I'm Olivia. I'm a perpetually hungry redheaded girl from New York. I eat, sleep and breathe Korean pop music. I speak French and am studying Korean language and business in school. This fall, I'm setting forth on an exciting and terrifying (seriously I'm so nervous I might pee) solo journey across Europe. Hopefully this experience is full of bright, fun, and exciting as well as ridiculously stupid experiences that I can share with you!
Oh my god, I'm so behind on this because I go home in less than 48 hours. I need to get on this so I'm not still writing about my trip after I'm already home.
Okay, so back to Amsterdam.
The day after I went to Haarlem I went to the Van Gogh Museum. It was actually a great collection, but it was much too small for the entry price (15 euros!) Everyone was telling me how worth it it was to visit, so I did. There were a good many self portraits, sunflowers, Japanese print inspired pieces, as well as a lot of his earlier works. I went through the entire museum in about an hour. It was only 3 very small floors.
They had his actual palette too!
The lighting in the museum and the colors of the walls were so horrible for pictures I hated it. After that I was pretty hungry, and I read about a restaurant that had mindblowingly delicious steak. Apparently locals flock here despite the below average table service for this reasonably priced delicious steak. The restaurant is called Cafe Loetje, and the inside could do with a facelift, but let me tell you- this was the singlemost delicious steak I've ever had in my life. Ever. At 16 Euro, it's not too expensive for a steak (by European standards.) You have to order fries with mayonnaise or else it's not a complete meal. I will have dreams about this steak for years to come. It was juicy, perfectly cooked, melted in my mouth, etc etc insert any other delicious related adjectives. But the sauce is what really did it. I was inhaling mouthfuls of fries, steak, mayo, and sauce all mixed together. So perfect. I'm sad I probably won't ever get to have this steak again. Sigh.
So beautiful. Okay I have to look away now or I'm going to drool on my computer. I had also read online about a café near the Noordermarkt that had delicious apple pie. Where do you think I was going next? Because I had just eaten a slab of meat and fries, I decided to walk the 2 miles to the café. It was dark by the time I got there. The café was called Winkel 43. A coffee and piece of pie was really cheap, and so delicious!
I took some more pictures at night.
The next day was very exciting for me because I was reunited with my freind Jiwon! Remember my 3 day tour in Scotland? I was so happy to be able to see her again (and again after that!) before I go to Korea. She was unfortunately only in Amsterdam a day and a half. She brought her friend Carmen from Hong Kong with her, she was so nice and it was so good to have them around. Even though it was rainy and cold, because Jiwon only had a short amount of time in Amsterdam, we went to Zaanse Schans, which is a small village full of windmills outside of Amsterdam. The train only took 15 minutes. There was a cheese factory and wooden clog shop, as well as a pancake restaurant (that was closed :( ) and souvenir shops. It was so cute. I tried my best to get good photos of the windmills, but they were really far away and it was so cloudy.
That night we went back to the Pancake Bakery because Jiwon and Carmen wanted to eat some Dutch pancakes. I ordered cheese and bacon, Jiwon ordered ham and cheese, and Carmen ordered Salami and Cheese. So tasty.
Then I showed them around the Red Light District, Gay District, and ChinaTown. I ate Stroopwafel ice cream!
Found my new wardrobe, you guys….(kidding!) After that we went to a bar and each had a Heineken, which I (stupidly) didn't learn originated from Holland until I got there. We have it at home obviously, but it was all part of the experience!
The next day Jiwon and I went to the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings. Again, it was really expensive to go in, and unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time to really explore because we were meeting Carmen at 1. Jiwon and I went to the meeting place and shared a herring sandwich. The herring was raw and came with pickles and onions. It was surprisingly really delicious, and not something I would have picked to snack on.
Once we met Carmen we walked to the Flower market.
Then we walked to Rembrandtplein where there was supposed to be a really good fry stand. We found it, it was called de Belg, and the fries were fantastic, but the guy behind the counter severely judged me for wanting ketchup, curry, and mayo. I should've been like, "Well okay, if you don't want my money for these extra sauces…" but I like my combination of sauces and anyone who judges me can roll off a cliff…anyway moving on…
We also walked past that street with all of the graffiti and I took some pictures in the day time.
Carmen and Jiwon went to the Anne Frank House and while they were there I went to a café and had a cappuccino. After that we had to get back to the hostel, where I had to say goodbye to Carmen and Jiwon. It was sad to say goodbye, but I did get to see them again on this trip! The next day I went to a farmers market and bought some Dutch cheese. I also had a giant homemade warm stroopwafel. It was so messy and delicious. I also saw a bunch of Christmas childrens' books written in Dutch.
Wow, seems legit….not.
For lunch I went to a Ramen shop on the second floor of an Asian supermarket. It was really small, with only a couple tables and one person cooking in an open kitchen in the middle of the room. The owner had originally planned to open it temporarily, but it was so successful that he kept it open. I had ramen with sliced pork and it was exactly what I needed because it was really cold that day.
On the way downstairs I saw a shelf of phone straps that looked like little tiny versions of food. I bought a little cup ramen one and was so excited BUT I LOST IT WHEN I GOT TO LIVERPOOL. The metal rings they put them on fall apart easily.
I bought some Pepero too as a snack. :3
After that I went back to Latei for a piece of their apple cake. Let's say I was having a calorie blowout day, but I regret absolutely nothing.
So that really concludes my time in Amsterdam. I didn't do much that night and the next day I just chilled in the hostel until I needed to go to the airport. I landed at John Lennon Liverpool airport at about 5pm and took the bus to my hostel. I'll write more about Liverpool and Nottingham in my next entry. I'll try to get that one written in the next day because I go home so soon!