Where is Amsterdam? Holland or Netherlands? Many people are confused between the two. Netherlands is the country, Holland is a province and Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands is part of North Holland.
Amsterdam was my base point to Lisse where Keukenhof Gardens is, the sole reason why I am in Netherlands. I also planned to do some things like bike around the city and visit some museums like Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank Huis and Van Gogh Museum. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to ride a bike nor wander around the halls of the three museums.
Anyway, I was in Maastricht, Netherlands on my way to Amsterdam when my couchsurfing host bailed on me. I made a last minute CS requests and thank God I got 2 hosts in an instant. My first host lives near a park and a dog beach, which is pretty cool.
I woke up early to catch the bus going to Keukenhof Gardens. Keukenhof is the best garden in the world where you can see vibrant flowers especially tulips, what Holland is famous for.
After a colourful day, I visited my second host in Prinsengracht. The view from his window is pretty amazing. You can see the Prince’s Canal, one of the most notable canals in the Canal Belt.
Since I cannot visit any museums because it was already late, my host offered me a free tour, yeay!
We circled around the streets of Amsterdam then he dropped me off somewhere so I can take a boat tour.
The boat houses are lovely as the tilted houses.
After the tour, I walked around the area and tried to find Pancakes Amsterdam. I heard it was famous so I thought I should give it a try. Sadly, the restaurant was closed already when I found it. So I just admired the houses next to it and took some photos when someone said hi and offered to take a photo of me. Of course, I said yes. 😉
Then we started talking about how lovely Amsterdam is. He said he knows his city very well and so we discussed about history, culture, slanted houses, canals and cheeses.
We walked around and passed by the infamous Red Light District. The sun is about to set but girls are already dancing naked in the windows.. Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and there’s a free STD check up too.
We also walked at a famous canal, according to him.
I asked him where I can buy the best cheese in Amsterdam so he took me to three or four stores (Old Amsterdam is the only store I recall). All I remember was that I was having a hard time choosing what to bring home for my mom. The cheeses are just oozingly delicious. The best part of this “cheese tour” was every cheese in the store has free samples. I tried all, as anyone would. 😉
My trip in Amsterdam was short but totally fun. I didn’t bike and missed to visit a museum but my host showed me interesting parts of Amsterdam while riding his motorbike. I wasn’t able to try the famous pancakes but munched on different kinds of cheese. Things turned out different from what was planned, but I am glad that my stay in this liberated city was perfect. 🙂