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Journals from Norway - Fall 2008

2008-12-01 Trip to Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam for the weekend to visit my friends Stephanie and Anouk! They were in Oslo with me for the first three months and went home a month early. This was definitely my favorite trip! I loved the city and had so much fun. Plus these girls are two of my closest friends from Oslo, so it was great to be with them again and hard to say goodbye in the end. Thursday evening, after a very long journey by five different forms of transportation, I arrived at Amsterdam Central Station where I met my friends. We went by bike to Stephanies. The first thing I noticed about Amsterdam was the thousands of bikes Ive never seen so many. Everyone has a bike. Theyre piled throughout the city centers and squares. The whole weekend I sat on the back of Stephs bike and rode around Amsterdam. What a way to see the city. The first night, Stephanies sister had Thanksgiving dinner waiting for us. It was really sweet " she looked up American Thanksgiving recipes and had been cooking all day. They invited more friends over so it would feel like I had lots of family around. I love these Dutch girls. After dinner we went out and saw some of the city at night. Amsterdam is the most unique city Ive ever seen. All the roads are cobblestone and there are little bridges on every corner because the city has a series of canals running through it. At night the bridges and the boats in the canals are lit up and its really beautiful. In the center, the houses and shops are tall, skinny, and crammed together. Theyre built to lean towards the street a little so when they pull furniture up to the top floors it wont hit the side of the building. So in the older parts of the city the houses are all crooked and leaning into each other. It looks like a fairy tale. Saturday we went to the center of Amsterdam and really saw the city. We went in a hidden church built around 1660 that used to be a secret place of worship for Catholics during the Reformation. Later, we went to Anne Franks house! We had made reservations to go inside. That was an experience. We saw the ground floor of Otto Franks office, then upstairs theres a landing with the bookcase that opens into the secret Annex. It was really neat to see all of the rooms I remember reading about in her diary. That night I had to say goodbye to Steph, and the next morning; Anouk. Its strange to say goodbye to friends you may never see again. Hopefully theyll visit the U.S. someday and I would love to go back to Europe in the future. At least I know I have a place to stay in almost every country. Janelle Levesque

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