06/17/2013 - 06/19/2013 68 °F
We finally arrived in Amsterdam after a 19 hour train ride!
Grace and I dropped our bags off at our hostel near the red light district and went out to explore. We stumbled upon bloemenmarkt, which is an entire street of flower markets on one of the canals. That evening we met up with some friends from Sweden that we met in Prague.
We only had one full day in Amsterdam so we had a lot to do in a very short time. We embarked on a bike tour of the city and learned about Amsterdam's history (apparently everything comes from Amsterdam) and saw five of the different neighborhoods. It is beautiful there with all the canals, bridges, and skinny houses. Most of the houses are actually crooked too.
Ann Frank's house is in Amsterdam as well. The annex where she and 7 other people hid for two years was behind her father's old office, there is a bookshelf hiding the door. We toured the house and got to walk through the annex and see where they were hiding. It was an incredible experience and really moving to stand in the actual rooms they stayed in.
That evening we went to a jazz club as recommended by our tour guide.
Grace and I had some time the next day before we had to leave for Paris so we went to the Heineken Brewery. They showed us how beer is brewed, taught us about the different ingredients, and of course let us taste it! We saw the room where the fermenting tanks are and watched the beer get bottled.
It was time to catch our 3:30 train so we picked our bags up from the hostel and made our way to the train station. We were doing great on time...then I checked the departure boards and it showed that our train left at 3:19, not 3:30. It was about 3:18 and once again, time to run. We sprinted through the station to our platform and yes, you guessed it...we missed our train. I suppose we did a pretty good job since this is the first one during our whole trip that we have actually missed. It was an expensive mistake but we made it to Paris only two hours later than expected!
We are in Dublin now, Grace will update you on Paris soon!