Saturday, August 3, 2013

Amsterdam: First Impressions

Amsterdam is lovely, but I didn't have to tell you that, did I? It is totally picture-perfect, making it impossible to put the camera away, because there is always some other canal, some other impressive boat, some cute fat cat or some comical Spanish restaurant to take pictures of. Amsterdam requires a lot of getting used to navigation-wise: any change of course may spin you in a new direction while going completely unnoticed... Having to navigate toward (really cute) bridges to cross canals, we took the wrong way numerous times, and we have only been here one day!

Today, Amsterdam was so choke-full of people that my friends and I had to hold hands so that we don't get lost in the crowd. Thing is, I had no idea that I will be visiting the city on Gay Pride 2013 weekend, and while super-duper awesome, it was also really tiring to get off sidewalks (for the lack of space) and jump away from bicycles to avoid injury, only to have to squeeze through colourful groups of dressed up people and having beer spilled on. Crowds get old really fast, but the general merriment and the definitely commonly shared feeling of "We are proud" was beyond amazing. Amsterdam, you definitely earned your right to be proud!

I have one random complaint though. Some places do not accept credit cards, only debit (but not Visa Electron) or cash. Some places do not accept cash, but take chip-and-pin cards. What's the deal? I am as of yet not terribly inconvenienced, but my limited supplies of cash are slowly dwindling! Please take my touristy Mastercard more, will you, Amsterdam?

Speaking of touristy, we visited Rijksmuseum, albeit briefly, De Jordaan, the Sex Museum (funny, tacky and a great way to spend 4 euros), and the New Church today. Does not seem like much, but we walked all across the city, got sunburnt and had a really light lunch, so by 9 pm we were beyond exhausted. Mid-afternoon Amstel and an early evening Kaldi espresso helped to balance out the day though. Plans for tomorrow: Rijk again, Stedelijk and Van Gogh!

No comments:

Post a Comment