Hello Amsterdam! 

Four days ago we flew from Iceland to the Netherlands and landed at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.  I sometimes think I was supposed to be born here…land of tulips, cheese and bikes (three of my favourite things).  I couldn’t believe just how many bikes there were!

Fun fact: Did you know there are approximately 881,000 bikes in Amsterdam?  According to this website, 25,000 end up in the canals each year of which only 8000 are retrieved!

   

  

 We spent our first day catching up on sleep at our hostel- The Flying Pig.   For anyone travelling to Amsterdam, I’d recomend it. It’s clean and the staff is super helpful. 

CHEESE

We spent day two in Amsterdam exploring the city but more importantly…eating cheese.  The dutch are of course known for their incredible cheese making skills and so is Oxford County (where I’m from in Canada).  In total, Ryan and I sampled cheese from ten different shops of which we purchased cheese in one haha.  The dutch gold aged cheese (a gouda) was by far my favourite in all the stores and I definitely took advantage  of the samples since cheap chances to try this cheese at home don’t come often.  I will say however, that Mountainoak’s premium dutch gold is an equal contender to all the aged gouda I tried here. At the end of the day, I came home with one brick of sweet peppah gouda from Old Amsterdam Cheese Store.  

 

The Royal Palace

After exploring the flower market (where all the cheese stores were located), we headed to see some architectural sites including the Royal Palace.  The Royal Palace was built as a city hall in 1655 but is now one of three palaces used by the Netherland Monarchs.  It backs onto Dam Square and is incredibly stunning.  We walked up close but I have to say my favourite view was the one I enjoyed with beer and pizza from above.  

  
 

The view from Dam Square ; photo by Ryan Mueller
 
Overall, it was a great couple of days exploring the city.  More to come!

Peace, love and history.

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