We arrived in Amsterdam by train which was fun. It was Charlottes first train ride and Trevor’s first that he can remember so the novelty kept us entertained. Once we arrived we faced the same challenge we do every time we arrive…we’re perpetually lost. I’ve thought about changing the name of our trip from AYWB to “perpetually lost”. Tram passes, a ride on the wrong ferry and two busses later, we arrived in a darling neighborhood in northern Amsterdam! Our place was above a garage overlooking a quaint little canal and (to the kids excitement) had three beds and a full kitchen. Yeah!!
We really enjoyed our stay in this part of town. The downtown area is SUPER crowded with bikes and mopeds and busses flying everywhere so the quieter neighborhood across the water was nice. Every night we enjoyed snacks and wine on our patio over the canal as we relaxed from the days adventures. We even got to use the owners peddle boat to putt around the water.
Our first day out on the town we rented bikes and explored the city. It was a great way to see everything but the bikers here are nuts! Seriously crazy! Trevor almost got run over and/or almost ran over no fewer than 50 people. I REALLY needed that wine on the patio that night.
The next day we biked northern Amsterdam which is much less populated. Thus, Trevor only almost killed 15-20 people that day…much better! We made our way through country roads and over canals to a lake where we hung out for a couple hours jumping off the dock and watching the local children play. It was such a nice town. The kids seemed to all run around from beach to beach playing with each other or playing fetch with dogs passing by. It seemed like a really great place for kids to grow up.
On our way back we came across a bridge some kids were jumping off of so we just had to join in. After a warm up jump from a lower deck the kids were ready to jump from the highest deck…actually the railing of the highest deck. Charlotte was by far the smallest kid there, so after seeing her take the leap, the older kids HAD to jump or look like real wusses. This was, for sure, the kids favorite part of Holland.
The following day we toured further into the countryside. We went to a town where windmills are still in use today…probably more as a tourist attraction than as an actual means to create products. Next we headed to a traditional costume museum and through an adorable fishing village for a cheese making demo and fish lunch. The tour ended with a boat ride to an even smaller village and a wooden clog making demo. We really enjoyed the entire tour but wished we could have squeezed in time for a picture of us in traditional Dutch dress! Would have made the best Christmas card EVER!
We wrapped up our time in Amsterdam with a tour of the Anne Frank museum. Our docent even took a picture of Michael and I for their newsletter because Trevor told her about our grandfathers fighting on opposite sides in WW11. The museum was a very heavy, somber experience but I really enjoyed it and I think the kids got a lot out of it.
We could have easily spent longer here exploring the tiny streets and trying more of the amazing foods! The Dutch people are so friendly and everyone speaks really good English which makes it so much easier. Alas…our next destination is calling us so good bye Amsterdam for now.