My husband and I have chosen Amsterdam as the destination for our final trip of the year. It would be our second trip there and why did we choose to go back to a place where we have been to before, you would say. Well, there were many reasons for this decision. First and foremost, the lure of a fascinating and romantic light festivals spread out across the beautiful canals of Amsterdam was too great to resist. Secondly, I had always regretted not making a trip out of Amsterdam to visit their iconic windmills. And well, most importantly, the cost of visiting Amsterdam in winter is much more reasonable when compared to the other more popular destinations.
How did this trip fared as compared to the previous one that we embarked on a few years back? Well, having visited the main tourist attractions places the previous time, we could go at a very slow pace this time round and really take in the beauty of Amsterdam! I have never known that I can obtain such peace and serenity in my mind just be admiring the Amsterdam canals and its surroundings - the gentle waves of the canal water hitting the boats as they sailed through, the birds flying about and chirping the sound of freedom, the locals being one with their bicycles as they travelled down the streets alongside the canals and not forgetting the many couples taking a romantic stroll along the canals. Such is life! Reminder to self: slow down and enjoy what nature has to offer!
The light festival in Amsterdam was well, not as hyped up as we had thought it would be and we found it slightly too commercial for our liking. Nevertheless, it was interesting to sit on the benches on the banks of the canals and look at the trail of boats catered to bring people along the canals for the light festival. I observed that there were generally two types of people on board these boats - those who were glazing out of the window, with a glass of wine or champagne in their hand and slowly taking in the beauty of the trail, which was in strike contrast to those who were frantically trying to get a good photo of the light displays - it felt as though a still movie and an action movie were being screened at the same time!
It was also with great joy and excitement that we managed to travel out of Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a neighbourhood of Zaandam which was famous for its collection of windmills and houses. It certainly was an eye-opener to be able to know more about how things work in these functional windmills. The view of the windmills spread out across the river bank was certainly a scenic one and I could easily just sit and watch it for the whole day! I guess this type of tranquility and serenity can only be found outside of the major cities.
All in all, this second trip to Amsterdam has been an enjoyable and fulfilling one. As of always, I am very glad and grateful for this chance to bear witness to the beauty of Amsterdam regardless of the seasons or the time of the year. With a recharged body, mind and spirit, it is now time to face the challenges ahead of us in the upcoming new year!