Picking up where I left off, after spending a few days in the beautiful city of Oslo, we flew to London to meet up with the rest of our group. We stayed overnight but the next morning we hopped on a Megabus to Amsterdam. This was a nine hour ride. NINE. HOURS. But in all honesty it wasn’t that bad. I actually highly recommend taking the bus if you can spare the time. It tends to be much cheaper than other modes of transportation and you get to see more by ground. I managed to sneak in a little shut eye here and there but I was pumped and ready to hit the ground running. We were arriving just in time for Koninsdag, or King’s Day, which is a national holiday in the Netherlands to acknowledge the King’s birthday and I was ready to get in on the festivities.
We made it to Amsterdam in the evening and right away I knew that we had arrived! We were greeted by bright lights and the fun already in full swing. Once we made it into the city we saw that there was a full-fledged carnival set up with games, rides, food booths, you name it!
But as exciting as this was, the main event took place the next day when the locals and visitors alike dressed in orange and took to the streets! There are three things I like to do, but I don’t get to that often. Walk in street. Dance in the street. Drink in the street. Amsterdam gave me a chance to do ALL THREE in ONE DAY!!
We took to the city on foot, so it was the perfect opportunity to move at our own pace and take in these beautiful buildings. It was a very unique experience to be in the middle of the street and being able to look to your left and right and see these fantastic structures full of so much character.
It was an incredible experience to revel in the day with everyone and have fun. We had strangers invite us over for drinks (I’m not telling you to take drinks from strangers, but I’m not telling you NOT TO either LOL).We were asked to dance and included in group pictures. We were welcomed, and I think that feeling is one of the greatest sensations a traveler can hope to experience.
Still full from the day before, we decided to spend our last day in Amsterdam outside the heart of the city and spent some time in its countryside. While Amsterdam is known for its Red Light District, coffee shops and canals, it also has a lesser known reputation for producing some of the world’s most beautiful tulips that are a must see. We decided to bypass the famous Keukenhof tulip fields and went to see about a lesser known location and I’m so glad we did.
Aside from a few people here and there we practically had the entire tulip fields to ourselves. I think I got some good shots but honestly, pictures do not begin to do these tulip fields justice. To get there we had to take a bus, train and walk a considerable distance but I would do it all over again because it was worth it.
When people think of Amsterdam, their minds may immediately go to the coffee shops, the Red Light District and the canals which are great things to experience and see. But what I loved most about Amsterdam weren’t the main attractions or the setting I was in when I had the most fun. I always identify my favorite places by how I felt when I was there. When I take a trip, I always wait for the moment where I feel at absolute peace. It’s a moment where I’m fully present and free of distraction and it’s just me, my thoughts and my environment. I found peace in the tulip fields of Amsterdam and I carried that peace with me all the way to Paris.
Stay tuned for Pt. 3 of my travels through Europe…Paris!