Bikes, bikes, bikes. That’s the first thing you see when you pull into Amsterdam Central–as the name suggests, it is the most central station in the small, charming town in Holland. Most visitors come here to smoke or to experience the Red Light District. I came to Amsterdam on an uncomfortable, cramped Megabus with my best friends ready for something new and exciting for the back half of my winter break.
And that’s exactly what I got. My very hospitable couchsurfing host gave my friend and me a tour of the gorgeous city by bike–a three-hour excursion that almost resulted in several bike crashes and actually did result in me falling off my bike. Later the same day, we rode back from an Amsterdam bar in the middle of the night, in the rain, making wild U-turns and dodging cars in small alleyways. My friend and I elicited many relived sighs when we survived and would turn around to each other screaming ‘Did you SEE that? I almost died!’
Amsterdam is very much made for biking–lanes are set apart all over the city for the bikers and people casually talk on the phone, hold an umbrella over their head or eat a sandwich as they ride down the road. (No, I’m not joking.) And I saw several young children biking alongside their parents.
Amsterdam’s beauty definitely captivated me and I completely fell in love with the city in my short trip there. But when I think back, I will definitely remember pedaling quickly down the street with hundreds of other Dutch bikers, avoiding pedestrians, cars and feeling absolutely amazing.