So I’ve been in Amsterdam for just over one month and I can definitely now say that I’m settled in and feeling positive and happy. I remember Erasmus at Leicester telling us about the Erasmus dip (which if you don’t know, apparently at the start of your year abroad you’re very excited and happy and then they’ll be a slight dip when you get a little bit homesick and feel more uneasy but then, like a curve, it picks back up again). I really feel like I’ve experienced the Erasmus curve but I’m back at the top now! I feel like I’ve already done so much and I’d like to tell you what things there are for you to do in the absolutely wonderful city of Amsterdam.
So after scouring through hundreds of photos on my phone…
Sunbathing and swimming:
Within the first two weeks of arriving, my friends and I went swimming in the Amstel river (well I say swimming, I’m not the most competent swimmer so I floated in the shallow bit but, you know). The weather was stunning, and of course this was free! There are little pieces of grass next to the Amstel river where people sunbathe and swim and it’s only a 10 minute, absolutely beautiful cycle away. Honestly, I am so glad I learnt about this part of the city, cars don’t really use it and there is a lot of open space – cows, windmills, a horse riding stable, riverside pubs and places to have BBQS! It’s a nice break from the busy-ness of Amsterdam and so close to the student accommodation. I often just come and sit and read and watch all the boats go by.
Now I’ve never heard of any such thing before but yes, it’s true, Amsterdam has a cat rescue centre on a boat. You’re welcome to go and visit within the opening hours and stroke some of the cats. It’s not a whole- day kind of thing, but if you’re in the centre, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by and see some of the kitties. And who said cats dislike water!?
Now, this isn’t what you think. This is actually an old church that is now a club. Although I’m sure as students, most of us have been to many clubs but this one really is a hidden gem. It’s quite out of the way of the main area of Amsterdam (unfortunately) but so worth it. The location is essentially in the middle of a field and within the grounds, on event nights, they have fairy lights and camp fires and it really is like what you see in the movies – people have acoustic guitars and sit and play around these fires. It seems too authentic to be real. The bouncers are friendly, and as it is so out of the way you won’t find many tourists here. In fact, my friends and I were easily the youngest, The Church was made up of older, middle aged locals. They were the friendliest people and I met some incredible people.
I’ve mentioned this in a previous post already but for this kind of post, it is once again relevant! The oldest flea market in Amsterdam, it’s open six days a week and has everything and more- that you may need. Definitely pay it a visit, I’ve purchased several things from there already! It has books, clothing, food – general ‘bits n bobs’ – everything!
Due to the fact Amsterdam is built on water and is known for its canals, you can imagine how popular boats are here. And, with that comes boat parties. I’ve been on two now, a canal boat party and a… bigger, boat. Needless to say, they were both incredibly fun and under 15 euros to purchase a ticket (both were purchased through ESN). Next on my list is to rent a pedalo!
I was originally going to post this as one big post, but it was far too long, so the second part to ‘What have I been up to? will be up in a week or two! Happy exploring!