The second leg of the mother-daughter trip landed us back on the mainland in my home of Amsterdam! I’ve had a few friends visit before but it was nice to have my mom and be able to show her where I’ve been living for the last few months.
Our Dutch tour started right away: we took a bus directly from the airport to catch the last day of Keukenhof tulip festival! Despite the wonderful weather, most of the tulips had died and it wasn’t as impressive as my previous visit. But we enjoyed hanging out in the park and taking in whatever floral arrangements were left.
The next day I got to take my mom to my favourite monthly market: The NeighbourFood Market at Westerpark! We enjoyed delicious street food and the famous Westerpark scones while watching ducks swim and kids squeal around the pond.
Mom’s friend Tilo, from Berlin, joined us in Amsterdam for some more sightseeing that week. We headed down to Museumplein and visited the Van Gogh Museum. I had yet to see the works of this great Dutch artist so was impressed….but thoroughly arted-out after an hour. From there we walked through Vondel Park and visited with a friend of my mom’s who was now living in Amsterdam. After a short visit, we met my flatmate Carlie at Blauw for Indonesian food.
We feasted on rijsttafel – a Dutch Indonesian rice table that consists of billions (give or take) of tiny food dishes served with big bowls of rice. It was so delicious! And quite hilarious to watch our table pile up with more tiny plates than we had space for.
Tuesday brought us to Utrecht; a cute little town about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. I had been earlier in the year with some friends but it was nice to see it in better weather. We checked out the big tower and found a little secret garden behind the church. We enjoyed Spanish tapas down by the canal; it was really nice to just sit by the water and sip some sangria as people kayaked and boated by.
On our last full day in Amsterdam, I sent mom and Tilo to the Anne Frank House for what, in my opinion, is a really important part of an Amsterdam visit. After learning a bit of history, I met back up with them for my favourite Dutch pancakes at The Pancake Bakery. We sampled the French, Mexican and Indonesian pancakes – all delicious! After filling our bellies, we walked through the 9 Streets and into the centre where I went off to attend my last law class. After class we all met back up and headed out to dinner with other flatmate, Gabby.
We headed to Noord Amsterdam on the world’s shortest ferry ride (apx. 2 minutes) for dinner at the Eye. The Eye is a large cinema building that in no way actually resembles an eye. But, the dinner they serve at their restaurant is pretty delicious! The service was incredibly slow and the entire meal took over three hours but we were rewarded with an ending of fantastic desserts 🙂
The next morning I finished off my essay, did a quick load of laundry and got ready to head to Germany! By 3:30 we were all packed into Tilo’s car and on our way to Cologne, Germany.