Over Easter break, I traveled to Amsterdam and Prague.
The first stop was Amsterdam for which my friend and I stayed 3 nights. The first shocker to me was the stairs at the hostel, I would sooner describe them as a ladder than actual stairs. Barley half my foot fit onto the step and they were very steep, I had to be very careful not to trip and fall. The following day we went on a canal tour where the tour guide explained to us how these types of stairs are common as the width of a building is very expensive. The wider the building as well as with more stairs signified more wealth. So many buildings had limited stairs and are very narrow. Many of the buildings also are crooked and leaning forward as this makes it easier to belay items through the windows from the ground (as not much can be brought in via the stairs). Another fascinating thing about Amsterdam is all the bikes, and the cars being so close to the canal. Many bikes actually fall into the canals, and hundreds per year are retrieved from the canals. Insurance companies in Amsterdam had to place down a small strip of concrete between the canal and the parking space as cars often would drive into the canal (especially self-driving Teslas).
The entire culture in Amsterdam regarding sex and drugs was a huge shock to me. They sell marijuana and magic mushrooms on the streets as it was candy. I passed so many stores with different flavored edibles, and mushrooms packed into cookies etc. When I visited the Red Light District I could not believe how casual it was for prostitutes to be lined up the entire street, with windows on display. If one would choose to pursue said prostitute they simply would just enter the door the window they were in was next to. That as well as all the sex shows and sexual references shocked me. I visited the historical sex museum and learned that the reason the lights in the windows are red is that back in the older days red light was used to hide rashes from STDs, thus portraying these prostitutes as non-infected. Sex and drugs are so casual and out in the open in Amsterdam, where I have never seen it to be like that anywhere else. Aside from that, I was able to see some of the notorious tulips Amsterdam is known for as it is peak season. I went to a huge garden and the flowers were so beautiful and smelled lovely. I also toured the Heinick Museum and got to the roots of the infamous beer that originated in Amsterdam.
My next stop was Prague where I stayed for two nights. Prague is breathtaking, the architecture is so intricate, and really displays the art of the buildings and the charm Europe is known for. I explored around Old Town and came across a huge street market which was all decorated for Easter. I have found here in the EU holidays are celebrated for sometimes weeks at a time. Easter is one of them, the entire market was decked out and they had Easter trees (Green trees with egg ornaments) I thought these were really cute. I also visited the Banksy Museum and got to see displays of his artwork. I wish I had more time in Prague as my flight was early the next morning so my friends and I only got one day to explore the city. I would love to go back in the summer and see everything all green and full of life, as spring is just started here and there is not much greenery life outside yet.