When my friends and I first decided to go to Amsterdam for a weekend, I was initially reluctant. It had never topped the places that I wanted to visit because I honestly didn't think that it was worth visiting. My thoughts included things along the lines of what the heck is Holland? What language do they even speak there? Where even is the Netherlands? On top of that I knew Amsterdam was a popular destination for college weekend travelers like myself, so therefore I thought it was overhyped.
Ladies and gentlemen, the classic story of don't judge a book by its cover. Amsterdam was one of the coolest places that I have visited to date. It was a bunch of friendly (English speaking!!) young people, not a lot of tourists, super amazing food and of course beautiful canals. One of my favorite part of Northern European countries is that a 6foot gal like myself is almost average height ... the biggest thing I noticed about Amsterdam that I could easily tell who was Dutch (by the way I learned that's what language they speak and I don't think that I'm going to be picking it up anytime soon because it seems quite complicated) because they all were so tall!
We were fortunate enough to have the most beautiful weather in Amsterdam (compared to Copenhagen that isn't difficult) but the sun was shining and it was about 65 degrees which was perfect for a long day of wandering around the busy streets. We started off at the Van Gogh Museum which was super interesting to see a large collection of work from one of the most influential artists of all time. I like Van Gogh because of the bright colors he uses and how the paint sticks to the canvas in blobs. I have this weird thing where every time I am in an art museum I just want to touch the paintings and because of Van Gogh's unique technique there was no exception here. There were no photographs allowed in the museum but somehow I managed to get one before getting yelled at ... which in my opinion was worth it.
Between our early entrance to the Van Gogh Museum we had some time to spare before our time slot at the Anne Frank House, so my friends and I wandered our way to the heart of the city. We passed the infamous "I AMSTERDAM" sign, the Rijksmuseum (which we didn't have the chance to go in but I definitely want to someday), Dam Square where my friend Julia and I took a Ferris Wheel ride, people watching on the shopping street and not to mention a thorough Google search to find the exact bench where Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters had their iconic kiss in "The Fault in Our Stars" - my favorite book and movie of all time.
In my humble opinion, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the Anne Frank House. I took no pictures while I was here because touring this place overwhelmed me with emotions - humility, sadness, fear, hope. I've read her diary countless times but seeing it in its original form and seeing and walking through the place where she was confined and wrote in these pages set all of these emotions into place. Honestly, no words can describe my experience there, I wish I could find a way to connect our hearts together so that you could feel what I felt while I was there. The atmosphere was heavy and quite overpowering, but completely necessary. I leave you with an inspiring quote from a wise young girl which I have taken to heart (especially relevant today),
"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart" - Anne Frank
If she can believe this, so can I.