Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Amsterdam adventures!

Amsterdam travels

In the spring I ventured on some travels toAmsterdam with a girlfriend to explore the sights and the craziness that the city had to offer.

The compulsive organiser in me researched and stuck about a trillion colourful sticky tabs into our travel book with plans to fill the week that we were spending there. I was excited for what was in store for us.

Leaving the UK behind in what seemed like winter in what was technically spring time wasn’t something I was going to miss when brighter and sunnier times were promised a stones throw away, which meant that I did pack some summer dresses and skirts.

It wasn’t as sunny as I hoped to begin with as our first day was quite literally a wash out...we ventured into the City centre, Centraal, where we explored the shops and streets. It rained pretty hard most of the day so we were a little soggy and frizzy by the end of the day. Armed with a big bottle of Bols gin, cheese, crusty bread, olives and other fancy nibbles we headed back to our room. It was nice enough to dry out for the rest of the day, by then we’d given up and we were ready for much gin consumption.

Bettie Page photographs in the sex museum

Cheeky nude photobomber
We decided to do a lot of tourist stuff on our visit so we naurally started with a visit to the sex museum, which was a load of fun. The sun decided to pop out for the rest of the day – yey! We tried to go to the tattoo museum, but it has unfortunately recently closed down and so we ended the day at the House of Bols. Both avid Gin lovers we got to have a fun and interactive tour ending in cocktails and shots. Needless to say we took a tipsy tram ride back. I would highly recommend both of these museums if you’re ever venturing to the city.

With the sun finally out properly we took a tram to the zoo where we spent all day looking at the cute, funny and amazing animals. I love the zoo, I feel like a child again so amazed and in awe of all the creatures of the world. We spent the rest of the day on the boat, that was tied up to the house boat, sipping g&t’s and watching all of the fabulous boats having parties go past. It seems when there’s good weather everybody in Amsterdam gets in their boats with drinks and picnics and cruise the rivers all day. It looks like a lot of fun!



Getting a pre cocktail pose in
Laura, my Mai Tai and I

G&T's on the boat...dont mind if I do!
 We took a chilled out approach the next day by going to the tulip market, which was pretty disappointing to be completely honest. I'm sure if we caught it on the wrong day perhaps, but there wasnt much to see. We dip into the cheese shops to try all of the samples. I love cheese, like a lot! We quickly learnt early on in our trip that nothinbg was easy to find amongst the maze of rivers and streets and so we ran circles trying to find the antiques quarter. Once we finally got there I got myself a cute Bakelite bangle at a bargain. There were so many beautiful Celluloid bracelets all with hefty price tags! Fuelled with coffee and cake we took to exploring more of the city opting to walk instead of tram.

the dried hanging flowes smnelt beautiful
Stocked up on more gin and tonic, cheese, crusty bread and salami we took a trip over the river to the Central park of Amsterdam Vondelpark. Its huuuuge! We had a cute little picnic watching all of the bright green parrots flit around.

A trip to the Anne Frank museum was on our list. Its very surreal to believe you are in her house. Climbing the stairs you enter the attic through the original bookcase which kept tem hidden. As a child I remember reading her diary in a book so it was quite surreal to go to where it was written and try and experience some of her surroundings as well as see the diary itself.

Bikes and bike and bikes everywhere!!

Just before it got dark we set out to find the famous Red Light District and I can tell you its not easy to find. I kind of imagined it being highlighted and easy to locate as a popular tourist attraction (if you like), but it took some asking and searching until we all of a sudden fell on to it. It was quite strange to have sex so open and aware, seeing people go into the doors for some happy times, the curtains closing behind them and coming out all flushed with a smile on their face! It all seemed like an attraction; not like the doors and windows you were walking past as close as you like with something very intimate happening behind them.
Finding a slice of greasy pizza we took a stroll through some of the side streets finding some very crazy and fun shops. Of course only in such a city can you find a fancy chocolate and waffle shop in between many a sleezy shops and clubs. We certainly parted with some Euros in there, where I experienced the best chocolate fudge cake – really, I shouldn’t think about it…it was far too good!!

We finally found the Red Light District!

I had to restrain from getting stuck to the blocks of chocolate


On our last day we took a long stroll around some of Vodelpark again coming out on one of the other sides we found one of our favourite food places Bagels and Beans that specialise in bagels, in so many ways. Loaded with our bagels to order and a complementary fresh smoothie whilst we waited – how nice of them! We ended our trip with bagels in the park!

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