June 2017

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 4

Welcome to our final day in Amsterdam, if you have missed the previous 3 days you can view them here, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. If you are up Tod ate then please read on!

Our fourth and final day in Amsterdam started with us checking out of our hotel after a lovely 3 nights there. As we were flying home in the evening we had to leave some luggage at the hotel while we explored the city one last time. We rented bikes from the hotel at a rate of €9 per bike per day, which I think is quite reasonable. After getting accustomed to our bike we headed off for a morning coffee at While Label Coffee, which we can highly recommend if you want delicious coffee in Amsterdam. From White Label we headed off towards the Albert Cuyptmarkt, it’s no secret Emily and I like a market, via the Vondelpark and theHeineken Experience. We didn’t actually do the Heineken Experience but maybe we will next time.

 Monday Market - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Monday Market - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Once at the market we locked our bikes up and wandered up and down, checking out the stalls as we went.  We found a cool furniture reclaimers while wandering up and down but didn’t take down the name but they had some really unique items in stock. Once we had finished at the market we headed back to the Vondelpark to find some shopping streets we hadn’t yet explored. On one of said streets, we found a cute little ice cream parlour called IJsboutique where we stopped for a well-deserved ice cream, they even had Emily friendly (Gluten free) cones! I had Salted Caramel and Pistachio, and Emily opted for Lemon Sorbet and Salted Caramel. All 3 flavours were amazing and I can only imagine what the rest of their offerings were like.

 Noble Steeds - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Noble Steeds - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

After our ice creams, it was back to the park for a photoshoot on our bikes. We found a quiet stretch of path and rode up and down, trying to act natural, and trying to get the perfect shot. `it worked in a way but didn’t come out how I imagined, I’ll have to practise those. After our photo shoot and a sit down in the shade, it was time for lunch. For lunch we headed straight to Ivy and Bros, stopping at the Bloemenmarkt to pick up some souvenirs on our way, because we knew it was Emily friendly, and we loved it so much last time. We had the same food, Chicken and Avo sandwiches and the same drinks, Homemade Iced Tea. Again all of it was amazing so definitely check it out when you visit Amsterdam. 

 The Student Hotel - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

The Student Hotel - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

By the Time we had finished luck it was time to head back to the hotel so we could return the bikes and collect our luggage before we had to get the train to the airport for our flight home. The journey to the airport was an experience all of its own. The ticket machines wouldn’t accept cash so we had to pay on card, not a problem, but my first card got declined which meant I had to use my backup. Once that was sorted we got to the platform and the train we needed was just leaving, so we had to wait for the next one. Luckily we had given ourselves enough time so we wouldn’t miss our flight.

 Cruising - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Cruising - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Once at the airport, everything went smoothly and we caught our flight on time without any more trouble. Which brings us to the end of the trip and the end of this mini series. I hope you enjoyed our time in Amsterdam, we both highly recommend the city for the perfect long weekend. If you need somewhere to stay then The Student Hotel is a great choice, and all the cafes and bars we visited are a must to visit.

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Have you ever rented a bike to explore a city? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 3

Before you start, if you have missed the first 2 parts of this trip then please go back and catch up on part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE. If you are up to speed then please read on.

Day 3, Sunday, June 18th, 2017, started like the day prior, with a lie in. We ventured out from the hotel at around 10 am, making our way to the old town via tram. We started our day with a Canal Cruise around the canals and harbour of Amsterdam. We learnt a whole load of interesting facts about Amsterdam and the history of its geography, buildings and residents. Facts like each and every house in Amsterdam has a furniture hook at the top of the building to make moving furniture easy as the star cases are too tight. We opted for the Rederij Kooij tour and had a great time, the guide is played from a CD throughout the boat and tells everything is 4 or 5 different languages, the ride was smooth and the seats were plenty comfy enough. I’d recommend a hat and something to cover your shoulders on a hot day and it does feel like a greenhouse in direct sunlight.

 Travel Buddy - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Travel Buddy - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Once our tour was complete had a stroll towards a part of the city we hadn’t yet explored, past the De L’Europe Hotel, the Nationale Opera & Ballet and the Hermitage Museum. We got to the Magere Brug and had a sit-down and a drink, whilst this was happening a rather large boat approached the bridge, causing it to open which was enjoyable to watch. Once the boat passed we got back on the move, over the bridge towards the Rijksmuseum and I Amsterdam sign.

 Draw Bridge - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Draw Bridge - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

We walked part way then hopped on a tram to escape the heat for a short period of time. Once at the museum we realised it was a bad time of day to visit. For one, there were hoards of people everywhere! All trying to get their picture with the sign. Secondly, there was a market on which brought even more people to the area. We waited patiently for a gap to take pictures and did our thing. I actually had a run-in with a French lady who claimed I ruined her picture of her husband and trod on her map in the process. I knew about the picture but no idea about the map, who leaves a map on the floor and walks off anyway? Her fault if you ask me. I ignored her and carried on as I was.

 I Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

I Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

After a wander round the market, we hopped on a tram back to Old Town (can you tell we liked the Old Town yet?) for something to eat. By this point, it was nearing 7 pm and we were getting rather hungry. A quick google search brought up a Jacket Potato place called Jacketz. The main item on the menu is Jacket Potatoes and you can will the with whatever you want. Emily had Pesto Chicken and I had Chilli, both were extremely filling and left us wanting a post-meal nap. Luckily we had no plans for the rest of the day so waddled back towards Dam Square. We ended our day sat in Dam Square once again, watching the world go by. We caught the tram at about 10:30 pm but not before taking some moody pictures of the surrounding buildings.

 10:16 - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

10:16 - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

 

Once back at the hotel we both collapsed into bed and slept off our food coma.

