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Amsterdam

Hi again! I wanted to cover briefly some of the highlights of my time in Amsterdam.

My two favorite museums were the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. I learned a lot about Van Gogh's life and I got to see how his painting style developed which was really cool. It was evident how much his style changed after he moved to Paris. The paintings from his time in Paris were much brighter and he started focusing on using lines throughout his paintings. I got to see the painting of the sunflowers which is one of my favorites. I also loved the Rijksmuseum and could have spent hours there. I think one of the coolest things I saw there was a giant model pirate ship. I loved all the paintings too. A lot of the artists use light really well to make their pictures look so real.
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I spent a lot of time in Vondelpark which is kind of like the Central Park of Amsterdam. It was huge and I did manage to walk around the whole thing. There were tons of people sitting on the grass because it wasn't raining for a change. There were also lots of people walking, running, and biking through the park. I also spent 2 days in Noordwijk which is right on the beach. It was so windy the first day that I couldn't even walk down to the beach because the sand was blowing so much. I went the next day with some girls from Germany that I'd met at the hostel. We walked along the beach for a while and sat in the sand dunes. I read my book and it was really relaxing. Another highlight was a canal tour. Yes, it was a very touristy thing to do but I really enjoyed it. It was a really different view of the city. We listened to an audioguide that pointed out landmarks and gave us the history of the city and the canals.
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My favorite new food from Amsterdam is stroopwaffles. I am obsessed. It's two really thin waffles with a layer of syrup in between. They are highly addictive. I keep thinking that they would be perfect if you were running late in the mornings and really wanted to have a waffle and syrup in the car. Crossing the street in Amsterdam is definitely as dangerous as people warned me it would be. You don't just have to watch out for cars, you also have to watch out for bikes (which won't stop for people), trams, buses, and other pedestrians.

I also met up with my friend Summer for lunch. She is from Hong Kong but is getting her masters in Amsterdam. We met last year in Bali and it was really fun to catch up and see her again. I also met some cousins, Arnold and Guya Troostwijk. I also met two of their children and one of their grandchildren. They were so sweet and showed me around Amsterdam for a day. Guya cooked an amazing dinner and it was really incredible to meet them.
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Overall, I think Amsterdam is a really cool city but it wasn't exactly my "vibe" for lack of a better word. It is really cool to visit and see all the museums but I don't think it's a place I'd like to live or study in.

Posted by Ilana'sGapYear 09:07 Archived in Netherlands

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