Today is Friday, which means it’s time for another Free Space Friday. Today I don’t really have anything planned to write about, so I’m just going to talk about how this sun is making me miss one of my favourite cities in the world– Amsterdam. I’ve been thinking more and more about this place recently, especially since my boyfriend let slip that he’s never been before. I’ve actually visited four times now, the longest period being six months, when I did my European semester abroad here.
Amsterdam is just a beautiful city, hands down. There’s so much on offer here, and I loved every second of my time here [well, actually there were some mixed days, but pretty good overall]. Living around 5 miles outside of the main city meant I had to talk myself into getting a bike and braving the crazy cycle lanes, which turned out to not be all that crazy. In fact, I didn’t fall off my bike once, although I did have a few moments when I came close. And everyday, I got to cycle past the Artis Zoo, with the flamingoes in sight, through the infamous Red Light District, and then past Dam Square with its palace. Pretty spectacular, right? And while there was lots and lots of rain, there were some beautifully sunny days too, when I’d see people cycling around in business suits and wonder how on earth they could stand it.
Amsterdam is also amazing for the art museums. Holy wow, so many art museums. I bought myself a museum card at the start of my time there, which proved really handy, since friends who visited from England always wanted to check out the galleries, and I got to experience them again and again without paying a new entry fee. I still can’t believe that I got to see works by Dutch masters such as Frans Hals, Van Gogh and Rembrandt as often as I liked– I spent hours and hours at each gallery, wandering through in a daze.
As well as the museums and galleries, the things I miss most are the flower and cheese markets. Flowers are so cheap over there that I bought them all the time, without feeling guilty. My favourite flowers, peony roses, were always available and it just made me so happy to see them blossoming in the sunshine every time I happened to wander past. The cheese shops were a bit pricier, but on the plus side they offered lots of free samples of their rich gouda cheese, which I could never resist.
In the future, I’d love to come back here again and visit for a week or two. It’s been a long time since I stepped foot in the city, and I really really miss it. At this point, I’m even missing the ten minutes or so it usually took me to find a good parking space for my bike [there are so many bikes, it’s really not easy to find a decent and safe spot to park it] and fumble with the ridiculously uncooperative bike lock. Maybe, maybe, when I’m in a slightly more financially stable position, I might have to drag my boyfriend over there and show him how magical the city can be.
What countries and cities have you visited that you wish you could go back to? Let me know in the comment section, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend,