Move Ash cloud! Get out the way!

One of Amsterdam's Many Canals

Besides the fact that some previously unknown (to me) volcano has erupted and brought European air traffic to a halt, I am beyond words excited about next week’s visit to Amsterdam.  Air traffic has resumed (I think) and as long as that giant ash cloud moves out of the way, I’m Holland-bound! It’s hard to believe that this will be my first return to Europe since studying abroad (but it’s also hard to believe that it’s been almost 4 years since I was there – old much?). Amsterdam was one of the only places that I didn’t get to visit while I was living in Italy.  I went to Paris, London, Barcelona, Switzerland, and all of Italy – but I didn’t make it to Amsterdam. One of my friends is in grad school there and I have had supreme travel envy at all of the pics that she puts up, but now I get to take some pics of my own.

I know what all of you are already thinking, but there are way more than “coffeeshops” in Amsterdam! The awesome canals, the quirky museums (and Anne Frank’s house!), the (in)famous Red Light District, the bicycling culture, and so much more that I’ll be able to talk about like a pro when I come back. And while I’m there, the country will be celebrating Queen’s Day – which is apparently a 24 hour party to celebrate the Queen Mother’s birthday in the streets – and the canals! Remember that first picture of the peaceful canal above, check out how it transforms into a Dutch Bourbon Street a la Mardi Gras on Queen’s Day! Looks like I need to pack some orange :).

Queen's Day in the Canals of Amsterdam

Fun Sites to Check out about Amsterdam:

  • Amsterdam Bicycles 82 pictures of people riding bicycles in 73 minutes – chronicling Amsterdam’s bike culture.  He’s even got pictures of women in tight dresses and heels, people talking on cell phones, men in suits with briefcases, and some even texting on their bikes – very funny!
  • Queen’s Day Just a little information about Queen’s Day – April 30 – in Amsterdam.
  • I Amsterdam The Official Amsterdam Tourist Board’s visitors site – I have been on this site all day trying to prioritize the “must-sees” next week.