So last month was my long-awaited trip to Amsterdam. Considering how eagerly anticipated it was, I really was shockingly under-prepared by the time it came to getting on the plane. I blame the fact that I was struck ill for the entirety of the week before, but I needn't have worried as my trusty DK Top Ten Guide did its job when I finally opened it on the plane. I suddenly remembered quite how much fun was in store for me and I couldn't wait to get started! I'm so pleased that during our whirlwind 50 hours I managed to tick off most things on my Amsterdam to-do list. Hooray, what a result!
So here's a little run down of what we got up to...
- Browsed the floating flower markets - the tulips were truly stunning. It's just a shame I couldn't buy any of them! Just look at them, so gorgeous
- Invested in classy red ponchos thanks to torrential rain for 36 of the hours we were in Amsterdam - it's testament to how awesome this city is that I still adored it!
- Ate the best pancakes ever created. The toppings - apple, banana and raisins - were embedded in the pancake. Talk about a freaking genius idea!
- Queued for ninety minutes for a tour of Anne Frank's House. I cannot tell you how fascinating I found this stop on the tourist trail. It was so moving to see where Anne Frank and her family lived while she wrote her diary. It really is an unbelievably moving experience and I recommend everyone visiting it.
- Visited the Van Gogh Museum. We went to this on Friday night at around 8 and there was a bar and DJ playing in the lobby, so a cool way to be greeted! I always enjoy seeing art up close and I was really surprised as to the number of paintings I knew by Van Gogh, my art knowledge really is dreadful. I think my favourite one was his self-portrait.
- Traversed the canals. When in Amsterdam, a trip on the canals is definitely called for, and the one included in the iAmsterdam card that I discussed the other week did not disappoint. We saw loads of the sites from the water and it was nice to sit down after walking all over the city. I had thought the boat trip would help me get my bearings, but that wasn't the case. I had no idea where I was at all in that city - has anyone else found that?
- Ate the most amazing food, we ate in all sorts of places, from small cafes and cute pubs to basement located Italian restaurants and really trendy bars and the food was ALL to die for! If I could live off their fries and mayo, pancakes and cheesy croquette things forever more I'd be incredibly happy!
- Threw ourselves into exploring every inch of the city with long and rambling walks all over - and with views like those below it really was no hardship!
- Visited the intriguing Rembrandt's House. Rembrandt's story really was fascinating and his old house has been restored so that it resembles the house he would have lived in, as a result there were so many interesting titbits to learn. I had no idea how small the beds were back then or that they looked like cupboards and the guest 'bed' would have been in the main reception room - crazy right?
- Managed not to die thanks to the crazy Amsterdam cyclists - what is with their believe that it's always their right of way?
All in all our trip was ace and I can't wait to go back and visit the bits we missed (the Reijakmuseum and a cycling tour will be the first two items on the agenda!). Have you ever been to Amsterdam, what was your favourite thing to do there?