The Daily Aztec

Amsterdam: Adult Disneyland

by Melissa Artobello

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The last major stop on our tour was the Netherlands. Of course, the highlight was our time spent in Amsterdam, but before that, we took some time to explore Holland’s countryside and villages that are often overlooked because of the capital’s crazy reputation.

The first thing we did upon entering the country was stop at Irene Hoeve Clogs and Cheese Shop. Here, we got to see how they make cheese and traditional wooden clogs. Granted, they weren’t the most comfortable shoes, I still wanted a souvenir unique to Holland so I bought a pair of clog slippers.

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We then drove to Volendam, a fishing village and popular tourist destination. People come to see the fishing boats in the harbor and the traditional clothing that some residents still wear. The town consists of many shophouses that sell food, clothes, and souvenirs.

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Next, we went to Zaanse Schans, a community dating back to the 18th century with so much to see and do. You can walk around and admire the traditional houses and buildings. You can watch clog- and cheese-making. There’s plenty of places to eat and shop. But the most appealing attraction are the windmills. Ten windmills are still used to serve the community. It was pretty cool to see these antique, machine giants up close.

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We hit the motel and prepared for a night on the town. The bus ride there was certainly an indicator of the awesome night we were about to have. Everyone was pumped and pre-gaming before our tour of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. When we arrived in the city, I was pretty blown away by how beautiful it was. I didn’t expect to see such amazing architecture and the hundreds of canals that run through the city.

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When the sun went down, we walked through the Red Light District. No pictures are allowed of the woman so unfortunately I can’t show you any of it. But it was definitely an interesting experience. Woman stood in lingerie behind glass walls like mannequins in a shop. Each alley was unique, women of a certain race or type. We got to one alley that was so narrow, barely two people could walk through at a time. This was where the top-quality woman were. They were stunning and exotic and all the guys were practically drooling.

After the tour, our group was left to do whatever. So we hit the bars. We hung out at The Grasshopper all night and danced and some people dove right in to Amsterdam’s speciality. It was a fun and crazy night.

The next morning, we had the whole day to explore on our own. Being some of the few people not extremely hungover, my family and I went out and walked around the city. Lucky for us, we were there during Amsterdam’s Gay Pride parade. Hundreds of interesting boats float down the canals of the city. We saw some pretty hilarious floats.

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After watching the parade for a while, we went to the Anne Frank house to gain some cultural and historical insight. It was really fascinating and depressing walking through the house and seeing where this well-known story actually occurred.

Afterwards, we left the city and kept the memories. Definitely one of my favorite destinations from the tour.

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