On Tuesdays, we travel.
Where would you love to be today?
So I was about to write this post about Belgium. I’ve never been to Belgium, but I hope to make the trip soon, as it’s very close to London and accessible by the Eurostar train. (Readers, let me know if you have any recommendations!)
Yet I don’t know if it’s the weather, or the fact that I’m reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, or what, but I feel like Amsterdam instead. And since (regrettably) this is only in our minds, let’s change the itinerary and head to the Netherlands.
I’ve been to Amsterdam many times because KLM was the cheapest airline for many years and often stopped in Amsterdam for layovers. I’d ride the humming yellow and blue train from Schipol airport in the early morning. The countryside would flash by in big, broad Impressionist smears and strokes. I’d arrive in Centraal Station sleep-deprived and woozy and then wander that beautiful fairytale city. I’d follow the canals to specifically nowhere. Eat Vaalmese frites, warming my hands on the hot and greasy paper cone. I’d pick out my future canal house and avoid the bikes wheels, spinning close to my toes.
Photo from wallpaperscraft.com
One time that sticks in my memory very well was a layover on a trip to Scotland with my friend Bayta. We stopped in Amsterdam and just wandered around all night because we didn’t have enough money for a hotel. The night was a frosty dream: empty squares with only leaves blowing through them; white swans floating down ink black canals; and a little door mouse, nibbling confections in a bakery window. That night was made of dreams and magic and lost childhood stories.
A photo from my first trip to Amsterdam
My first time in Amsterdam (2002; age 20)