“May you stay in one place forever,” so goes the curse of one tribe. How, you may ask, can wishing upon another the fate of staying in one place forever be a curse? Well, if you think about it, so much of human existence relies on mobility and movement. The human race’s potentials for progress and development heavily depends on the question of whether there is a sense of climbing towards a particular goal or summit. And so, to wish absolute immobility upon another person is always and at the same time, to wish upon him or her the incapacity to progress or to move forward in life.
But of course, in the case of the individual person, travelling is a lot more fun than just progress and development. Travelling is also about expanding your horizon and seeing little corners of the world which you never would have seen, had you chosen to ‘stay in one place forever’ (a truly sad fate, isn’t it?). And so, if one of these days you ever find yourself in a foreign city or country, it’s probably best to resist the temptation to visit the ‘all too familiar places’, such as the museums, the popular parks, and other commonplace tourist destinations. When visiting Amsterdam, for instance, you also need to experience the not-so-common destinations, so that you’ll have a more complete experience of the city.
Here are some hidden gems (read: secret places) you can check out in Amsterdam (of course that means they won’t be secret anymore, but who cares).
Hidden Gem # 1: Geitenboerderij Riddammerhoeve
All you goat (or at least animal) lovers out there, this place is for you. This is a biodynamic goat farm which you can find right in the middle of Amsterdamse Bos. In this farm, you can freely interact with animals. And that’s not all. Before you head for home or your hotel room, be sure you purchase the fresh produce being sold in the farm. Take your fill of eggs, milk, honey, cheese, and many other farm products.
Hidden Gem #2: The Wine Cellar
Are you in the mood for some Argentinian wine? Heck, what’s the point of asking, anyway? Of course you’re in the mood for Argentinian wine. If you want to try some but would like an experience of obscurity, take your magical sip at The Wine Cellar. It’s located under De Nieuwe Kerk, which is on Dam Square, Amsterdam.
Hidden Gem #3: Vondelbunker
If you’re someone who enjoys a sense of mystery wherever you go, then perhaps a hidden bunker is the place that’ll definitely feed your hunger. Cue in Vondelbunker. Right under a particular bridge in Vondelpark (yes, no one’s going to tell you which bridge so you have to find out for yourself, haha), it’s a bunker that actually hosts a lot of activities – concerts, cinema nights, art exhibits, and many other activities which you might consider ‘countercultural’. (Here’s a bonus fact about Vondelbunker: it even has its own mini brewery inside, and it’s called Bunkerbier.)
Hidden Gem # 4: ‘t Nieuwediep
In an old pump house hidden in the middle of Flevopark in Amsterdam Oost sits ‘t Nieuwe Diep. A distillery and bar that’s still unknown to many people, it’s actually a very pretty house that’s surrounded by trees and flowers all around, making it the perfect destination in the spring or in the summer. What’s more, they even make their own jenever, and they conveniently sell snacks, soda, as well as some good ol’ beer. (But of course.)
So here’s the moral of the story: don’t even think of going to places that everyone else will visit. Always look for the mysteries, the hidden gems, the secret hiding places, for therein lies all the fun and excitement. Enjoy Amsterdam!