We landed in Amsterdam at 10 AM Tuesday morning – 30 minutes early. However, this 30 minutes quickly disappeared looking for “lost” luggage (aka luggage a student thought was one shade of green, but really was another). Luggage was quickly located by someone from baggage services, and we were off, driving through the bicycle rich city of Amsterdam.
We arrived at out hotel, which was ready for us. Though we were there before noon, all but 2 of our rooms were ready, so we had a change to throw our stuff into the room, put on a clean t-shirt, and hit the market! We walked 10 minutes up the the Albert Cuypstraat Market – a local market filled with spices, cheese, fish, t-shirts, socks, bicycles, wigs, deodorant, produce, flowers and anything else a local could need. Also a lot of Dutch street food, including my favourite, pofferjtes! These tiny bite sizes pancakes covered in icing sugar make me smile!! There was also patat frites (fries with a mayo like sauce), Kibberling (friend fish), and Jayde’s favourite – the fresh stroop waffle. A great way to start our adventure.
We walked another 10 minutes over to the museumplein – an area connecting the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum. Here we stopped to take some pictures with the famous “iamsterdam” sign – which proved a little challenging as there was a covered area in the way (maybe a local festival was held here recently?) However – we were creative and managed to go letter by letter to achieve the desired group shot.
Van Gogh was the main attraction of the afternoon. However, warm art museums and jet lag are fickle foes. The life of Van Gogh is one rich in passion, talent, and sadness. We had a guided tour, in 3 groups, looking at his life, his art, and why Van Gogh is so special. Had we been a little more alert we could have spent more time here learning about his life, but, as I mentioned, this is the part of the day that became consumed with the desire for one thing only. SLEEP.
We wandered along the canal towards our restaurant for dinner – De Carrousel Pannenkoeken. Pannenkoeken come in all flavours, but one size. Large. They are sweet or savoury. The majority of our students were brave enough to try something new (and enjoyed it!), while a few others chose a little safer option for their first day. Some students were struggling not to fall asleep in their dinner though. Thankfully food came out quick, and by 6:30 we were back into the doors of the hotel. Most students were comfortable tucked in their bed and asleep before 8 – probably the first time that many of them had taken a sub-8 bed time since their ages were in the single digits.
So hopefully a long good nights sleep will help us with the jet lag and leave the whole group refreshed and ready for a day on the town tomorrow! Anne Frank and the Canals are waiting for us, and Amsterdam has SO much more to show us!