My Amsterdam Afternoon

Rachel Thompson
April 4, 2014

The most common sound is Amsterdam is without a doubt the crisp ding ding of a bicycle bell, warning walkers and other bikers to make room. And for good reason. Our tour guide told us there are more bicycles than people in the city. We took this to heart and tried to stay out of the way, though there were a few frightening near-collisions with bikes zipping by.

I spent this past weekend in Holland with two friends, admiring the beauty of the canals, taking photos of the first signs of spring flowers on the trees and enjoying the city’s lively social scene.

After a busy few days spent walking around the city, munching on Dutch delights (like caramel-filled stroopwafels!) and going to museums like the Anne Frank House and the Stedelijk, my friends left Sunday morning for an early flight back to Barcelona. I’d booked a later flight, which meant I had the morning and early afternoon to take in the city on my own.

I went downstairs to have breakfast at the hostel and started talking to two students spending their semesters in England. Oddly enough, the girl to my left also attended the University of Texas, and we all swapped stories of our study abroad experiences over buttered toast. Without the comfort of my friends, I quickly discovered that being alone made it easier to talk to new people.

After breakfast, I gathered my things, grabbed a map and walked to city center along a canal, admiring Amsterdam’s quiet beauty in the morning. There were countless beautiful doorways covered in ivy and buildings with ornate decorations.

I sat down at a café near Amsterdam Centraal Station and ordered a tea, then spent about two hours writing and reflecting on the weekend. A Sunday to myself allowed me to walk at my own pace, enjoy the beauty of the city and spend some time writing outside in the pleasant spring weather. When it was time to go, I walked to the station to catch my train to the airport.

It’s always nice to travel with friends, but there’s something kind of wonderful about having a little time to oneself to enjoy an unfamiliar place.

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Rachel Thompson

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! I&#39;m a California native studying journalism in one of the coolest cities in the world, at The University of Texas at Austin. I&#39;m a fan of chocolate, watching sports (go Giants), nice people, anything vintage and pretty much all music. I write as much as I can, whether it&#39;s a news article, a blog, or just a journal entry. When I&#39;m not writing, I love to run, try new recipes in my little kitchen, take dance classes and catch up with friends. My goal is to see every continent someday. I&#39;m getting there!</span></p>

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