Saturday, 3 August 2013

I AMsterdam

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One Thursday evening, after having sat for a good number of hours on the sofa me and Nessa suddenly said ‘I’m bored. Let’s go away!’.

6:10am Tuesday we were off to Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam has gotten the reputation of only being good for two things- Sex and drugs. How wrong that is. We stepped off the plane to 33 degree heat; which for us Brits is like tropical weather, to just suddenly stop and stare. Amsterdam is gorgeous.

The city is essentially half road, half water thanks to its hundreds of canals, meaning there are over 1900 bridges!

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If you just stand on one of these, and look down the canal, you are swept into a rustic, romantic dream. Ivy adorned townhouses line ever street, with fresh flowers spilling onto the footpaths, and nearly every house has little window boxes with fresh herbs. The smell is intoxicating. 

On a map the city looks intimidating large, everything is in walking distance, and who wouldn’t want to stroll around a city this beautiful? It may take you a little longer as you fantasize about skipping about town with a basket of fresh flowers in the crook of your arm, but who cares? It’s Amsterdam, famous for its carefree ad relaxed attitude.

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However if walking really isn’t your thing, then you have to bike it. Bikes defiantly out beat cars, they practically outnumbered people, they were everywhere!

Every post, pillar or railing, they were fixed to, and don’t get me started on the cycle lanes. For the first day I thought I was for sure going to get run over. They rule the road, and there is no questioning that. 

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Sunglasses- Tom Ford
 Cami- River Island
Short- Topshop
Flats- F+F
Bag- Betsy Johnson

Every place we went, every person we met was extremely warm and friendly. Whether we past someone on the way to our morning coffee stop, or down a little side street, they would always say hi. On our second day as we came out of our hotel at 8am , groggy and with a typical British attitude to early starts, a stranger looked up and said, ‘Good morning ladies, have a wonderful day’ Now you would never get that in England!

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We decided to get straight in, and go to the Anne Frank House. Now I am afraid you are not allowed to take photos, so I cannot show you, however, I will say, it is an absolute must. I don’t think ‘Amazing’, or ‘So good’ is quite appropriate, but it will really make you think, and stick with you for a long time afterwards.

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To lighten the food, we headed off for lunch. We spotted a little cafe that had tables right on the canal edge, so it was decided.

We sat and chatted about our first impressions, and congratulated ourselves on how whimsical we were flying out to Amsterdam on such short notice. 

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The menu was rustic, but full unusual concoctions. Serrano ham, avocado and mango chunky anyone? Warm goat’s cheese, honey and walnut? Oh but boy was it good! I think I may need to recreate this at home. Plus I may have pinched some of Nessa’s too. Well sharing is caring right? 

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After lunch it was time to check into our hotel. Now as a totally on the spur of the moment trip, money was a factor into our trip. We knew we were the sorts to spend every second scurrying around the city, and as little possible time in our hotel. We decided on Hotel TheExchange, as it was cheap and cheerful, but with a twist. Every single room as been designed by students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute to with the theme Rooms Dressed as Models. Every single room is completely unique, so while we had seen pictures online, we weren’t entirely sure what we were getting.

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Now I’m now fashion graduate, but I’m not entirely sure I see Dressed as Model here, but that said, the hotel was actually really nice. Now as in budget Europe city hotels the rooms are tiny, but it was very clean and modern, so c’est la vie. However if you are looking for safe, clean accommodation in Amsterdam, I would recommend it.

Hotel The Exchange
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However, not one to waste a second of the sunshine, we were straight back out. We headed to Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park for a barbeque. 

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I know we were in Amsterdam, but I’m still British! Strawberries are a must.

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Our new friend Max took to the BBQ. Being American he insisted that they knew best how to ‘Grill’.  It must have been the good weather that allowed me to let someone we had only known for an hour take charge of the BBQ, I’m a keen griller myself.

Now don’t worry kids, I’ve not lost my senses and picked a random off the street. We met up with Nessa’s childhood friend Tom (no pictures sadly- typical lad) who lives out in Amsterdam on his internship and Max is his housemate. 

