July 27, 2019
Dear Friends and Family,
In Amsterdam, there are bicycles EVERYWHERE! Bike riders in Amsterdam are very skilled, I have seen people holding hands while riding their bikes, riding their bike with one hand or no hands, and riding their bike while pulling another bike. One person may pedal his/her bike while another person rides on the back or front of his/her bike. You may also see one person pedaling his/her bike with a rider in the front of the bike AND a rider on the back of the bike. Bike riders eat, drink, smoke, and text while pedaling too. A new law has been put into place regarding no texting while riding a bicycle. Also, most of the bike riders do not wear helmets. If you are accidentally walking in the bike lane, the bike rider will ring their bell which is a signal telling you to “get out of my way!”. I upgraded my mountain bike and made it “Amsterdam friendly” by adding a kickstand, bell, etc. I was very intimidated to ride my bike for the first time, but I took the plunge on a Saturday morning when people were not commuting to work. Many locals know that you are American if you wear a helmet. I figured that maybe the locals would be a little “nicer” to me since I was a beginner bike rider in Amsterdam wearing a helmet!
Our bikes are stored in a bike garage, which is a nice amenity that our apartment has. It is nice because it has less of a chance of being stolen or getting wet when it rains. Rows and rows of bikes are on many of the sidewalks. Notice that in the picture below, the toddler is wearing a helmet. 🙂 Some babies and children do not wear helmets.
T and I rode our bikes to Amstelpark. We saw many sites along the way to the park.
When we arrived at Amstelpark, we went into a side entrance. Amstelpark hosts many events on the weekends.
We saw kangaroos and a rooster during our walk.
There was also a pretty fountain that we sat on a bench and looked at.
If you are in the mood for Put-Put, you are in luck. Amstelpark has two miniature golf courses. We did not play this time, but plan to play in the future.
You can also enjoy a train ride throughout the park. We did not ride the train, but it looked like fun.
I found the Lost and Found (pictured below) to be very interesting. In theory, it is a good idea, but I know that when I lose something, I have no idea of where to even start looking for it – ha, ha! I know at the elementary campus I worked at, our Lost and Found grew daily!
The Rozenoord Monument is also located in Amstelpark. The monument consists of 140 victims and 106 names. Each chair represents Dutch men that were executed by the German occupiers in Rozenoord near the Amstel River during World War II. Many of the Dutch men were resistance fighters. There are three different types of chairs and each identifies the age of the person. You can read more below for more information regarding the monument and the significance it holds.
After walking around the park, we were hungry and rode our bikes to Coffee Concepts. We sat on the second floor and enjoyed our sandwich and cappuccino.
After lunch, we went to the zuiderMRKT. We bought cheese, pistachios, and organic and sulfate-free French wine.
In the evening, we went to Pllek to meet with a Meetup Group called AMS Connected-Where Expats and Amsterdam Truly Unite Meetup group. T and I rode a ferry in order to get to Pllek. It was very windy on the ferry! Pllek is also surrounded by other establishments.
We met many nice expats and also attended a free photography workshop. Neither T or I were the winners of the best photo. I found myself to be very distracted at the ambiance of Pllek while trying to take photos. I cannot recall another place that I have been to that is like Pllek. Our instructor, Mari Abramkina, was very knowledgeable and taught us many photo taking tips. I hope to improve my picture taking, especially for the purpose of my blog.
As the night went on, Pllek became much more crowded.
We had a very busy and fun day!
Anchored in Hope in Amsterdam,