It’s taken me a while to post anything from my recent trip to Europe, but I hope the wait was worth it. I apologize whole-heartedly but blame KLM completely for throwing me off a day. I think the day delay coming back from Europe threw off my entire schedule – the downfall of being organized is that any kinks make you a helpless quivering blob of inactivity. But alas, I digress.
My first impressions of Amsterdam where a bit unnerving. Just the rawness of the city can be a little unsettling. Being an American in Europe doesn’t put me completely at ease given recent events in the world. In addition, Europe in general seems to have a lack of explicit safety precautions. The trams and bikes will run you over if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is your own responsibility as a human to keep yourself alive. If you get crushed, your fault. I somewhat like that. Europe seems to enact a sort of species selection this way – evolution in action.
New Years Eve in Dam Square was incredible. (see video). I’ve experienced the human cattle herding of New York City’s Times Square event and, unlike this event, Amsterdam is completely different. Dam Square is blocked off from traffic and pedestrian traffic is completely unrestricted. You can drink, shoot off fireworks, or just generally cruise around the entire area. People are shooting off fireworks nearly constantly for the 24 preceeding hours up to the countdown. At the countdown, this amount nearly quadruples into explosions of light directly above your head.
After checking out most of the museums, taking a canal tour, and eating way more than I should have we finished our touring of the city after nearly 6 complete days. Though I think that such an extended period of time in this city is a bit overkill, I enjoyed every minute of it and had a great time. Photos are available here.
Bottom line: Amsterdam for the New Year, highly recommended. Enjoy the brief video.