The winter in Lille has dragged on with one cloudy , drizzly, cold day after another. I have begun to wonder if the sun even exists. Please, say it does! The dreary days suck the life out of you and make you want to curl up on the couch and never leave. In an attempt to shake off the winter blues, Shane and I took a trip up to Amsterdam last weekend.
Our weekend trip was a much needed getaway. The Dutch speak excellent English and are much more friendlier than the French, which was such a welcome break! We explored the back allies and canals and enjoyed strolling the streets. To continue our search for culture, we went to the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. Both were very interesting and essential Amsterdam sights. Our favorite moments centered around food, of course. The Pancake Bakery makes massive pancakes with more fillings and toppings than you could ever dream- ice cream, whip cream, fruit, nuts, chocolate carmel. Dessert pancakes were the most important to me on the menu, but some also had meat, veggies, and cheese. Yum yum.
The infamous red light district was quite disturbing. Yes, there were prostitutes in windows and multiple "coffeeshops" to buy pot. But more disturbing were the multiple large groups of men gawking and visiting these places. It hurt my heart to see such sadness and people searching for temporary fullfillment.
So, did we find the sunshine in Amsterdam? Nope. Not one itty bitty ray. It was worth it and we plan to go back when the flowers are blooming and leaves are on the trees. Afterall, what is a trip to Holland without seeing some tulips?