Belgium was a quick stop in which we walked around the city, experienced crazy allergic reactions to whatever was in the air, ate some Belgium waffles (well I actually couldn’t but they looked good!) and were on our way.
Amsterdam was a longer stay. The first morning we stopped at the flower auction which was crazy cool. The enormous amount of flowers that arrive and are shipped around the world each day was mind-blowing.
Afterward, we biked the city, which was fantastic for my sore feet and swollen ankle (some damage happened along the way, tendonitis maybe?) but man was it difficult to avoid running into or getting run into by someone or something. I’ve never been as close to being hit by a train..thing. I don’t even know what it’s properly called. Amsterdam has more bikes than people and that isn’t hard to believe as soon as you step foot in the city. There are parking garages just for bikes, and they are full, full, full.
The highlight of Amsterdam was the Anne Frank House. It was moving to see the house which the Frank family hid for so long, the tight quarters and even a few artifacts. My heart hurt for everyone who experienced, or does or will experience such horrors as that family.
Another highlight…or low light? would have to be the Birkenstock store. Remember how I left my shoes on the ferry to France? Well, I bought some Birkenstocks but the customer service was so odd. The employees refused to take me seriously, wouldn’t let us try on multiple pairs of shoes, only let us try on one at a time, and were shocked when I actually purchased a pair. I don’t know what was going on there…but it was somewhat entertaining.
& I just can’t finish my post about Amsterdam and not mention the Marijuana. Marijuana is very legal there and it smelled (wreaked) something crazy. Every gift shop was full of Marijuana in any form, even a lollipop, and clothes decorated with the marijuana leave: socks, shirts, boxers, sweatshirts, headbands, you name it.