For the last few days of January, the Beard and I flew to Amsterdam for a bit of a mini-break (although I do hate that term). What was originally a Christmas present from me to him, turned out to be a January-Blues life saver for both of us. I’d never considered booking a holiday in January before, but our little trip gave our bleak January a big boost! It was great knowing we had something waiting for us at the end of a very long and very poor month, and I definitely think everyone should consider this in the future; holidays don’t always have to be about jetting off in the summertime, not to mention our flights were mega cheap.
We flew with British Airways, which made such a nice change from all the budget airlines we have flown with recently (complimentary drinks? Erm, yes please!). Once we had landed we bought some train tickets and got the train direct to central Amsterdam, a task that should have been straight-forward and simple for us, yet was confusing and had us runing from platform to platform. We had clearly lost our ‘Backpackers Touch’.
The original reason for this trip was to visit a friend we travelled with in Thailand back in 2013, a Dutch guy named David. Once we arrived – in the pouring rain – we got in touch with David and arranged to meet him at the McDonalds by the station (purely for convienience and to log into the free wifi). David lives in the Red Light District, and his place was a five minute walk from central station, so we didn’t get too wet.
We didnt get to see too much of Amsterdam on our first night because we spent the first few hours catching up with David in his uber trendy dutch Apartment and then spent the evening in a cafe called Skek where we ate some traditional dutch meals and tried severel dutch craft beers.
BUT the next day was a sunny one, so after leaving David’s apartments and dropping our bags off at our own AirBnB place, we headed out for a day of exploring. I love wandering around a new city with no idea of where I am going. We passed old historical buildings, beautiful canals and hundreds and hundreds of bicycles. Within a few hours of Amsterdam exploring (and after a few tasty snacks) I had fallen inlove with this city and was already forming a plan to move here and rent a cute little aparment overlooking a canal.
Whilst British stag-do’s unfortunately cannot be compltetly ignored, I found that weed and sex weren’t forced in my face as much as I had expected, which was a relief. Whilst we giggled our way through the Erotica Museum and a few sex shops, I found there was lot more to Amsterdam than drugs and sex. There is some amazing architecture, wonderful cafes and we even enjoyed a trip to the city’s zoo. I fell in-love with Amsterdam for it’s beauty and it’s amazing food. For Breakfast one morning we had steaks – there are sooooooo many Streak Houses in Amsterdam – and for dinner we enjoyed panackes (read about them here). We also had some great pizzas and some incredible sandwiches and bagels from a cafe popular with Dutch students called Singel 404.
We arrived in Amsterdam on a Thursday and had three nights. So with Friday and Saturday spent out and about exploring and eating, and Saturday night spent washing down many dutch beers, Sunday was the Beard’s day of rest. But not for me. I chose to find the I AM/STERDAM sign. I’m normally a crap map reader, but Amsterdam was the first place I found it incredibly easy to navigate my way around. So after just a 20 minute walk from our apartment I was at the famous sign. The only problem with going on my own was that I had no one to take my picture, and I was suddenly too shy (aka Hungover) to ask a stranger, so out came the selfie stick!
I would move to Amsterdam tomorrow. I’d happily rent a cute little place, buy a cute little bicycle and eat tasty pancakes and waffles every weekend. Hmmmmm, one day maybe?