This past week brought us to Amsterdam! What, you ask, were we doing there? Well, our very good friend came to Europe from New York on holiday to visit! And we were sooooo glad she did. We met up in Amsterdam and explored for a few days before coming back to Bonn with her. Photos of Amsterdam soon, but first, a very thick and creepy fog we braved on the way there! The ground was icy, the river invisible, and it felt like we entered the underworld as we couldn’t see more than a few meters in front of our nose. What is normally a very pleasant walk across the Rhine with a beautiful view of Bonn took on a totally different form that morning, and I could also see others on the bridge felt the same eeriness as they trekked through, too!

Our train ended up being delayed by 3-4 hours, reasons unknown*, so we spent a good long while in Köln, where we got a taste of the Christmas Market at the Dom as it was opening up for the day. What the heck happened to all the fog? It ended up being a beautiful, sunny morning, at least in Köln.

*I’ve heard it said many times now in many transport delay and/or malfunction scenarios: “It’s the Bahn,” local Germans resignedly referring to the inefficiency of the German train system. It’s definitely got its perks, but I’m learning that it’s not as well-oiled and orderly as is stereotypically German.

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We eventually made it to Amsterdam after a whole day’s travel including all the delays, and finally met up with our dear friend.

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We went out to eat traditional Dutch for dinner (yum) and took an evening stroll around town. Look what we stumbled upon!

And we did a little walking tour.

We also visited the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, but I don’t have any photos of these. I was glad to have gone to both of these places, though.

Some more adventuring:

We learned that fortunately for us on our last evening in Amsterdam was the start of the Amsterdam Light Festival! So all of these public pieces of light art (LED) were installed along the canals throughout the city center. In a place where it gets dark before 5pm and stays dark for a long time, it was a beautiful way to enjoy the city. We skipped the boat tour that folks seemed to be offering and did our own little walking tour casually with no plan or agenda, only some stops for warmth, toilet, drinks, and dinner. A perfect little evening.

 

A very good trip indeed.

 

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