Monday, 24 February 2014

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”


As you may or may not have guessed from the John Green quote above, I recently visited Amsterdam.
I mentioned in my previous post that I've been wanting to visit Amsterdam for a while now, so my boyfriend and I thought we'd book a little trip. We stayed for three nights which was just enough time to get a taste for the city, however I definitely could've stayed longer.
I thought I'd use this post to share a few photos with you and tell you a little bit about our trip.

We flew from Belfast International airport on Monday morning and landed in Amsterdam Schipol airport at around 12pm local time, the flight was only around one hour ten minutes, so it wasn't too long a journey. As soon as we arrived I spotted a gift shop filled with clogs and naturally had to take a photo of it.

When I was finally finished ogling the clogs, we made our way to the train station which is handily located inside the airport. We caught the train to Central Station and from there made our way to Sumita's B&B where we were staying. It was only a ten minute walk from the station so was really central and easy to get to. 

Sumita's little guest room is located on the Brouwersgracht, which is one of the oldest (and prettiest) canals in Amsterdam, then across from here is the Haarlemmerstraat, a busy, local shopping street with a range of deli's, cafes and one off shops. 

After we had settled in, we went straight out to explore the city. We were fairly hungry and quickly found a cute cafe called Bagels and Beans to grab some lunch in. It was quite reasonably priced and the food was super fresh, they also had a variety of different tea's which as a big tea lover drew me in. In the end though I settled for a Strawberry juice (yum) and a tuna salad bagel. 

(Excuse the terrible photo haha)

Now being suitably full, we went for a little walk about and took a good few photos, spot the tourists, eh?

Old school Fiat 500, ahh.

After our long walk, we went back to get ourselves changed so that we could head out for some dinner. Here are some of the always necessary outfit photos.

How cool is this little nook in our room?!

For dinner we stayed quite close to our accomadation, we chose a little Italian place called Capri, it was very homely and authentic, there was even a little old cat wandering around as we ate. We both opted for pizza and I accidentally ordered mine with extra mozzarella which was beyond filling (bit of a language barrier problem haha). After a good feed we dandered around a few bars then eventually headed back to have some much needed sleep!

The next time we got up bright and early and headed more into the touristy central area to get some breakfast, I went for a Dutch pancake with strawberries and cream (major treat) and Dom had a Dutch breakfast.

Dom wolfed his food down too quickly, so no photo. But his fried egg had cheese on top! Cheese?!

We then headed off on an adventure and took in all the sights, including the Red Light District and the lovely Dam Square.

The Red light district was definitely interesting, it was full of tourists which made everything feel a little less seedy, but it was quite sad for me to see women selling themselves and being laughed at by people walking past.

Probably the most exciting part of the day for me was seeing the big yellow clog in real life and getting to sit in it! I've seen it countless times in peoples pictures and I finally got to take one myself!

That evening we headed out for dinner and after around 45 minutes of walking around (in heels) trying to find somewhere we finally found a place that looked nice, we checked out the menu before we went in and it looked great. Once inside and seated we realised we had looked at the lunch menu and that the à la carte dinner menu was much more expensive. I'm quite a fussy eater and there wasn't anything on the menu I liked. While deciding whether to stay or go, the waiter came over to take our drink orders and in sheer panic, I sent him away saying we needed a few more minutes. In the end I feigned a sudden illness and Dom and I made our excuses and left. We were mortified, but at least we didn't end up spending a crazy amount of money on dinner we wouldn't eat. By now we were starved and would eat anywhere, thankfully we stumbled across Tio Pepe, a gorgeous Mexican restaurant. The food was amazing and we ate like Kings.

The next day we got up quite late and kept it quite chilled, we got some gifts for family and went to Vondel Park and the Rijksmuseum where the famous I AMSTERDAM letters are.

We also had some amazing Macaroons and the best hot chocolate ever from a place in Dam Square originally named Hot Chocolate.

All in all it was a brilliant trip and I really recommend you visit Amsterdam!
Sorry the post was a little picture heavy but I had so many I wanted to share :-)

Rachael x

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