This winter break was quite a whirlwind of a trip. I had yet to visit the Netherlands and Belgium, so I decided that that was where I would explore. It also helped that I found a cheap flight into Amsterdam and out of Brussels. So I booked the tickets and figured I’d fill in the details over the coming weeks.
My schedule sadly only left me a full day in Amsterdam. There were other things I wanted to go both in the Netherlands and Belgium, so my time in Amsterdam was short but super sweet.
After some breakfast at our hostel Bob’s Youth Hostel (which I just made the cutoff for as they don’t allow anyone older than 30), we headed out to the main strip to get our tickets for all of our adventures. By breakfast, I mean some fruit I bought at the grocery store. I was all about the budget traveler life on this trip.
The Body Worlds exhibit was cooler than I imagined. It’s basically an exhibition that shows you all about how the body works, with a focus on happiness. It basically takes you on a journey of what makes us happy and how happiness affects the body. There were many interactive parts including a bicycle and swings. I went with my friend Mackenzie and the swings were her favorite part.
The exhibit displays over 200 specimens of real human bodies. It goes through every part and system of the body.
This guy is doing parkour.
Saxophone-playing body. It reminded me of those old Sexy Saxman videos on youtube.
They had a part where you could check your blood pressure. This was mine. I think it’s pretty good and healthy.
They also had this cool interactive screen that tracked your emotions. It felt like we were characters in the game the Sims. Did anyone else spend their early adolescence playing the Sims? Good memories. Basically you could make the meters go up or down. I could not get the sadness meter to read on mine. I tried to make faces like I was crying but it just thought I was smiling.
I believe that’s Mackenzie’s meter that says she’s super happy.
I found this diagram to be very interesting as well. One of the most interesting parts (and potentially one of my favorites) was the part that compared what families from different countries eat and how much they spend on food each week. It was cool to see the differences and similarities.
This is a Japanese family.
And this is an American family. However I will say that a normal week for me does not look like this. I really do not eat much red meat or fast food. I tend to cook with a lot of vegetables and rice. Perhaps I’m just not the average American.
The exhibit started on the 5th or 6th floor. You rode an elevator up and then walked down from floor to floor. Each stairwell had a cool little phrase or saying about happiness.
Overall Body Worlds rocked. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Time to get on a boat
In the evening, we took a little boat cruise to see the Amsterdam Light Festival. A boat cruise in Amsterdam is a must. Since the city is full of canals, it’s one of the best ways to see everything. Around this time, you can either take a cruise during the day or at night. I thought it would be spectacular to see Amsterdam all lit-up for the holidays. What I didn’t realize is that the Amsterdam Light Festival is a series of art work that uses light. It was super cool.
We went on a night cruise with Lovers Canal Cruises. It’s called the Water Colors Cruise and it is happening daily through January 21st. So if you have a trip to Amsterdam in the next few weeks, you should go! If you come to Amsterdam after the 21st, there are other cruises you can take with the company as well.
The only downside of our cruise experience was that it was raining. That meant that the there were raindrops on the windows, making my photos less clear. However I still feel like they capture the essence and experience of seeing the city lit-up from the water.
The raindrops kind of gave me freckles here.
We had a great time!
Around the city
Here are a few more shots I got from just wandering around the city.
I will say that 24 hours is not nearly enough time in Amsterdam. I want to return to Amsterdam at some point but stay in an Airbnb a bit outside of the center. I’d love to get a feel for other parts of the city. Karen from Wanderlusting K has some good tips about what to see in Amsterdam in a day. She is an expat living in the Netherlands, so I’d definitely trust her advice for Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you do and see?