Oh the places you'll go

Remember that tram I mentioned that almost ran me over yesterday? Well I rode it today! I actually figured out public transportation in Amsterdam. I thought this day would never come and that I would be walking everywhere for the next 5 months. Anyway, today we ventured out into central Amsterdam.  The tram took us right into Dam Square and dropped us off between the Royal Palace and a giant national monument.

There were an overwhelming amount of people in central Amsterdam rushing around in all different directions. Monica and I weren't sure where we wanted to go, so we just started walking down the first road we saw. We walked along the street checking out little shops here and there, finding quite interesting souvenirs like wooden shoes and lots of drug related things. We walked all the way into Chinatown before we turned around to see what else the square had to offer. Being the girls that we are, Monica and I found a huge mall inside of a beautiful building called the Magna Plaza and we bought some cute little things to keep us warm while we're here this winter.

There were hundreds of little shops lining the streets surrounding this mall and we figured we should browse some of them. We walked down a smaller street that had plenty of people on it when we happen to stumble across this little ally with a sign that said "Amsterdam Museum". That was quite a pleasant surprise. Somehow we also managed to find another I amsterdam sign, so we took plenty more photos with it. They're just so much fun. I don't think they appreciated us climbing on their sign though...an hour after we took these photos they had posted laminated signs telling people to not climb on it. Oops.


We went into the museum after taking several hundred photos with the sign. The museum was really interesting. I'm not quite sure if I understand Dutch art though. Some of their stuff is quite odd.

The Amsterdam Museum is literally the biggest museum I have ever been in. The front door makes it look like it will be a cozy little stroll through a few rooms to get to know the history of Amsterdam, but in reality we walked miles inside that building. We stopped to take rests more than once along the way, and we're still not sure if we actually saw everything inside! It did have many pieces of beautiful art and a lot of great interactive ways to explain the history of the city. After nearly starving to death inside this beast of a museum, we decided to eat at our very first Dutch restaurant. It was a cute little place attached to the museum where I had my first pannekoek (Dutch pancake) and it was delicious. 

We chatted and ate till it got dark, and cautiously made our way over to the Red Light District. I won't go into detail here, but this area was quite different than anything I have ever seem before. You're not even supposed to take pictures here, which Monica now knows very well after being yelled at by a woman behind a window, but I did sneak one blurry photo of a bridge lit up with the red lights. 

We turned in early tonight so that we can get all our stuff packed up. Tomorrow we will venture out once again with our 90 pounds of luggage to the town where we will actually be living for the next few months. I will be quite sad to leave the comfort of the hotel, but I can't wait to see my new home. 


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