Amsterdaaaaam…

After being stuck at security in bristol for much too long – apparently our liquid bags were too big (I thought I was being helpful) and so our trays with all our belongings were put on the floor the other side of the conveyor belt for about 15 minutes… THATS FINE I DONT NEED THE TOILET AT ALL. That’s a lie, I really did. And after putting my shoes, belt and necklace back on they finally sorted our bag problem and sent us on our way. The rest of the way to The Netherlands was easy peasy and we arrived in one piece as we’d hoped. Thankfully we’d kept our OV ChipKart from last time we were here which made things a whole lot easier when getting the tram to the centre. Our hotel is simple but nice – it’s practically luxury from the places we stayed in when we travelled in the summer. Our evening consisted of exploring the red light district and the centre, browsing the shops (specifically Forever 21) and Albert Heijn, our favourite Dutch supermarket.

Day two, a productive day! We visited the Rijksmuseum and took photos of the “I Amsterdam” sign outside… You know the one:

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After walking round a rather empty museum we got to the room that held some Rembrandt artwork (the highlight of the museum) which was coincidentally where everyone was. We took some photos and walked round the remainder of the museum which was educational and held some rather beautiful artwork, pottery/china and dresses. This one was my favourite…

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There was also a dress that was made for a woman with a 59cm waist. Crazy. One of my favourite pieces in the museum was a “man catcher”, basically a long three pronged spear. Hilarious. After a couple of hours in the museum we made our way into town on the tram (we’re pros) and stopped to watch some street performers/dancers… Four men doing break dancing type stunts which were impressive but it was their fun personalities that kept the crowd – “don’t worry, it gets better!” was chanted a few times by them. After another trip to Albert Hijn we hopped back on the tram to Vondlepark. A little stroll around the corner to Sophialaan for a photo and then into the park to count runners and cyclists. It was very cold but very beautiful and the houses round there were incredible, who doesn’t want a dock for their boat? That evening was spent eating the most delicious waffles and drinking black tea and lots of laughter.

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Day three, Saturday. We spent the morning walking round Spui and the worlds only floating flower market, which we had perfect weather for. We stopped in a little cafe for lunch which was quaint and played my favourite music… Which by the end of lunchtime Sophia was also a fan of. We then visited the torture museum which wasn’t worth the €7 entrance fee but the “cloak of shame” gave us a few laughs.

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We walked the little way to the red light district which is odd to experience in daylight, and headed to the Prostitution Museum which was more worth the €8 fee but left us feeling a little down-heartened because of some of the experiences of the girls but still very interesting and a good insight.
The Pancake Factory was next on our list and so we walked through Jordaan and its many canals (bringing back memories of Pride from August) and we arrived at the factory of pancakes. Once we’d seen how expensive they were we swiftly changed our minds and walked on… No matter how much we wanted them, €14.50 was a bit steep for our budget. Instead we went to our trusty Albert Heijn and bought waffles which kept us going while we got ready for a night out. Playing drinking games with two people (who know everything about each other) and no cards or other props is pretty difficult… we just drank and hopped on the tram to Rembrandt Square, home to a few nightclubs, bars and the like. It has to be said, this wasn’t a wild night out and our last trip here was much more of a story. We lasted about three hours in two very similar clubs and then called it a night, mainly due to the fact that we were starving and had to walk 3 miles back to our hotel because trams stop at midnight, goddammit. But still, we made a friend and got Chipsy King chips so it was a win win all round, and we got to dance – what more could we want. The walk home was incredibly cold though and if we don’t get pneumonia it’ll be a miracle.

Day four was spent getting to and waiting at the airport ready to fly home. We waited at the arrivals gate for a while and watched families greet each other which was really touching. A little boy ran up to his dad and gave him the biggest hug and couples embracing and giving flowers. The most touching though was an elderly couple; the wife was waiting for her husband and they shared such a special moment I wish I could have captured it as more than just a memory. It’s now raining outside and we’re waiting to board the plane, both very tired so I’ll leave this post here, but it has to be said, I really love Amsterdam. Thank you for reading! Tot ziens!

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