Amsterdam - French fries and tall guys

Trip Start Sep 08, 2007
Trip End Apr 30, 2008

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Monday, October 29, 2007

As Steph visited me here in Torino, I thought I would return the favour and crash in on her in Amstedam, which she very graciously accepted (thanks hun!! Great time!).  So Goran (another McGill student who is here in Torino with me and wanted to visit some friends in Amsterdam) and I found a cheap flight and headed over to the Netherlands for a weekend of good times.

The title of this entry speaks true of the city, the french fries were amazing (all part of the strict dietary regime I'm on, you see) and the men, not to mention the women, were SOOOO much taller than the Italians I'm used to!  It was a little disoncerting at first to be honest!

Steph was a fantastic host and showed me all over the city.   The Bloemenmarkt, a central attraction in Amsterdam, was this massive outdoor flower market that, while featuring, of course, tulips, sold almost any kind of plant imaginable.  We also of course toured the red light district (don't worry parents, I didn't linger...much :P)  and went into the jordaan, where we had this amazing apple cake/pie with hot chocolate, which totally hit the spot as it was quite grey and chilly almost the whole weekend.   We toured by Anne Frank's house, and the Homo monument (yes, it is what you think it is, but doesn't stand out a ton as it's just a simple Triangle statue).  

The evenings were spent at various bars and clubs, a complete turnaround from the nightlife in Torino (not that anyone is surprised by that I'm sure).   And, of course, Steph and I indulged in various foods, including the wonderful french fries and we even had an 'english breakfast' - I'd been dying for bacon and eggs!  While I don't need to mention it, we also toured the shopping districts, just to give me my fix. :P

The trip was also an awesome opportunity to reconnect with my friend Simone, whom I'd known while I studied at Queen's and who is doing Law at Dalhousie and is on exchange with Steph at the same uni in Amsterdam. THe three of us hung out lots and we even did an evening dinner cruise through the canals of Amsterdam, which was an absolute blast!   We got to see a whole different perspective of the city and some of the sites at night were great.  Notable among them were the "gay houses" - a group of houses that are sinking because the wooden pilings they were built on are rotting, and so they all lean every which way, and thus are not "straight" but "gay" - most amusing (and no guys, I didn't buy one, ha ha). Probably one of my favourite parts was the Van Gogh Museum (yes, I actually went INTO a museum! The first one this entire trip!). The way the whole place is set up to tell the story not only of just his life as a painter, but also what painters influenced him and then who he himself influenced through his art.  There was also a temporary exhibit on the development of Barcelona as a city, which was neat (since Steph and I are going in November, yay!!).

It was actually with quite a heavy heart that I left Amsterdam.  It was one of those places where everything felt so easy and comfortable for some reason, and not to mention how much fun I had (thanks again Steph).

Definitely a city to be revisited in the future!
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