You can generally measure my love for a place when travelling by the number of photos I take. This is definitely one of my lighter on photos locations from our Europe trip. I just didn’t love Amsterdam.
(By the way, this is part 7 in my series of Europe Photo Diaries. You can catch up on the previous posts here.)
We stayed just outside Amsterdam proper, in a suburb called Haarlem. I am actually so thankful for this given how much I didn’t like Amsterdam!! We stayed in an awesome little canal house that was three stories high. The bottom level was the kitchen, dining room and bathroom, the middle level was the lounge room and the top level was the bedroom. Each of the levels were accessible by these ‘stairs’ (definitely more like a ladder!!) which proved very interesting. Luckily there were no stair related incidents!
We headed into Amsterdam late Saturday afternoon and wandered around the streets for a while. The canals were nice enough but it was just so crowded and I am not really one for big crowds. Amsterdam was definitely the most crowded place we visited on our whole trip. The canals were pretty-ish and the amount of old buildings was really interesting but I just couldn’t love Amsterdam the way I had loved our trip to this point.
I think I could have made my peace with Amsterdam if not for the overwhelming and pervasive smell of marijuana everywhere we went. I literally could not get away from it as there was a ‘coffee shop’ (not to be confused with a cafe which sells actual coffee) every 50 metres (may be a slight exaggeration but they were everywhere!!).
The smell of marijuana makes me feel ill so it’s fairly safe to say we kept our distance from the coffee shops!
We did hang around long enough to see the start of the evening in the infamous ‘red light district’. It was an interesting sociological exercise observing what goes on here and it was fascinating for a short while but it was a lot of the same so after wandering around the district (it’s a block of about 5 x 6 streets) we headed back to Haarlem.
The next day I decided I’d had my fill of Amsterdam so we wandered around Haarlem instead. I actually really liked Haarlem, it was like Amsterdam minus the crowds and smell!! It was really pretty and we wandered through the old streets and just had a bit of a relaxing day. It was great to have a more chilled out day as we were driving to Berlin the next day which was a 6 hour drive.
All in all, I definitely did not love Amsterdam and I don’t think I would ever go back. But sometimes you need to go somewhere to know that you don’t like it!
Have you ever travelled somewhere you didn’t love?
I’ve broken my Europe trip up into easy to manage pieces, otherwise I’ll be drowning you in hundreds of images at once! So you know what’s coming, I’ve prepared a list of the 24 parts of this series:
Part 1: London
Part 2: Cambridge
Part 3: Paris
Part 4: Amiens
Part 5: Battlefields
Part 6: Ieper (Ypres)
Part 7: Amsterdam
Part 8: Berlin
Part 9: Prague
Part 10: Cesky Krumlov
Part 11: Vienna
Part 12: Salzburg
Part 13: Venice
Part 14: Pesaro
Part 15: Amalfi Coast
Part 16: Pompeii
Part 17: Rome
Part 18: Florence
Part 19: Tuscany
Part 20: La Spezia
Part 21: Lyon
Part 22: Loire Valley
Part 23: Normandy
Part 24: Mont St Michel
Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about any of these places and I’ll try to include it in my post!