Amsterdam Photo Journal
As the New Year has obviously started (and last year was all about work, work, work), I felt entitled to go on a quick get-away with my husband as to start off this year in a positive way. We just woke up one morning and decided: "Let's go to Amsterdam"! A 2 days new adventure, discovering a new city, a different architecture and interior design, culture, people, food etc.
So we did just that! To be fair, this happened in December 2016. But hey, preparation is key, because that is how I managed to find this amazing hotel (near the old city centre) that ticked all the boxes for me. What boxes do I hear you say? Well let's see: to be in the city centre (or near it), everything to be in a walking distance, kick ass interior design, not too expensive, comfortable, clean, quiet, safe, free wifi...need I go on? If you are interested in the hotel, have a look here.
Ok, time to start. Grab a cup of coffee or tea because, as you may know by now, whenever I go somewhere, naturally you get tonnes of photos! But don't worry, you get to see only the best ones - filtered and carefully selected of course.
The best part about Amsterdam is that everything is in a walking distance from any point (except for the airport - obviously). We originally wanted to grab a transport daily pass, but we decided to see on the spot if we really need it. Mind you, we are used with London distances (as I like to call them). As it turns out, everything is so close to each other, that we ended up walking everywhere. So we saved around 57€ each (114€ together), on transport and redirected them into delicious foods. I am thinking hot dogs, stroopwafels (which are the best thing ever, especially on a cold winter day), and delicious lunches.
What I found most appealing about this city is that everybody is so relaxed, regardless of the fact that they are constantly moving, either walking, biking or in their car (like in London). Oh and don't get me started on the biking. I was amazed about how many people actually bike there and the fact that they have a dedicated lane everywhere (that is not on the street next to the cars, or behind buses). But besides that, the city is beautiful, it's architecture different and worth of admiration.
Another great thing that I noticed (and I must admit the architect in me got very curious), is that not all buildings are straight in height or elevation. It was funny to spot them at first, but then my second thought was about the safety of the people inside? I am originally from Romania, a country that is all too familiar with earthquakes. So naturally, in Architecture School I studied a bit about structural buildings and safety for that matter, hence my worry about the buildings in Amsterdam. As The Netherlands might be on the list of countries that have earthquakes (not really sure if it is or not), I cannot help but wonder if it's safe inside those buildings.
Oh well, it's beautiful to look at them regardless.
One amazing thing about Amsterdam is that the Dutch really appreciate what they have when it comes to nature. They applied the "man vs nature" rule that we learned in Architecture School. Basically (and long story short), it says that man should always build with nature in mind, and try to build around it, rather than go through it. It was here before us, so we should respect it. You know...respect your elders and stuff - it applies here as well.
But to get back to the matter at hand, I loved the fact that Amsterdam is built on top of these little canals (as they call them), basically streams of water. No wonder this city is called "The Venice of the North". They have so much care for this that even the airport runways are diverted to bypass a little stream of water. Yes - saw it with my own eyes, whilst on the plane! Which took 15 mins by the way, from landing until we reached the actual airport (it's that big) - that's why it's called the biggest airport in Europe.
Amsterdam is also the city of bridges, so regardless of what you have eaten (a guilty stroopwafel), you make up for it in physical exercises. Don't worry about the calories count if you are a tourist in this city. Let me specify - if you also did not buy any transport pass. Eat what you want and then "shake it off" by walking for miles and going up & down many bridges. Bargain!
Another great spot is their famous Amsterdam sign which is surrounded by museums. It's sort of the South Kensington museum area of London, but in Amsterdam. We came from a different street, so we had to pass under a stunning gate (so to speak) that doubled as an entrance for the Rijksmuseum, a museum of European Art.
Of course, right in that area is the famous Van Gogh Museum, which is definitely a must! Now you might not agree with me on this, but I have to be honest. I loved discovering about Van Gogh's life and training, but his paintings did not really hit the spot with me. I liked them, but not loved them.
I believe (and that is a personal belief), that if the paintings don't hit a certain string in my heart, I am not going the "be over the moon" just because I'm looking at a painting that was made by a famous painter. There were one or two paintings, but to my surprise, nothing that really impressed me or moved me inside. There was however, in a different part of the museum, a collection of paintings by Claude Monet and Charles-Francois Daubigny, which impressed me more. Of course, every painter is from a different school of thought, influenced by the era they lived in, but again, if it does not speak to you, then it's not worth it.
I've seen paintings made by Picasso that literally evoke nothing in me, but I was struck down to my core when I saw Monet's Moonlight painting. I know, it all depends on external and internal factors, or maybe I am just too young to understand it. Alas, we must go on!
Right, so getting back on point. The last thing that I will add about this amazing 2 days (more like get-away) trip to Amsterdam is that the old centre is amazing at night. What I've noticed right away is that it is very dimly lit, meaning there is a "candle light" kind of atmosphere throughout the whole centre. There are no major lighting poles as you see in major cities. There are only small lampshades poles that probably resemble what was used back in the day so that the overall atmosphere is the same as it was centuries ago.
I loved Amsterdam, in all its tiny, relaxed glory! Loved the carefree people, the architecture, the food, the streets, everything basically. So yes, as the sign says - MEMORIES ARE SOUVENIRS TOO! I'll be back again for sure, as I need to see rest of this wonderful little country.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What spots have you seen that I've missed? Seen the Diamond Museum? Let me know below or leave a comment on our Facebook Page, I would love to know which place did I miss. That would give me an excuse to go there again!
Until next time peeps!
All images and videos that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.