Giving Thanks in The Netherlands

This Thanksgiving, instead of feasting on turkey and mashed potatoes, I hopped on a plane to Amsterdam! There, I met up with my sister and our friend Sophia, who both flew in from New Jersey, for four days of exploring the Netherlands.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOn our first evening, we did a canal tour with Those Dam Boat Guys, which was a really fun and casual way to get to know the city!

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On Friday, we started the day with Dutch pancakes at Pancakes Amsterdam, followed by a visit to the Anne Frank House, which was incredibly moving. We spent most of the afternoon wandering around through the city, enjoying the cute canals and fun shops in the Jordaan neighborhood, as well as more central and busy sites such as Dam Square and the Red Light District.

Dinner was at  Hummus Bistro D&A, where we ordered “a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” and received this impressive feast to be enjoyed with homemade pita bread.

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On Saturday we made a trip to Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, where we spent the day exploring the city with family friends whom we have not seen since they came to the United States for vacation 10 years ago, when they stayed with my family in New Jersey for two weeks. It was so cool to see them, catch up, and learn about their city!

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Us and our family friends, reunited after 10 years!

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New Jersey 2007 vs. The Netherlands 2017

Rotterdam was really interesting, because while most European cities I have visited have been very charming and full of history, Rotterdam is actually a rather modern city, reminding me of American cities like Chicago more so than any of the other European cities I have visited. This is because practically all of Rotterdam was destroyed by German bombs in 1940, so the entire city had to be rebuilt. As a result, the buildings are all fairly new and the architecture is fascinating and modern.

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The most famous statue in Rotterdam, Man Without A Heart, symbolizing Rotterdam after the heart of the city was destroyed by bombings.

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On Sunday, back in Amsterdam, we got brunch at The Avocado Show, Europe’s first all-avocado restaurant. Then, we spent the rest of the day exploring the famous Rijks Museum and walking around a bit.  For dinner, we got a nice Indonesian meal with one of my sister and Sophia’s professor’s friends who lives in Amsterdam… it’s a small, small world.

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The iconic “Iamsterdam” sign, pictured from behind

All in all, I had a great time exploring the Netherlands over the past few days. It’s such a cute country and quite an easy trip to make coming from Copenhagen!

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Here’s to 14 more days of adventures abroad…

Ankers Aweigh,

Josie

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