Amsterdam has been on my bucket-list for quite some time now simply because of the rumors of its beauty! So when I found out that I had a 28 hour layover here on my way home, you can only imagine how thrilled I was!
Even though I only made it into Amsterdam at 4 pm (16:00), the whole trip was literally a blessing! It’s always a bonus to get to travel a little more:)
First, I obviously purchased an “I AMsterdam City Pass” (this gave me free entry to most museums, and all public transport, except the train for a full 24 hours, and tons of discounts in local restaurants ). I purchased this card well in advance; however, I didn’t expect to come to Amsterdam as late as I did, so I didn’t get to take advantage of the card as much as I wanted to (We’ll just pretend like my getting lost or waiting for baggage had nothing to do with my late arrival).
Then, I got familiar with Uber! Apparently, it’s a lot cheaper than taxis (in most countries) and it’s convenient because the payment goes through your phone automatically! Say Good-bye to Taxis! (TIP: If you sign up with Uber today and use my promo code: oksanak113ue you’ll get $20 off on your first ride!)
Finally, Airbnb hooked it up with a place to stay. (Shoutout to Ollie for the crazy awesome find!) And you can follow this link before you sign up to get a $20 discount in your email when you use airbnb! This time airbnb led me to the cutest hostel ever. It’s called, Hello IM Local located in Harlem, just 15 minutes away from Amsterdam. Check out my room! I lucked out and got my own room for only $30 a night!
That’s right, all these beds all to myself!
Anywho, I got settled in, finally! (Only took me like 4 hours on my own, but who was counting?)
So my Uber driver took me to the Van Gogh Museum and my City Pass gave me free entry. Some super cool art by Vincent Van Gogh and Evard Munch. This one’s my favorite. It’s called “A Starry Night Over the Rhone” by Van Gogh (duh).
And the “I Amsterdam” sign is conveniently located right behind the Van Gogh Museum! So of course I trotted on over and took a few selfies (Until some random lady volunteered to get a photo of me, thank you to my fellow tourist female stranger whom I befriended that day).
Red Light District
I won’t post any photos of this one, for reasons known to every human being ever. (Basically, I’m sparing you lot’s of nudity, and porn.) I didn’t feel too comfortable walking down this street, especially alone…. after dark. (I’ll admit, I’ve had smarter ideas.)
Anyways. Here’s a picture of the canal instead… (If you were wondering, no, I didn’t have time to take a Canal Cruise Tour… Even though my City Pass offered it for free!)
I made it to De Pijp, but by then it was too dark to actually see anything, and too late to actually eat anywhere! So sadly, that was a waste of time!
However, on my walk back, I did stop at a delicious bakery for some macarons! I got 9 for $13 (about $1.40 each) and can I just say they were absolutely delicious! The place was called Ice Bakery.
I did see ton of other cafés that served macarons and I’m sure they were all good. I chose this one particularly because I was starving and it happened to be the exact bakery I was walking past as I began to realize how starving I really was…
What I did realize during this trip is how blessed I am to have an opportunity to not only get to go home and see my family and friends but also to serve here (Ukraine). I have a whole new reason to worship and a whole new certainty of Gods existence! Because where ever I go, for however long I go for, or for whatever reason I go, he does not cease to reveal Himself to me and to protect me! No matter the conditions here, He has always been present!
Whether in Paris, Estonia, Finland, Ukraine, or even Amsterdam, I’ve met people who share the same love for God equally! It’s one thing that can bond two strangers in a way that can be life changing. I’ve found that even through my adventures, I can never be too distracted to see Gods glory in it all! The beauty in every city is a reason to glorify God, the corruption in every city is a reason to call on God, and the city itself is the place where we get to be with God!
There isn’t a single city I’ve been to where I haven’t felt the precense of God! The only thing missing… Well for me, at least, was family and friends ☹️
But, now that the night is officially over, tomorrow morning I will finally be making my way home!!!! I will miss my lovely ladies back in Bobrovitsa (but I’ll be back in a bit!). I love you babes, and I will be praying for you guys. OH! And thank you for escorting me all the way to Kiev with 3 huge luggages! Ya’ll the real MVP’s!
Meanwhile! My ladies back in Sac, I shall see you soon! Lillie, I can’t wait to marry you off! See you soon Sacramento!