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.
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!
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.
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.
Sunglasses- Tom Ford
Cami- River Island
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I know we were in Amsterdam, but I’m still British! Strawberries are a must.
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.
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.
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