You may wonder how anyone could be Sleepless in Amsterdam – but apparently after sleeping the whole flight out here, and taking a 2 hour afternoon nap, one cannot help but write a few thoughts here and there.
So we arrived to the Netherlands yesterday after what seemed like forever! Note to self, flying at 3:00 a.m isn’t as much fun, you don’t get to enjoy the day by landing early, and you ruin it by sleeping out! Anyhow, here I am doing it again, leaving myself mental notes to a blog post I know I won’t be reading again, because I can’t even proof read my own writings.
So, welcome to Amsterdam, a country where prostitution is legal, infamous for its toleration of drug abuse, and guess what, I’ve had a dozen people telling me it’s one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, you just need to know that you’re about to land in a country full of life, history, and a story to unfold by walking through its streets. Little did I know that there’s so much truth to that.
Amsterdam’s rich heritage and culture is a spirit seen all over in town. I personally have fallen in love with the architecture in this city. The buildings seem to have stood the test of time, and are absolutely divine to walk through. One of the wealthiest ports in the world since the 16th century, Amsterdam is a place to visit, enjoy, explore, and admire. The efficiency of this country is beyond words can describe, it’s so compact that 500 people live per square KM, and there is no time wasted traveling from point A to B! Trams are on and off between stops, and you can miss a ride by being a few seconds behind. Like the famous saying ‘All roads lead to Rome’, if lost, all trams lead to Central Station. It took a bit to get to understand the transport system here, but with the help of GPS, Google, and well barely any thanks to the smartphones that consume lots of battery, we seemed to be just about fine.
The first stop ever believe it or not was the Zoo! Artis Royal Zoo, that has been in Amsterdam since 1838 has African Penguins. Call me lame or childish, but that was enough to make the zoo my first stop in the city. The Zoo has a tropical fish Aquarium underground which has magical colors, and the walk around the zoo in the -1 degree temperature was worthwhile, especially with a silly duck totting behind in my shadow the whole time.
Next stop of the day was all the way to Dam Square, and a visit to Madame Tussauds! An interesting and very realistic experience within a vast array of wax figures, although I’ve been told nothing beats the one in London. (I left a note to visit that once there). My Facebook friends already got a laugh with my ‘Strangle Biber’ pause. Hollywood Duo Brad and Angelina are well, Brad is kinda ugly, but at least Angie had Oz mesmerized with all her tattoos, before taking off the rest of the tour with world presidents, more celebrities, and of course historical characters. Did I mention I had Picasso paint me, and a quick pic with the Mona Lisa? It was a good one hour laugh if you ask me!
The rest of the day was left lazing around Dam Square – where I finally caught batman. Just in case you’re wondering where he had disappeared after ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ it’s safe to say he’s cruising around Dam Square in Amsterdam taking pictures with tourists.
I guess the best part of the day was a Canal Cruise around the city. Amsterdam is definitely candy to one’s eye! A pirates treasure if one may say, and you can’t enjoy the city without a Canal cruise all over, admiring the beautiful houses, classic and contemporary architecture! As it seems, we’re in luck… 2013 is Amsterdam’s 400 year celebration of their Canal Ring, also known as The Grachtengordel, which was constructed during the Dutch Golden Age, and still stands as an open air museum for tourists to go through and enjoy some of nature’s most breath taking views.
Enough for now, sleepless or not, I won’t be getting any sleep typing away here!