So yesterday was so nice…. I probably put in a good 60 kilometers on the bike I rented. I traveled all through the North and Northeast countryside outside Amsterdam… saw a lot of cows and sheep and hay and horses and lilypads and streams and lakes and actually unfortunately only one windmill. But it was really nice.. the weather was beautiful. It was very warm and sunny, but the breeze was perfect and the fact that I was riding inherently put me in the breeze. Yeah 9 AM to 5 PM… by the end I was exhausted but let´s just say I reclaimed the muscle in my right leg that had disappeared after a month of being in a cast.

I did get really sunburnt though. I´m ashamed to say that I didn´t put sunscreen on early enough. But they DO have aloe in Holland. Unlike Rome.

Another thing Italy versus Holland… my adapter works here… so I could charge my camera battery… yay. Good thing, cuz my battery died on my bike tour yesterday.

Today I visted the Anne Frank House, but did very little else (except update you all and send out a few e-mails) because of how exhausted and sore I am. For lunch I had the best BLT of my life. It was served as a baguette sandwich and the bacon really made the sandwich because it was so thick and salty and had a TON of flavor. It was the best bacon I’d ever had. 🙂

So I have a night train to Interlaken tonight. This is my vacation part of the trip. Which I´m SO ready for because I am starting to get really exhausted from travelling so much right now. (Probably also has something to do with riding over 35 miles and being sunburnt.) Nothing planned for Interlaken except hiking and relaxing and reading. Oh, you know my temporary friend Dawn that I met here at church excursion here in Amsterdam? Well she left for Interlaken last night, and we were going to try and get the same hostel, but one night was full at her´s, and I didn´t want to hostel hop, but I gave her my e-mail, and we´re going to try to do at least one hike together. So pretty pumped for that.

On my bike trip, on the way back to Amsterdam, I took the coast roads along the sea, and happened to come upon a cheese farm, so obviously I stopped in to see it. Never have I been so overwhelmed by the smell of cheese. It´s like the Yankee Candle Company of cheeses. But I went in the shop and I asked the guy if the cheeses needed to be kept refrigerated. He said they are good for two months as long as I don´t put them in the sun. SO… someone should throw a party when I get back and I will pitch in some REALLY GREAT Dutch cheese. I had samples and they´re AMAZING. I think they´re all Gouda, but one is regular, one is peppery, and the other is herbs. I don´t remember exactly.. they´re in the fridge right now.

But about Amsterdam… I have to say that the most disheartening thing about it was the Red Light District… not merely its existence, but the prevalence of families… parents walking along there WITH their children… ALL AGES. I just kept watching the faces and reactions of these little boys… really can´t describe it. Really don´t know what those parents were thinking though……


Hannah Downey

UX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

Read More