An old posting series is returning! Worldly Wednesday will highlight my travels while I was studying abroad last semester. Our first destination is Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Amsterdam was not on my list of places I had to visit but I am very glad my friend and I decided to go for a four day weekend there. In connection with my photos, here are my thoughts on the city…
The Brightly Colored Sandwich: Yes, I could get a sandwich anywhere. But, my friend found this wonderful breakfast restaurant in her guidebook called Omelegg. I highly recommend eating at this quaint spot in the Red Light District but you will probably have to wait outside. We also ate at a cafe called Blushing for two meals that had delicious sandwiches as well. I did not know what type of food to expect but overall our meals in Amsterdam exceeded my expectations.
The Canals: Amsterdam is known for its canals and it was especially pretty when we visited in the fall with the foliage changing colors. We took a canal cruise as well which I recommend as we were able to take a break from walking all day and hear about the history of the city with the audio guide. If you have a map, it is a very walkable city and we walked all around each day, sometimes from one end of the city to another. We would count how many canals to cross to keep our sense of direction.
The Clogs: My friend ended up purchasing some clog slippers during the trip but I just enjoyed browsing at all of the different stores. It was interesting to see the many clog variations and see how each retailer used the shoe.
The Museums: We visited the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and of course the Anne Frank Museum during our weekend. The Rijksmuseum was neat and very large. The famous I Amsterdam sign is in front of the museum. The Van Gogh Museum is a must do but make sure to go before it gets too crowded and buy tickets ahead of time. I couldn’t go to Amsterdam and not visit the Anne Frank Museum, especially since my friend and I had done a project on Anne Frank for our English class the semester before. We were not able to get tickets in advance, but that morning at breakfast I checked online and a few slots opened up. So, I used my international data and got us in. It was such a moving experience to be able to see where Anne Frank hid and now I’m inspired to re-read her diary.
In retrospect, I wish I had taken more than two photos at Legoland. However, I was enjoying the tour and focused on learning as much as I could since I had no previous Legoland knowledge. Legoland is huge! I am not sure how it compares to some of the other theme parks we visited in terms of size but it definitely was larger than we had all expected. All of the rides were so well designed and thought out for kids. The rides are very interactive-the Kid Power Towers require kids to pull themselves up to the top before dropping and at Boating School, they get to steer the boat.
We did not get to see the water park as it was closed the day we were there in January nor did we see the section of Cypress Gardens which is still intact. Hopefully I can go back and see both of these. Cypress Gardens was a classic Florida theme park and I believe only part of the gardens section remains, but I may be incorrect on that.
Legoland is similar to Magic Kingdom in that every part of the park has a theme and is very immersive.
The two photos I took were in Miniland which is where they have Lego models of cities all around the world. I took a photo of the Kennedy Space Center models, as I had visited Kennedy Space Center in 2009. I also took a photo of the Washington D.C. area because DC
is one of the cities I like because I think is most manageable. I found the crew boat awesome as well which actually had the rowers rowing around the small area of water.
Some random thoughts from my whirlwind tour through the land of Legos:
- A live water ski show happens each day the park is open and sounded really neat.
- Each of the Model Citizens (which is what Legoland calls their employees) has a mini figure that they can trade with kids. The mini figures are little Legoland characters and are really cute.
- Apple fries are a popular park treat. The shop with them looked amazing but unfortunately, it was not open when we were there.
We were in the park as the park opened and enjoyed seeing children run ahead of their parents to rides or to take a photo with a Legoland model of a character from the Legoland movie. This was the only park that we did not get to go on any rides, sadly. But the majority of our visit did take place before the park opened and we were on a tight schedule to drive back to Orlando.
According to this USA Today article, Adventures by Disney has finally caught on to a popular travel trend-River Cruising. Adventures by Disney trips are great, and if you are interested in maybe going on one or trying a river cruise, read my France Trip Report to learn about the experience of an ABD trip!
Here is the link to the article with more details. An official Disney announcement should be coming soon…