Initial thought upon arriving to Amsterdam was that it’s so beautifully unique. The architecture was noticeably different from anywhere else that we’ve travelled. Looking down the street, we realized that many of the homes were set at an angle. At first glance they gave us the feeling of being in a funhouse! We thought either we’re seeing things or gravity has seriously taken hold. Looking up, a gable and hook can be seen at the top of each building. Come to find out these quirky characteristics serve a purpose! The hooks are used to hoist and with help of the slanted side, residents are able to move larger furniture into the flats. This was probably appreciated as some were merely 6 feet wide, making it impossible to maneuver on a slim spiral staircase.
Sure, Amsterdam has always peaked our interest but for this particular trip… we came for the tulips! We planned to bike from Lisse to Haarlem after hearing that the best fields were within those areas. With bikes being everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE, renting them was cheap and easy. We hopped on and got going! Turning the corner, our trail opened up to a massive blanket of purple hyacinths. The pigmentation in the fields was just wow. It was as if we were looking at them through a high definition lens. Our favorites had to have been the purples and reds.
One thing that’s impossible to share with you was the aroma in the air. The scent of a million flowers wafted through, making it feel easier to catch a breath while biking along the path. We couldn’t help but breathe deeply to take it all in! With an endless network of trails, we found ourselves in what felt like the middle of nowhere at one point. All we could see were sand and shrubs. Funny how going a short distance can completely change a landscape. A lovely moment during the trek was as we stood to watch several deer cross our path. Being in the fields and away from the touristy area allowed everything to be so still and quiet which we enjoy. 28 miles later we were off the trails and on to kick up our feet for some much-needed tender loving care.
With the architecture being so similar at every crossroad, it was easy to get turned around while wandering. We still managed to find the best apple pie at a little café called Winkl. It arrived to the table warm and with a generous amount of fresh whipped cream on the side. Appeltaart (apple pie) being popular among the Dutch, everyone boasted to have the best but this place takes the cake! I mean… pie!
Amsterdam has so much to offer and we barely touched the surface. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. We went on perhaps the most interactive tour while we were there: The Heineken Experience. Bottle your own beer, cycling karaoke, FIFA, and a 4D simulation all while learning their history. Complementary beer was well deserved after making our way through. Definitely an experience… a fun one! Weaving through the canals and taking in the city was a huge part of our trip. There really is a lot to see. We had to be careful not to get too consumed by the sights as bikes would whiz by from every direction. Keeping your head on a swivel is key in Amsterdam. Taking a stroll through the red light district was an eye opener to say the least. If you’ve never heard, a quick google should do the trick! Photos not permitted.