Travel With Ysabel: Amsterdam

Europe is a continent that constitute countries of love and diverse cultures. Everywhere and everything seems so romantic. One of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam, is also considered – just like Paris – one of the most romantic places in the continent. The Lille Missies (my friends Alexis, Jackie, Justine, KC, Marga) and I are still in the puppy love stage in exploring Europe – I mean, what’s here in Europe is far different than what we have back home in Asia; that’s why we are still adapting to something new.. and beautiful.

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Just a short back story: It was a very, cold Saturday morning – it was 3:30 am and it was raining; the wind was howling. It was -1 degrees celsius outside. Needless to say, my friends and I shivered in the cold for an hour and a half while waiting for our bus that would take us to Amsterdam supposedly at 4:40 am since we had no closed (or warm shelter) to stay in while waiting. Thankfully the bus ride lasted for 4-5 hours where we were able to sleep – and wake up to snow! It snowed a little in Holland, Zuiderzeewegthe where we arrived to take the metro going to the city. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.


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Amsterdam hardly has traffic because you see cyclists or trams everywhere – the canals relatively takes up the space of the roads. The Dam Square leads you to open avenues going towards different parts of the city such as shopping streets and coffee shops. The square is normally packed with jostling locals and tourists. When we went there were mimes and a soccer player showing off some moves!

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The De Looier Antique Market is an indoor place filled with vintage items for viewing and for sale. Those with deep appreciation for art and history would consider this place as their heaven!

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I was pretty surprised why there were Heineken signs in almost all corners of the streets I walk in Amsterdam. It turns out that the famous pale lager beer was originated in the Netherlands. Another sign you could see particularly in the Red Light District is The Bulldog – a chain of cannabis coffee shop. Marijuana is legal in Amsterdam.

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The darkest days in world history was World War II, or the Holocaust period where dictator Adolf Hitler did not spare lives, particularly Jews. Anne Frank was one of them. A young girl with huge dreams and aspirations, she wrote on a diary and spoke of her fears and the like during WWII and wished to publish it when it was over. With her father Otto Frank as the only survivor in the immediate family, he fulfilled his daughter’s dream. The Anne Frank house was where 8 people went into hiding, with that including the Franks. It’s a very sad story but I learned more about WWII. Photos were not allowed inside the house.

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My friends and I spent a good 45 minutes looking for this place and we are thankful for our own little infinity at The Fault in Our Stars Bench! If you have seen the movie, then this is where the most tear-jerking scene is filmed (okay, ONE of the most). There are TFIOS quotes written on it as well as padlocks interlocked in the bench’s iron backrest. It’s located at #2 Leidsegracht at the Canal District. It’s on the left side, in front of the staircase.

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 The Nutella Ice Bakery would be sure to attract those with sweet teeth! All sweets inside are of course, made of or filled with Nutella! From milkshakes, to waffles, to ice creams, to Macaroons and other kinds of delicacies, you’ll be sure to savour the last lick of that chocolate. It’s too irresistible to be true!

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Breakfast for dinner in Amsterdam? Yes please! Pancakes! Amsterdam serves the traditional Dutch pancakes where you can also choose your own combinations or simply make your own! The thing with Dutch pancakes is that they use one ingredient, and one ingredient only – yet, it’s so tasty! They serve other global pancakes as well but the local one is worth trying!

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The Lille Missies and I had a brief vacation – it was only an overnight stay in a small country like The Netherlands. Our previous trip to Belgium lasted for three days. Although we only explored one city only and that is Amsterdam, We felt so much could be done if you just simply plot your itinerary carefully and precisely. Our Amsterdam video will be uploaded here soon. In the meantime, stay put for our next post as I travel back to the City of Love with my beloved friends!

Updated 20 February 2015: Finally done with the video! Whew. We took limited video clips but I hope you still like this!

Other photos here are not mine. Credits to:

Alexis Tan

Jacqueline Ledesma

Justine Solano