and perhaps even enjoy doing it? Maybe it's true that they had no choice, but at the end of the day, you never know!
Anyway, it was a really eye-opening experience at the Red Light District and mum and I just walked home after! One of the reasons why I love Amsterdam because it is such a walkable city! Mum and I just spent the rest of the night watching television as we did every night! Watching the tele was another treat just because I only really watch television back home in Singapore over the summer
The next day, we had breakfast in the hotel and then headed to the van Gogh museum! Had a great time in the museum learning about his life and seeing his works. There was not much security around the paintings especially for really high values ones like the Sunflowers. Mum thinks that it's a duplicate and hence why security was so chill haha
After the museum, we had lunch at Vagabond cafe walked all the way to the harbor to catch the watercolour night cruise!
It's called the watercolour cruise because the city lights were reflected in the water, which looked like a watercolour painting. Was so beautiful and really cold as well because we sat at the outdoor bit of the boat!
It snowed that night!
What I loved on the cruise and just in general is the huge windows that flats have here in Amsterdam. I love peaking into people's homes and seeing what they look like and the flats by the canals are just stunning and even in the flats here across our hotel, you can see all the Christmas decorations in people's homes and it just adds so much more to the Christmas spirit!
The next morning, mum and I had breakfast at Plück cafe and got the train to Dordrecht to visit mum's friend
Didn't get any pics in Dordrecht but had a nice time chatting with mum's friend and seeing some windmills! We also visited a Christmas market, but it was really disappointing :(
We got really tired after getting the train back to Amsterdam and got dinner from a small grocer at the train station and went back home
Day 4 was a shopping day! (more for mum than for myself)
In between walking around an endless number of stores, we had lunch at Tanzen Centre. It was a little vegan Japanese restaurant tucked away in a quiet alleyway and it was a gem! The food here was incredible - one of the best vegan Japanese restaurants that I have been to!! Mum and I got properly fueled for the rest of the day. Come dinner time, mum and I popped into Albertheijns supermarket and enjoyed dinner in our hotel room :)
Visited the Montessori School HQ (as mum is a Montessori school teacher) and then had a yummy poké bowl for lunch and headed back to the city centre and visited the Anne Frank house. The museum was beautifully structured with the audio tour and they preserved everything so well! I guess reading the book before hand would add to the experience but I still really enjoyed the museum and the audio tour was definitely enough to remember Anne's story.
Headed back to Edinburgh the next afternoon with mum!
Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and I could honestly imagine myself living here! Had an amazing time with mum as well after not having seen her for so long and we spent another week in Edinburgh together but I'll save that for another post!