Amsterdam was the perfect city to start my year of traveling Europe. I landed on January 15th, 2018, almost exactly 10 years to the day from the first time I arrived in the city for my study abroad program. It felt right to begin here again. A nice easing in to my year of new places and experiences.
The first day it poured. I was still recovering from the flu and I was jet-lagged. Excellent combination right? But my trip was finally beginning! So running on a little adrenaline I still went out to explore and get my bearings, sans-camera though. The city glistened under the rain, and was just as magical as I remembered. After getting Asian food (because it was close to my hostel and I was so tired), I managed to keep myself up until 9pm and then promptly fell asleep.
Luck was on my side the second day and it was beautifully blue skied. I spent the day wandering the winding streets, crossing canal bridges, avoiding getting run over by bicycles and, of course, taking pictures. As the afternoon crept towards evening and I was thinking that I should head to my one chosen museum of the day, my camera battery died. It was the perfect reminder to always have my backup batteries on me, and a great excuse to finally visit the Rembrandt House Museum.
As a history and art lover I really enjoyed the museum. To be able to walk in the spaces that the artist lived and worked in was such a cool experience. It gave some insight to the artist himself and the society that he was a part of. I also really loved seeing how a seventeenth century kitchen was stocked and laid out. That's the food history nerd in me showing through there.
After stopping at my hostel for a new battery, I headed out to re-find a bar I had passed earlier that day. It was the only place I had seen a sign for Brand beer. That was the kind of beer on tap at the local bar in Well, the Netherlands, where I had studied abroad. I succeeded in finding the bar and proceeded to have a tomato soup and a delicious Sylvester Brand beer. During my study abroad we knew the 2 available beers only as "the dark" or "the light" beer, so I was happy to finally put an actual name to the dark beer. It did not disappoint my memory, and it was the best way to end my little stay in the city I had loved a decade ago.
The next day I walked to the train station and said goodbye to Amsterdam. Over the next 6 hours I slowly watched the Dutch countryside turn into the German countryside and prepared for the first new city of my trip.
Next up: Berlin. Stay tuned.
kaitlin k walsh
Adventurer armed with a camera.