Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I went to Amsterdam on July 10-11. The final game of the World Cup between Spain and Netherlands was on the 11th, so on Sunday the whole city was MADDNESS! I thought people got into the Super Bowl, but that is nothing compared to this. Unfortunately, the last train I could have taken was 9pm (game started at 8:30), and I didn't have anywhere to stay that night, so I wasn't able to stay to watch the actual game. I imagine it would have been quite the experience (even being there before the game was unforgettable).

Approximately 11am. Fans already gathering on Museumplein to watch the World Cup on a giant TV set up in the the square.

Orange maddness at the train station when I was trying to leave. All these people had just arrived and got off that train. I don't know how they all fit in there. Everyone was cheering and singing and dancing too. These pictures don't really do it justice.

Other than watching the city get ready for the World Cup, I went on a free walking tour through Sandemans New Europe (New Amsterdam). The tour was actually really fun and interesting and covered most of the city. The guides were great because they only work for tips. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE TOURS if you are visiting a new city, whether you are on a budget or not. They do tours in several cities around Europe, like Paris, Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Prague etc (I would put a link to the website here, but honestly, I don't know how to put links in this blog, but just google "free walking tour new europe"). It is a nice way to get to know the city a bit before exploring on your own. I learned and saw a lot of interesting facts and history about the city that I wouldn't have known by just wandering around with a map or guide book. The tour guides are also much more interesting than the pre-recorded facts you listen to on bus or canal tour (even though I do enjoy those too, if they are a decent price).

After that, I met up with a friend that I swam with at Hopkins who was studying abroad there. We explored the city some more and went to the Van Gogh museum.

From a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. The canal system is pretty cool in this city. I thought there were a lot of bikes in Leuven, but it is NOTHING compared the amount of bikes in Amsterdam. And Dutch people on bikes don't take too kindly to pedestrians getting in their way, especially tourists. So you have to watch out for that. One girl on the tour had some pretty sweet battle wounds from being hit by a bike. Bike theft is also very common here, or they fall into the canals.

These sort of bricks used to be used to indicate a persons occupation - this was one cool thing I learned from the tour guide that I would not have even noticed otherwise!

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