On Friday morning I got up and headed into Amsterdam for a tip-based walking tour. It was a good start to the day and gave me a bunch of info I didn’t really know about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. It wasn’t a tour full of too many dates and names, instead it focused more on the people and the culture. This trip for me has definitely involved going to a lot of merchant cities I have realised.

After the tour I went and got some food before heading on the free ferry over to North Amsterdam. Rory had suggested that I head over to check it out, as this was where there was a cool bar, the beach, and lots of street art. By the time I got there after the tour and food, I pretty much did the explore some galleries and the street art.

I wandered around happily snapping away at all the cool graff about the place, and then I came to the graffiti and street art museum, STRAAT. This was incredible with so many pieces from artists all over the world! I definitely could have spent longer on this side of town. I entered the STRAAT just as it was getting dark outside so it was good for that timing though. I even picked myself up a birthday present in the gift shop. I was stoked with this day out and so grateful that Rory clearly knew just what I wanted to see. This was the perfect way to spend my last day in my mid-late 30’s (tomorrow there is no denying I am just late 30’s).

Afterwards I headed out and got the ferry back to Amsterdam city. I wanted to have a final walk around and check out the scene once the sun had gone down. I grabbed a few snaps and then headed back to Twan’s place for a pretty chill evening.
The next day I was older not just the normal type of day ageing but the one where people ask how old you are you have to increase the number you have said for the previous year. I did some work during the day and went and picked up some drinks for the post-modem party we were having that night. Twan had some errands to run that day including the final dog school for Chico, who passed with flying colours!

Then that night I for the first time ever, rode on the back of a bicycle. Twan rode us over to Lianne and Michael’s place where we were partying for the night. There has been a lot of bicycle related events in the Netherlands. It was so lovely to catch up and hang out with the crew from Modem again. They massively surprised me with a basket full of epic gifts! I was in shock when they came out with this collection of thoughtful amazing goods. There was a thimble and some scissors (because I was sewing ears at Modem), there was vegan Dutch snacks and a bottle of red wine, pair of gloves and slipper socks, a wooden elephant (with it’s trunk up for good luck), a Van Gogh sunflower bag and a pink bicycle key chain. It was incredible and blew me away that these wonderful people I had met for a week, went to all this effort to put together such a thoughtful gift for me.

They are such a lovely crew and I am honoured that they have accepted me and taken me in. I can’t wait to catch up with them all again at Modem next year! This was such a lovely way to spend my birthday, not alone, but with some new family. So the rest of the weekend was pretty much epic party times and recovering.

On Monday I just started trying to catch back up on work and packed up everything as I was leaving the next day. That night Twan’s friend Bob came over. It was great to get to meet him as I had heard a bit about him over my last week with Twan. We just hung out had some more great chats. The next morning I got up to say bye to Twan when he went to work and finished packing up my last bits before I headed to the train station.