The Dam. AmDam. Slamsterdam. Venice of the North. Sin City. Mokum. AMSTERDAM.
That was the destination of my friends and my latest weekend adventure. We began our trip Friday morning with a RyanAir flight (per usual) from Madrid to Eindhoven, Holland. If you haven’t caught on my now, RyanAir tends to fly us into small cities right outside of the ones we actually want to see-Girona/Barcelona, Luton/London, Eindhoven/Amsterdam… much cheaper. We’re college students, we deal. We then caught a comfy double decker train (great seats, great view) into Amsterdam. We arrived at the Central Station, and from there took a tram to my friends’ hotel.
Before I go on, I need to explain something- somehow our travel group grew to the number eighteen. Yes, eighteen people trying to tour together. I went to Amsterdam because Dani’s boyfriend Pat has a fraternity brother from MIT who is from Brussels, Belgium but now studies in a small city called Delft, Amsterdam, and the opportunity was presented to me to room/board for free. How could I pass that up? Dani’s friend’s name is Robin, and he was a fantastic host, but obviously could only house so many people. Four of us girls stayed with him, the other fourteen people were left to find a hotel. They all ended up splitting two rooms- eight boys in one, five girls in the other… ouch.
Okay, so our first move in Amsterdam was to take a tram out to their hotel so that they may all check in and drop off their bags. However, when we arrived they found out that check in wasn’t until 2:00pm. Hoorah. And so we decided to take the scenic route back to the main downtown area of Amsterdam, a.k.a. get there on foot. It was probably an hour walk or so, but it was pleasant and we were able to start experiencing the city. Once downtown, we stopped for lunch, then headed to one of the city’s many museums. We spent a awhile exploring this… how should I put it… different, interesting, and thought-provoking museum… I’ll say no more about that.
Amsterdam has over 1000 canals…
Exhausted from travel, we all decided to part ways. The big group went back to their hotel, the three girls and I took a train to Delft. Now our original plan was to call Robin before arriving at his apartment. However, Dani’s Spain phone did not work in Amsterdam, and without a card we were unable to use a pay-phone. Dilemma dilemma. We had his address and found his street on a map, so we decided to just start walking. Soon enough we found his exact residence (Delft is quite small), but didn’t know how to go about barging in. We ended up trying to use the phone of a local BBQ restaurant, but no luck. Eventually we just decided to go for it. We ran the doorbell and a woman answered. She turned out to be Robin’s neighbor, and so she summoned him for us. Hallelujah!! Robin welcomed us into his apartment with loving arms- the girlfriend of his old fraternity brother, and her three stranger friends. Ahhh the bonds of brotherhood…
Robin is a very tall man. As in, 6’8” tall. A small giant if you will. He’s as cuddly and sweet as a teddy bear though, so we all felt very safe around him. His single apartment was cozy and clean, and we were all truly grateful for his hospitality. After dropping off our bags, Robin took us on a tour of Delft. It is the most gosh-darn precious and quaint town I have ever seen. Cobblestone streets, churches with massive steeples, town squares, lively local businesses… much different than Amsterdam. We treated Robin to dinner at a local pizza restaurant that was absolutely delicious. I have not had good pizza since January. No, Mercedes’ frozen pizzas do not count. We ended up walking downtown (if you will) for awhile after dinner, and even checked out a few of the local bars. A short while later, we girls were all cuddled up on Robin’s extra pull-out bed deep asleep.
How pretty are the different colors of bricks?!
Day Two to come tomorrow!