We literally planned our Amsterdam trip the night before we jumped on the train and headed up there. Sure it was more expensive then we thought. At 202(almost 300usd) Euros each for roundtrip train tickets only, it added more pain to the already expensive trip thanks to Santorini! But hey, we couldn't just do 2 countries in 11 days so we decided to just do it!
Boy am I glad we did. We crawled out of bed at 5am to lug our bags to the metro to the Paris Du Nord train station. I really liked the train station. It was much prettier than I expected. Felt like a olden traditional movieset train station and I could almost picture a returning soldier running into his lover's embrace once his train chugged into the station.
The trainride was about 4.5 hours and we went through the French countryside and Brusells, Belgium. We were quite well prepared with our chocolate croissants, banana cake slices, chicken caeser salads to make sure we weren't hungry along the way. While Edar slept, I liked to write and let my thoughts wander as I watched the landscape passing by.
The minute we arrived in Amsterdam, it felt like a whole new world! The buildings were very traditional and historical in a different way than Paris. Less gold and white and more dark brown, mahogany, rich wood churches and imposing buildings. While we walked to our hotel, we got lost(thanks to me) and immediately, we could feel and see the difference. There was so much energy and life in the air, possibly because there were throngs and throngs of young people milling around the streets.
Our hotel was called the Tulip Inn Amsterdam Center and a funky little room was frosted glass windows and a W-esque vibe. We chilled for about a half hour then my cousin, Andy msged to say him and his wife had arrived. They had driven a couple hours from the German border just to have dinner with us. I was so happy they could make it as I hadn't seen him in a year and was wanting to meet his wife!
Andy and Natalie were lovely to us, taking us on a guided tour to the red-light district. Now, this is an infamous site but seeing the "flesh trade" in the live is a whole different experience. It was almost surreal to see these women, many of them very beautiful, partially and completely undressed standing by their windows trying to entice customers. Edar and I walked around several of these streets lined with windows and working women in them as we were so curious!
Then we walked along the canals marvelling at the most quirky houses. Most of them were built on mud so they were starting to tilt and each building had its own character. It was all so charming and quaint, like as if it were a city in a children's storybook.