Amsterdam, despite its party reputation, is a very cute city in Europe. It is extremely clean, barely anyone in the city drives a car and there are almost no cabs. Everyone takes the public trains, walks or bikes. Tons of people also bike everywhere, there are bike garages for parking bikes, and on every road there is a seperate path for just bikes. People also use boats in the many canals to get around. It is like Venice there are so many canals, the canals are just wider. It is all very cute. The people are also very friendly and softspoken.
There are also the numerous coffee shops (for weed and mushrooms from around the world), the famous red light district where you can find/watch/have anything imagineable, even animals, and the random street performers. The first one we saw was a 70 or so year old man, 90% nude, doing acrobatics on a pole.
On our first fulll day there we walked around in the morning and then went on a countryside excursion in the afternoon. We went and saw some of the famous windmills, a clog making shop, a fisherman's village, and a cheese-making factory. The Netherlands are very well known for all of their cows and their cheese. The cheese was very good! The clog making visit was interesting too. They had clogs on display from over the years, and we learned that they were popular for the workers to keep their feet dry in the fields and in the humidity. Some farmers even still wear them today.
We have spent the rest of our time in Amsterdam walking around the city, shopping and siteseeing. They have a famous flower market that Lauren loved. The Netherlands are well known for their flowers and all over there are pictures and gifts showing their tulip fields that bloom in April and May. They also have a famous Christmas shop with with all the traditional blue and white patterns.
In all of our walking we have found the amazing Dutch candy shops that are on every corner and all the variations of Belgain waffles (and we have tried them all). The sweets here are great. In other markets they also have great fresh fruit, and the prettiest strawberries ever. One of the markets was basically everything we had seen in Indian and Hong Kong markets only marked way up, it was funny.
We also saw the old central station, the clocktower, the palace and Anne Frank's house here.
Next we are off to see the East coast of Spain, Barcelona, Valencia and more, ending up in Madrid.