Amsterdam by Bicycle- A Whirlwind Week!
Here are a few pictures from our week in Amsterdam. What a whirlwind of a week its been, with a 9 hour flight with a toddler and a 9 hour time change, we’ve made it back home in one piece, with many amazing memories.
We left Vancouver last Monday evening late, and arrived in Amsterdam Tuesday evening. Schipol airport was the largest and busiest airport I’ve been too, and after a 9 hour flight with a toddler we decided to take a taxi to our neighbourhood of Oud-West, right next to Vondelpark.
We dropped off our bags, and wandered about the neighbourhood. There are bikes everywhere! I’d say at least 5 locked to each and every tree and pole and canal fences. I loved seeing all the different types of people on bikes and how people have made their bikes so functional as if it were a car.
Wednesday we slept in and found a coffee, some pannekoeks and our rental bicycle for the week. We ventured out around Vondelpark for a lovely scenic ride, a play in the park and home for a rest. The afternoon found us in the Leidesplein, where there were a million tourists on feet, cyclists, cars, trams, taxis, you name it it was pure chaos! I decided quickly that this is not an area you really want to bring your bike, not just about riding it but if you lock it up you may never find it again. There were more bikes than I’ve seen in my life locked up to anything they could be.
Thursday we met up with our new dutch friend Monique that we had just met on our flight to Amsterdam. We decided to take a bike ride together and find Amstelpark. There we found really neat playgrounds for kids, animals, a train that went around the park, and we saw an albino Kangaroo. As cool as this park was, the only parts Oria cared about were the ropes in the playground and the ducks in the pond. A success I think!
Afterwards we cycled back into the city and found ourselves on a patio on the Prinsengracht canal in the Jordaan district of town for a beer and some soup! Of course Oria ate the mini pancakes known as poffertjes.
Friday we decided to take another bike ride and just get lost, see where the wind would take us. We rode all over the place and out to the Oud-Zuid area and beyond, out near the University of Amsterdam and the Olympic Stadion. We played in parks and ate some local food, the patat met mayonaise and the broodjes kroket.
Just a side note, the time change had Oria wide awake each night between 10:30 pm and 4 am. Thankfully she would sleep in until 10:30 am most mornings so I was rested enough to keep us going and she was always rested enough and up for the adventures!
Saturday morning I really wanted to either take a bus to Volendam (I’d really have liked to cycle there but it was a bit too ambitious a ride return with a toddler), or take the bicycle out to a little town called Weesp. I searched the area for a map to cycle out to Weesp but couldn’t find one, we thought we’d wing it by asking for help along the way. Needless to say we didn’t find Weesp, we totally got lost and had a ton of fun doing it! We found Amsterdamse Bos a huge park outside of the city with an organic food market, ice cream, poffertjes and a whole bunch of white crazy baby goats!!!! This place was amazing! The fenced in area where the goats were kept was a childrens playground. It was fun to watch goats going down the slide and interacting with the children. We ate poffertjes, played with the goats, played in the park and had a lovely cycle through a beautiful green park back into the City.
We dropped off the bikes and headed back into Leidesplein via tram and did a walk about with all the other tourists. We saw the famous flower market, some amazing breakdancing street performers and wandered in and out of shops. We kept on wandering by foot and found ourselves at the Waterlooplein Market for a looky-loo. We kept on walking and came upon Nemo, the childrens museum. We didn’t even need to go in. The stairs alone were enough excitement for Oria. The museum was situated right on the docks where lots of old boats were tied up.
We were exhausted by the end of Saturday!
Sunday we woke up and decided to meet a family friend (that we’ve never met) in Utrecht. Oria and I took a train with our new friend Monique to Utrecht and spent the afternoon in the park with a picnic. We then took the train back into Amsterdam and called it a day!
We met a young family on our train ride from Utrecht to Amsterdam that told us we had to find this apple pie at Noordermarket on Monday morning.
Monday morning was a bright and early start (6:00 am), so we ate breakfast, had a coffee, and hopped on the bike and cycled over to the Monday morning Noordermarket. We had a wander through the flea market and found ourselves the AMAZING apple pie! Oh my god! This pie is to die for. Please, if you ever go to Amsterdam bring me back a slice! You will find this pie at a place called the Winkel Cafe
An afternoon bike ride into Jordaan, a walk about through De 9 Straatjes and an evening stroll through the Oud-West hood we were staying in.
Tuesday we had our last pannekoek breakfast on a patio at the Perspectief Espresso Bar and a bike ride through Vondelpark and Museumplein one last time. Dropped off the bike, packed and caught our taxi back to the airport.
A nine and a half hour flight home, a 9 hour time change back onto Vancouver time, a sweet husband to meet us at the airport with flowers, a trip to my favourite sushi place for dinner and a trip back home into my bed.
Amsterdam, you were fun, thank you for all the memories Oria and I made while we were there. We loved your hospitality, your bike culture, your food and your architecture. Until we meet again.