I’ve got some serious catching up to do with my country postings. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice so far this year. The first time was in January and then again in May.
January was actually just a spur of the moment trip because me and Scovia were in Belgium and just wanted to hop around a bit. Since we got a deal on a hostel/hotel and the flixbus could get us there roundtrip for 40 euro, we took a chance. Really, I just wanted some deft china ornaments. I’ll go to mad lengths to get some Christmas fare. Eventually, I’m aiming for a tree with ornaments from all of my travels. It’s enough for a small tree right now, but large tree is my aim. I digress.
Amsterdam. Turns out the city isn’t really known for much other than drugs, prostitution and museums. Did you also know there is a park there where you can have sex openly and it’s legal? It’s a very strange place. Also, 18 million bikes cycle through the city in a day. One Freaking Day. You can totes get killed via bike there if you aren’t acutely aware. And no one is acutely aware because…drugs. Plus, in January… freaking cold. I’ve never been so cold in my entire life. I had on three layers and was still cold.
I learned all of these things in January. I did the canal ride thing. I accidentally walked through the Red Light District in broad daylight, got a contact high from local coffee shops, and saw the Anne Frank house. Not literally of course because you have to wait in a four hour line. It was cold. It was very, very, very cold.
Needless to say, Amsterdam wasn’t my fave. I was however, willing to give it one more chance when I went in May. It was definitely not as cold, always a perk. One of the guides from the bike tour I went on was from Amsterdam and asked me, “Why were you here in January. I wasn’t even here in January. That was stupid.” I don’t know dude, I don’t know. Also, please don’t let me die on this *bleeping* bike, please and thank you.
The bike tour wasn’t actually half bad. Thought I would die that day, but surprisingly it’s not that dangerous once you get out of the city. We went through the countryside and saw some of the last remaining windmills beyond the city. That was lovely. Windmills are kinda majestic for being manmade things. Then we get to the cheese farm.
The cheese farm was a blast. The guy who owns it is from a long lineage of cheese farmers and his cheese is one of the few that are sealed and certified as real or something like that. Regardless, some important cheese is apparently made and only sold there. We learned all about the process too. And, because I have a face where people like to volunteer me for things… I was his assistant for most of that showcase.
I stood beside cheese man while he shaved cheese and gave out samples to the group all the while calling me “smiley lady from Tennessee.” I’ve been called worse.
Next came the part where he shaved off the cheese and said, ” You are going to be so happy with me. You will never be in another place where you can literally have men eating out of the palm of your hand.” Then I proceeded to pass out cheese, in my hands, to the various gentlemen among the group. I gotta say… I didn’t hate it.
Cheese dude also makes authentic wooden clogs. The process is actually pretty neat and involves a lot of special wood and such. Whilst making clogs, he also took a bunch of selfies with my phone. It was an experience.
I have to say, the second trip redeemed the first trip a little. It is a beautiful city, but it also isn’t one I would choose to go to again. Because, sometimes beauty isn’t enough. I got my ornaments. Cheese dude was basically the best. I rode my bike through the Reicht’s Museum. I think my Amsterdam bucket list is complete.