Hello, Amsterdam

Oh, Amsterdam. Still one of my favourite places on earth. The sweet smell in the air (no, not the weed, the pastries :P), the buzz in the streets and the beauty of the city will always draw me to return. Add the fact that we can be understood when speaking Afrikaans and it becomes all the more alluring to visit the Netherlands.

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Plus, it’s close enough to drive. Here’s something South Africans are always amazed at when they visit. South African roads are filled with toll stations, and crossing the border from SA into one of its neighbouring countries means passing border control. This isn’t the case in Europe. It’s about a 45 min drive from where we live to the Dutch border – an invisible division that you’ll miss if you’re not specifically looking for the ‘welcome in the Netherlands’ sign. No tolls, no border control, no hassle.

From the border to Amsterdam is another hour’s drive, depending on the traffic. If you have the Groenewalds in the car with you, you might experience heavier traffic than usual – a fact we learned on this vacation. Talk about bad travel mojo. Europe, it seems, wanted to teach the Groenewalds some kind of lesson.

For the first time since moving to Germany, we were pulled over by the police on this trip. We were also stuck in traffic for what felt like forever to and from Amsterdam.

Then, we struggled for an hour to find a place to park. If there’s one thing I hate about the Netherlands, it’s the traffic. Europe is notorious for being horrible in this regard, especially when it comes to parking. But Amsterdam is probably the worst of all. Cyclists have control of the roads, folks. As in, they own it, and they are everywhere. More bicycles than people, after all.

The parking problem is why we parted ways from the Groenewalds. We’d been in Amsterdam before, while it was their first time, so we reckoned they could see some sights while we quested to park the car. Unfortunately, I only have a few photos from their perspective.

Unfortunately, I only have a few photos from their perspective. The good news is that this is the last post without Lorenzo’s photos, so you have a wider variety of shots to look forward to from here on. But anyway, they basically did the tourist’s route from the Museumplein to the royal palace.

Meanwhile, we stuck around the Museumplein, admired the Rijksmuseum (still going in there one day) and had a lovely lunch at Bouf.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Have an awesome week!

Yolandie