Amsterdam in a day trip sounds like a bit of a stretch considering it’s around a 5 hour drive from here, but as we found out this weekend it can be done! We took a bus from base that left at 3 am Saturday morning, and we arrived back home around that same time on Sunday morning. We essentially had about 12 hours to spend in Amsterdam.
We have some friends from high school who live close to Amsterdam and we have been trying to plan a trip up there since we moved here, as they are soon moving back to the U.S. When we found out about this bus trip, we were so excited that we were going to get the chance to spend the day with some familiar faces.
Although it was a short trip, we were able to experience some great sights of Amsterdam. We visited Dam Square, took a canal cruise to get a good overview of the city from a neat perspective, visited the Eye Institute where we had a light lunch with an amazing view, explored the life of Vincent Van Gogh through his art work at the Van Gogh Museum, took a nice walk along the canals and other areas to do some quality sight seeing, and ended our trip with a lovely dinner, where we were had a wonderful time catching up with our friends. They were so great to show us around the city for the day and I hope they had as much fun as we did. It was just so refreshing and encouraging to spend the day with people we know, and who have been in similar situations as us – like moving to Europe!
I know it doesn’t seem like we did a ton of things while we were there, but I enjoyed the pace we took. We were able to take our time and didn’t feel rushed going from place to place, and ultimately we loved getting to spend the day with old friends.
Because I wasn’t able to take any photos of the van Gogh museum, I only have words to share about it, but it was a very neat experience. This is going to make me sound like a big art nerd, but it’s always so surreal to study these works of art and then to get to experience them in real life. I have seen works of Van Gogh is other museums I have visited, but it was just amazing to view a major collection of his paintings to see the progression of his style as he moved around and was influenced by other artists. There were other museums that I would have liked to visit while we were there, and while I’m sad we missed those this time, I am glad we were able to visit the Van Gogh Museum.
The Royal Palace in Dam Square.
View through the many bridges during the Canal Tour.
Bicycle parking garage; biking is a huge deal in Amsterdam. (I know you can’t tell, but that garage is very full of only bikes.)
Not nearly close to an accurate representation, but this is what it looks like everywhere.
Outside the Eye Institute.
The Rijksmuseum; we would have loved to visit, but felt like we wouldn’t be able to fully experience it in the time that we had.
“I amsterdam” sign; obviously a very popular place to be!
View of a canal, lined with old canal houses.
Amsterdam Centraal Station; where we began and ended our wonderful day.