(amster)DAM, what a great weekend!

Amsterdam has made it to the top spot of my favorite trips thus far. I almost want to pack up my life and move there forever. My literature professor told me it’s called “the Venice of the north” and I️ definitely can see why. It rivaled my weekend in Venice for sure, however I️ think since I️ had more time to thoroughly explore the city I️ loved this trip just a little bit more. The mix of older architecture and canals with a younger vibe had me hooked… always so much to do and see and so much going on (and brunch on every corner!) It was great to experience it all with my travel bud Nat also. It’s been great to spend so much time with her since we usually only see each other about twice a year!

Friday we got up a little early and grabbed some AMAZING pancakes at a place called Mook right around the corner from our hostel, Ecomama. I️ would highly recommend this hostel to anyone planning on traveling to Amsterdam!! It was a great location and super clean and nice, we walked everywhere we went and didn’t have to spend any money on Uber or public transportation. After pancakes we headed off to the Heineken Brewery for our tour and beer tasting. Such a fun experience! Natalie and I️ definitely were the most enthusiastic ones on the tour (no surprises here) and we loved every second of it. It was really cool to learn about the history of Heineken, have a couple of brews and be super touristy for a little. In general, everything we did this weekend was pretty touristy… but I️ have no regrets whatsoever!

After Heineken we rented some bikes and headed out to explore the city on our own for a few hours. I️ loved going up and down the streets, across the super picturesque canals and just taking in the city. We definitely held up some locals and I️ almost got hit by a moped but otherwise 10/10 would recommend!!! We found a cafe that had yummy smoothie bowls and insane milkshakes also. What a combination… something healthy and something completely the opposite all in the same place! Later on we decompressed a little at the hostel before dinner near the Red Light district. That was definitely an experience walking around that area. Closed the night with a delicious Nutella waffle with strawberries, a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Day two started with a cup of coffee and some shopping and exploring. We found a cute little store that sold handmade jewelry produced in Amsterdam and I️ bought a pair of gold triangle hoop earrings. On the way to lunch, I️ stumbled upon the most amazing flower market right along a canal. It almost brought me to tears it was so amazing. I️ sent my mom pictures immediately because it reminded me so much of her! (Can I️ move to Amsterdam and work in a flower market and eat brunch for every meal for the rest of my life??!) For lunch we had some open faced sandwiches and traditional stroopwaffels, which are just super thin waffles sliced in half with a caramel sauce in the middle, aka heaven in a bite. We saw the Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt’s famous “Nightwatch” painting, a perfect activity for the moment considering as we walked into the museum it started pouring rain. That evening we went to the IceBar and it was a very very cold experience. We stayed in the actual ice bar itself for about 30 minutes before our fingers almost fell off. It was pretty cool though, the whole bar and all the glasses were made completely of ice!

Our final morning Nat and I️ got up early again to see the Rembrandt house, something my dad had highly recommended. The home the Rembrandt lived in and worked in has been completely restored with all the original objects and set up accordingly to match some sketches of the house that he had done. I️ highly recommend doing this with the free audio guides, we learned so much and it made all of the rooms we saw really come to life. For our final meal we headed back to Mook for some more pancakes and then headed to the airport.

Going on these trips, from the moment I️ step off the airplane to the moment I️ get back on I️ feel like I’m in a movie. The best part about it all is that when I️ return home it’s San Sebastián, Spain… one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Living here makes returning from weekends like Amsterdam a lot easier.

The next two weekends are my last ones in San Sebastián before I️ start a four-weekend long binge of traveling! Counting down the days (15!) until I️ see my family in Madrid and then get to show them around here… followed by Switzerland, Florence, and Rome! Less than six weeks left of this amazing journey… time really had flown. Until next week, adios!

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