Amsterdam = Bikes, Canals, and Oliebollen

Did you have a good weekend? I hope so! Over the weekend I was going through files and photos on my computer and thought about Amsterdam.

Last November my husband and I took a trip to Amsterdam. What an experience! We were there for about 5 days and it was the perfect amount of time. It felt like a mix between Venice and a town in Germany and also a lot like Portland. When we got there it was foggy for the first few days, and rainy. It felt like being in Portland although 1000 of miles away. Maybe that is why I instantly felt comfortable, like I could so easily live there.

bike parking garage

Bikes rule in Amsterdam. They are everywhere. Cars come next and pedestrians last. So different from what I am used to in Portland, where a car tends to stop whenever someone crosses a street (even if it is not at a cross walk). The picture to the left shows a bike parking garage by the train station. Yes, that is really four levels of bikes parked. I was in awe.

I was also surprised by a few things. There was gum on the streets and sidewalks everywhere. There was also quite a bit of litter everywhere. The below picture shows the canals, with lots of trash, and on the left side of the canal the white thing is actually a refrigerator.

to the left down the canal is a refrigerator

We ate plenty of food. I found it interesting that most menus did not have many vegetable options. But, they like their cheese. We had the most amazing smoked goat cheese, and I had a salad with fried goat cheese, honey, and pears (I never would have thought to put all three together). We had traditional Dutch crepes, and my favorite of all: oliebollen.

Since we were there during Thanksgiving week, the holidays were in full swing. Between Thanksgiving and New Years they have outdoor holiday markets (which look beautiful at night with all the lights). There are an assortment of food trucks, and one had a specific holiday Dutch treat – Olibollen (or fried dough). This particular holiday market was quite a long ways from our hotel, but we make the trek each day for this amazing, warm, and sweet goodness. Who could resist!?

mmm…Oliebollen

I think I have the travel bug again. I am ready to go and explore someplace new. My heart is set on Copenhagen. I love the opportunity to try new food, explore local art, boutiques, architecture, etc. Thank you, Amsterdam for such a wonderful trip!

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