Because I spent so much time working in Amsterdam, I remember it mostly as a city of small moments. Times when I was free to explore for an hour or two, and only occasionally for most of a day. As such, these are some of my lingering memories from the city; a collection of snapshots if you will.
(Olympic Stadium) Amsterdam is a beautiful city on a bike, and Jonny convinced me to buy one as soon as I got to town. One of my few totally free days, we rode out to the suburbs and passed by the Olympic stadium. It was one of the only days that felt like proper aimless wandering, made even better by feeling like I fit so perfectly into the two-wheeled lifestyle the city is so fond of.
(Amsterdam Bois) Little did I know, however, that Jonny did have an end in mind. The Amsterdam Forest, just a few miles from the incredibly busy Schiphol airport, is one of his (and now my) favorite spots in town. We only sat and watched planes come in for 20 or 30 minutes, but on a sunny day with a camera and a book I could have happily stayed for hours.
(Bike Parking) I ended up using that bike constantly, and to my memory I didn’t ever use public transit within the city itself. Bike lanes, bike parking, bike priority; bike everything. I even managed not to have mine stolen, and sold it off as I was leaving town. In the end, I paid 40 Euros to rent a bike for three weeks and merge a little bit into the local lifestyle. Not bad.
(Segway Tour) The one other type of transport I DID use within Amsterdam was a Segway. I had an Amsterdam Segway Tour to shoot for GetYourGuide while I was there, and Sabrina was passing through town on the same day. It was totally the opposite of the bike ride… we stood out and looked kind of goofy and I struggled to steer with one hand while taking photos with the other. It was a ton of fun, though, and I’d happily do it again.
(Cocktail Cruise) The same night, Sab joined me again for a Canal Cocktail Cruise as well. I’d done a canal cruise already by day, but for the night trip about midway through it start lightly raining, and somehow the color shift totally changed the atmosphere. Also, I recommend the mojitos.
(Chess Boards) I haven’t played chess in ages, but finding these crowded games on MaxEuweplein made me really wish I remembered the strategy. There’s something so beautiful about people hanging outside matching wits with strangers on a nice day, and even with somewhere to be I had trouble tearing myself away.
(Indische Buurt) Somehow, it seems like half of the people I hung out with in Amsterdam were travel bloggers. This moment, in the newer part of town, was another example. I don’t even remember how I first started following Fabio’s blog, but I got in touch before I hit town and we ended up meeting up for another long bike ride out through the Indische Buurt and back to a coffee shop and dinner. A random meet up, sure, but a great conversation and a really chill experience in an area I’d have otherwise never explored.
(Floating Flower Market) I probably rode my bike past here 10 times without realizing what it was, so luckily Jonny took me over one day for a walk through. Its pretty touristy, of course, but also pretty colorful. Oh, and novel: Cannabis Starter Kits for 6 Euro.
(FOAM) All About Photography. I needed a break from taking photos one afternoon, and remembered having read about the FOAM Photography Exhibit (incidentally, just a few blocks down from the flower market). It was all sorts of weird and interpretative and just what I needed to shake myself out of a Photography Funk that I sometimes feel when I shoot too many of these tours.
I was in Amsterdam primarily to take photos in association with GetYourGuide. The Amsterdam Evening Cocktail Cruise and Amsterdam Segway Sightseeing Tour were both tours I did for them, but the rest were honest wanderings. I still just travel, sometimes!