How do you say “Cheers!” in Dutch? “Proost!”
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This morning, we went ahead and checked out of Wen’s condo but he agreed to hold onto our bags for us while we explored the city for the last time. We went on a crusade to find the “I am sterdam” sign and, betchabygollywow, we did! After taking a few photos out there, we had breakfast at this sports bar that was alright but nothing to write home about.
One very cool thing about Amsterdam is the fact that it’s such a bike-friendly city. But it’s so bike-friendly that I doubt I could drive there. In a given lane, you could have a car, lite rail, and bike all turning left, one behind the other. And I’m sure more people bike there than drive. When in Rome… For the first time in my life, I felt somewhat uncomfortable riding a bike. There were other bikers out there who were real serious about the rules of the road and I wasn’t exactly sure what those were. Anyway, by now it was time for my Amsterdam activity: The Heineken Experience. We biked over there, locked our “vehicles”up, and pulled out our tickets. This was the first beer “museum” I’ve ever been to and it was very engaging and hands on. I learned how Heineken is made, found out its background story, AND I got some free beer. Plus I learned that, instead of saying “Cheers!”, I’m supposed to say what? Good job. Remember that and you’ll get an additional free beer at the Heineken Experience like the guy who answered that question correctly. All in all, a very fun educational experience. Sadly, after that, it was time to return our rented bikes and get back to walking.
If you know me, you know I love traveling to find great food and I was only thoroughly impressed one time since I visited Amsterdam. Following Heineken, Desirée and I went to find this food court called “Foodhallen,” but, on the way there, we stumbled across an outdoor food market directly behind Foodhallen. Out there was this one place that made spectacular handcut Belgian fries. Dutch tradition is that you eat fries out of a paper cone and top it with mayonnaise, ketchup, and raw onions. Now, I can’t really rock with the onions so I opted out of that aspect of the tradition but the rest was amazing. If you’re in Amsterdam, make sure to stop by Ten Kate Friet in the Ten Katemarkt. Shortly after our fry experience we found Foodhallen and had some traditional Deutsch food that was, once again, alright.
There you have it. That’s Amsterdam. We went back to Wen’s, picked up our luggage, caught the metro to the bus that dropped us off at the airport and then caught our 7:55 PM flight to London via Vueling, which cleverly enough, was slated to arrive in London at 7:50 PM. I think I’ve finally figured out Stewie’s handwriting (inside joke).
Nothing went as planned. Our flight took off an hour late due to weather, which we landed in and found to be the stereotypical cold, dreary, rainy type. Once in London, getting through customs took forever. Then we had to find the metro. But to get to the metro, you had to take a regular train. Then we had to transfer trains. Then we had to transfer again. By this time we were lost in London with no phone service (believe me, I tried to connect but it didn’t work) and no cash (we arrived so late that there was no time to exchange euros for pounds). Luckily we found a cab stand outside one of the train stations and the driver said he’d accept our euros. Then the GPS had the cabbie going in circles. Mind you, at this time, it’s midnight, we hadn’t eaten, and we just wanted to go somewhere warm. We ended up using the cab driver’s phone to call our Airbnb host and, within minutes, we had checked in. Soon after, I was sleep. No dinner or anything. I was just glad to be indoors.
Oh, and this whole driver-on-the-right-side-of-the-car thing is throwing me off. Especially when they pull out of parking spots.
Make exploration a priority.