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We lazed and grazed in the sun till past midnight listening to the guitar of a group of friends next to us. I could have stayed their all night, it was that serene. But we had to bid our farewells as we needed to get some shut eye in preparation for more adventures tomorrow. 

Click here to enter my Thomas Sabo Giveaway? - ends 5th August. 

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  1. Great images. You look adorable in the comfy outfit. The food looks delicious amazing Max could bbq in such a small item an outstanding meal.

    1. Thanks. Max was a cutie. I was worried he might burn the food, but I was wrong! :P x

  2. thank you very much for visiting me, would you like to follow each other? ;)

  3. Ah I love Amsterdam so much. Are you going to go to the handbag museum? I loved it!

    Lovely photos

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. There was a handbag museum!? Why did I not know this??

  4. Haha, I love how spontaneous you are! Cute outfit and great photos x

    1. So unlike me being this spontaneous! I think it may be the new graduate side of me coming out. :)

  5. This looks amazing, I'd love to be spontaneous enough to do something like this! Maybe one day. I went to Amsterdam once but it was in like year eleven or something so I only really got to see the 'studenty bits', but Anne Frank's house seriously affected me. These pictures have given me the wanderlust to want to visit again!

    You look beautiful in your photos :)

    1. I remember going on school trips; having to follow the teacher round. Seeing certain things, but never finding the little treasure trove of hidden gems. I would definitely recommend going back. x

  6. Ive always wanted to go to Amsterdam! It looks like such a beautiful place x

  7. What a wonderful trip! :) the weather looked gorgeous! :) x

  8. Glad you had a great time, I went at the beginning of June and loved it! You definitely had nicer weather than I did though!

    1. I was told my Tom that Amsterdam is even rainier than England! I feel for you! x

  9. This is such an amazing city, really charming streets and buildings, great photos hun!

  10. Amsterdam looks amazing! I can't wait to visit the city myself some day! And that food looks absolutely great! xx

    Daphne | Peanut Butter and Chocolate Life | bloglovin

  11. Awh what a lovely post, you could nearly imagine being there yourself the way the scene was set! :) I love being as spontaneous as possible so well done to you, I've always heard intriguing things about Amsterdam that push away those stereotypes, and this only further encourages me to make a visit sometime soon! Love the sound of that cafe, what unusual but delicious-looking sandwich combinations!

    Amelia xx

    1. I'm glad that your could really envisage yourself there, that's just what I hope for when I write.
      Yes, I think it's such a shame the Amsterdam gets saddled with this reputation, so if I can just help a little then that's good. x

  12. Awe what a lovely insight! I really excited for my trip now! Kudos to you for going on such short notice!! So exciting!!!! Your hotel looked awesome too! Xxx

  13. Awnn Amsterdan! I traveled through your words and photos again to there! I spent one of the most funny and exciting moments of my life in Amsterdan! I remember that the bathroon in my room had a glass door and we could see through it... how embarrassing this can be! hahaha It was better on Edam... the hotel (De Fortuna) was a paradise!

    1. The bathroom door was glass? Oh I am thankful ours wasn't, could have been awkward ha x

  14. I loved reading this hun, Amsterdam looks like a very charming place, I am just about to read part 2 now!


    Em’s Mixed Bag

  15. Oh God I loved Amsterdam. I have only been there once, it is one of the first posts I did on my blog, but wow what an amazing city! Apart from the lunacy of the bike riders! I would move there in a heart beat. Very jealous you got to see Anne Franke's house, every time we went by the queues were around the block with a wait time of a couple of hours plus :O so we had to forgo it. But I would love to return to Amsterdam again x

    1. Oh I will have to make a visit to your early archives then Kay. Yes, the bikes are a little crazy. I thought for sure that I was going to loose a limb by the end! We queued for over an hour, unsure exactly how long, as it was only after we had been queuing for a while one of the the staff came over and said it would be a further 1 hour, but we thought we might as well just go for it. x


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