Right after we spent an amazing time together at Lake Garda, my family and I decided to book another trip. The destination this time: Amsterdam. We’ve never been to the capital of the Netherlands before. We all wanted to spend New Year’s Eve somewhere else as the boring Stuttgart. Therfore, we hesitated no second to book a trip to Amsterdam.

After driving for about 7 hours we reached Amsterdam, or better said, Abcoude. There we experienced the stormy and rainy Netherlands as their finest. To be honest, it rained almost all the time except for a few hours. Luckily one of them was the transition from 2017 to 2018! But more on that later.

We checked in and got ready to visit Amsterdam downtown. To visit the famous “Grachten”, the canals around downtown with the small cafes, coffeeshops, restaurants and other fancy places. After we had figured out where to park our car, to be able to use the public transport to get downtown, we took the metro to the central station.

From there, we explored downtown in the evening and strolled around the nearby Grachten. Amsterdam in December isn’t only rainy and windy, but also cold. Therefore, I felt super cold and had some trouble to avoid getting soaked. I learned that sneakers and a simple coat aren’t the perfect clothes for a wintery Amsterdam. In addition, my already tortured umbrella was about to die ultimately.

We started the second day in Amsterdam with a brunch in a café in Abcoude, called Ollies Coffee and more. Here, we celebrated the birthday of my older brother while enjoying one of the best coffees I have ever had offered from a friendly, open, funny and nice host. After spending a few hours inside to avoid the rain going on, we motivated ourselves to get out there and go to Amsterdam.

After we hit the streets again and walked for a while, we all felt cold. On the search for a cute café to warm ourselves, we found another amazing store, which sells typical Dutch delicacies. In this store, we didn’t miss the chance to order coffee and tea to get warm again.

My parents ordered some great-looking but unfortunately not vegan Italian-style breads and cakes in addition. After they feasted there and I got hungry from watching how they eat. Because of that we went outside one more time to find another great café. There, I had an amazing veggie bowl with loads of veggies, lentils and other good stuff.

Amsterdam

The next day, we decided to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. As planners as we are, we didn’t order any tickets in advance. We were shocked as we heard that we would have to wait for 2 hours to get into the museum! Still shocked by this waiting time, we went to the Moco museum instead, to enjoy an exhibition of Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein.

It was interesting to see how Banksy developed such strong, society-criticizing and famous messages with his kind of street art. In addition, Liechtenstein’s pictures presented popping colors and freaky designs, which impressed me too.

Amsterdam

After we have visited the museum, we got hungry and went to Amsterdam downtown. There arrived, we visited the café, where I have eaten the veggie bowl one day before and enjoyed some hot drinks to get warm again. In revision, I think I have never drank so much warm drinks as in this time in Amsterdam, but because it was super cold outside, I  had no other chance to stay warm. After we got warm again, I decided to visit JuiceBrothers to get a fresh acai bowl. Damn, I didn’t regret this decision, although I stumbled across something sad:

There were two other guys in there, each eating a smoothie bowl. But instead of taking the rest with them, after they had finished the half of it at max, they left it and went out. I stand right next to them and became sad about this. There a lot of people out there, who don’t have anything to eat at all, while other people are wasting food, just because they are too lazy to take it with them. Because I was still hungry after finishing my bowl and couldn’t see how these bowls get wasted, I asked the waiter if I can eat the rest and he agreed!

For sure, some of you out there would say that this is exaggerated or even disgusting how I felt and what I did. But I think it is important to raise awareness about food waste. In my opinion, it is sad that we act like there is an infinite amount of food and don’t mind throwing tasty and eatable things away, while there are still a lot of people in the world, who would give everything they have for a small amount of all of this food.

Because of that, I want to invite you to avoid food waste and eat more consciously!
Amsterdam

After this story, we explored other hidden alleys and rainy places, before we went to a traditional Thai restaurant in the evening. Because we literally had no idea where to go to eat dinner, my mother gave me a mission: I had to find a cute, not that expensive restaurant, where we can enjoy some great food. And damn, I did a great job here. After looking for several different kinds of restaurants I stumbled across the “Maenaam Thai Food”. A cute, little, hidden and relatively inexpensive restaurant which offers traditional Thai food as it’s best.

It wasn’t only yummy, but super similar to what we had eaten on Koh Samui back in 2012 & 2015. We feasted with several different curries, satays, spring rolls, fresh tea and orange juice. Hands down, this is probably one of the best traditional Thai restaurants outside of Asia! We had to book another table for New Year’s Eve!

The next day, we spent a lazy morning, noon and afternoon of New Year’s Eve in the Hotel in Abcoude. We had drunken some wine and hanged out for the half day, before we went to Amsterdam for another incredible Thai dinner. And of course, to celebrate New Year. After we arrived in Amsterdam, we went to a café to drink a few Gin Tonics and enjoy the last hours of 2017.

Up next, we had another great Thai meal in the restaurant and strolled through the streets of Amsterdam to find a place, where we would celebrate the magical moment. Originally, we wanted to go to the Dam, the square in front of the royal palace. But we stand there for 5 minutes thinking that this must be an insane mix of the next world war and an asylum. So, we decided to go in direction of the central station. Seriously, at Dam, it feels like everybody around you tries to use the fireworks to bomb something or someone else.

Don’t go there, if you want to avoid trouble!

We visited a bar on the way to the central station and drank two other rounds of Gin Tonics. Right after that, the magical moment happened and we found ourselves celebrating New Year. Right next to the central station we enjoyed the last precious moments of our rainy but amazing time in Amsterdam.

All in all, Amsterdam is an historical and beautiful city, with its beautiful Grachten, old houses and friendly people. Here, you will have a lot to see, do and enjoy and you won’t regret a trip. For sure, I will visit Amsterdam again, but next time in summer.

Amsterdam

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