01 Jun Awesome Amsterdam
OMG I love Amsterdam! I have to say prior to this trip I had never felt particularly moved to visit the Dutch capital which was, in my mind, a destination for stag dos and stoners, but the Dutch capital has so much more to offer. The tall, narrow buildings that line the city’s canals make Amsterdam a beautiful picturesque location with an abundance of photo ops. Furthermore, the city has a completely chilled vibe and the locals were very welcoming – what more could you want?!
Our 18 bed dorm in the Meeting Point hostel was a great introduction to dorm life as we got chatting to lots of people from around the word and even a few girls who lived in our home city only a few miles from my house.
As soon as we arrived we began exploring the immediate surroundings and immaturely giggling at the sex shops, live shows and cafes which lined the narrow street that our hostel was on.
Our first night was a messy one as I made the stupid decision to mix my drinks. I still swear that the shot of Baileys and Sambuca that the barman gave us was what pushed me over the edge and I may or may not have fallen asleep in the toilet of the hostel. (Sorry mum if you are reading this!) While we were out and still relatively sober we did manage to explore the red light district and visited a peep show which I can only describe as an entirely bizarre but somewhat fascinating experience.
The following day, once I had recovered from my hangover, we grabbed what is commonly referred to in Scotland as a “pokey” of chips and headed to the canal side to go on one of the cruises. This took us through some of Amsterdam’s many canals and we saw loads of house boats in the canal. Again we were surprised by how beautiful the city was given that it is mainly known for the red light district and cafes.
After the cruise we wondered back to the red light district and visited the Erotic Museum which was a laugh. Some of our favourite ‘exhibits’ were the pornographic cartoon room and a massive statue of a penis. Realistically, for €7 it was a bit of a bump, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
That evening we went out for a lovely meal in an Argentinian restaurant on Warmoesstraat street ( I am going to have to make a serious effort not to become morbidly obese on this trip). On our way home we managed to get caught in a spectacular thunder and lightning storm and got absolutely soaked running back to hostel – ah well YOLO!
On our second day, we rented bikes for €9 and headed down to the flower market and Vondelpark The flower market was a great place to visit for souvenirs and sold some beautiful tulips. The street was also home to a couple of cheese shops where we sampled some ‘fancy’ cheeses. Of course, being super fussy I thought they were all disgusting but Gemma particularly enjoyed the vanilla cheese.
After the flower market and some hectic cycling we managed to find the park and sat on the grass for a picnic. Despite the weather forecast saying it was to rain, the sun was out and the park was absolutely stunning with plenty of wildlife roaming about.
In the evening we decided to cycle to a windmill within the city. The windmill, though not working, was awesome to see and had a brewery underneath it with a variety of craft ales and a beer garden. The weather was glorious so we sat outside and soaked up the sunshine for a while before heading back to town for a fairly early night before we left in the morning – safe to say Amsterdam was awesome but we are excited to see our next stop in Bruges, Belgium.