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Have you ever done a boat tour? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 2

Welcome back to my mini Amsterdam series, if you missed the first post last week then go check that out first HERE. If you have already read the first post then read on.

Our day started later than we wanted but it was worth it from the night before, plus we made up the lost time later on in the day. We started our day by heading to the Old Town via the Anne Frank House and Dam Square, we didn’t get to visit the Anne Frank House at all during our visit because we didn’t book ahead and didn’t fancy standing in a queue for hours. Maybe next time. We wandered from the Anne Frank House towards Dam Square taking as many back streets as we could. Once in Dam Square, we grabbed a coffee to get us fuelled up for the day.

 Dam Vibes - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

Dam Vibes - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

Once in the middle of Old Town Amsterdam, and the Red Light District, we continued our back street exploration to get a real feel of Amsterdam. The Old Town is filled with cafés, restaurants, and bars, of which our favourites were Ivy & Bros, Café Piazza, and Café In De Waag, all of which we recommend you try. After some time meandering the back streets it was time for lunch, we chose Ivy & Bros after doing our research into where offered Gluten Free options for Emily. We both opted for the Chicken Avo sandwich, which was massive, and homemade Iced Tea. As we wandered through the Old Town we stumbled across a small food shop called Stach, which sells all kinds of treats. I treated myself to some Stroopwafels (Syrup Waffles) whilst Emily chose some macaroons. I actually saved the waffles to have as a quick breakfast before we left our hotel each morning.

 Hipster - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017 

Hipster - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017 

After lunch, we made our way down to the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) to check out what was going on down there. I personally was disappointed due to the fact there were more souvenir stalls than flower stalls, I was hoping to get some great pictures of flowers but the flowers that were there were either fake or bulbs and seeds and not exciting at all. We did, however, find some souvenirs that we would pick up another day.

 Sideways - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

Sideways - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

After a wander around the flower market and subsequent back streets we headed over to Café Piazza for some tea, we had been recommended here by a friend of Emily’s who loved it. We can both safely say it was an amazing meal, I chose a local Pizza whilst Emily had the Pesto Pasta. After our amazing meal, which really did fill us up, we strolled over to the Sex Museum for some rather unconventional evening entertainment (no live shows involved). At €5/person entry it’s worth a visit, if you’re passing by, for a rather strange history lesson and a good laugh. From the museum, it was back over to Dam Square before jumping on the tram back to our hotel. Here we just watched the world go by as we, slowly, got over our museum experience. I snapped a couple of pictures of the Royal Palace whilst we were there, the sky was so clear that night and the light was only just fading at around 10 pm that it made for some great pictures.

 Royal Palace - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

Royal Palace - Amsterdam, Holland 17/06/2017

From Dam Square it was back to the hotel for a week earned rest in preparation for another day of exploring. The trams are a great way to get around and see lots of Amsterdam quite quickly, with tickets starting at €2.90 for 1 hour of unlimited trips it really is worth it, and it so easy to navigate with a tourist map, we never missed a stop or got lost!

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Have you ever been to a Sex Museum? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 1

I’m Back! After a long, and unexpected, break I’m back with more content for you! Hopefully this won’t happen again as summer is here and that means more time for more adventures. Lets get on with it shall we?

Earlier this week I returned from a weekend break to Amsterdam with Emily. Our break started on the Friday (16th June) and ended the following Monday (19th June) and we had such a good time. This post and the following 3 will fill you in on everything we got up to.

Our day started early (and I mean EARLY) at around 2:30am, after just a few hours of sleep. We needed to be on the road to Liverpool Airport by 3am as our flight was scheduled to depart at 6:05am, which it did. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, breezed through security and got ourselves a coffee whilst we waited for our gate to be announced. After a less than desirable flight, due to disrespectful passengers, we arrived at Amsterdam Shipol Airport at around 8:30 local time. Once out of the airport our time in Holland started rather poorly, we got slightly lost making our way to our hotel, but not too badly as there was a direct tram from Amsterdam Central Station to our hotel, The Student Hotel West.

 De School - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

De School - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Our room wasn’t ready for us when we arrived at the hotel but that was expected as by this time it was barely 10am, but felt much later in the day, so we left our bags in the luggage storage, freshened up, and headed out to grab a coffee. We found a lovely cafe called De School not too far from the hotel, perfect for killing some time. We spent about an hour in the cafe, sipping away at our White Label coffee’s and discussing our afternoon plans, which included a wedding! Yes, we attended a dutch wedding! What a way to start a holiday! Anne and Friso, our crew from the sailing trip last year, got married the day we arrived in Amsterdam. It’s a funny story so I’ll keep it short. Earlier on in the week I messaged Anne to arrange to meet up for lunch while we were close by and got a surprise, last minute invite to their wedding. How Cool Is that?

 Stare - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Stare - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Anyway, back to De School. The cafe is located in a disused part of a school, hence the name, and serves up amazing coffee from local roasters called White Label Coffee. As usual when we’re sat around Emily had a play with my camera, taking my pictures as I instructed her on what to do (see above), and I must say she is getting really good! I might have to set her up with her own blog some day. As the wedding neared we headed back to the hotel to get changed from travel clothes to our smart clothes. We got an Uber at around 2 pm which took us around 40minutes out to the middle-of-nowhere Holland, surprisingly the journey only cost us €45 (around £39).

 Farm Life - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Farm Life - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

The wedding was held at a lovely venue called Molen De Breek, just outside Oosthuizen. We were rather concern when we arrived because if we were in the wrong place we had no idea how we would get to the right place. Luckily we weren't wrong and when we arrived we asked around for Anne and Friso’s brothers to introduce ourselves. Prior to the ceremony we had coffee and biscuits while we waited for the bride and groom to arrived, which they did by horse and carriage. The ceremony started at around 15:30 and was completely in Dutch (obviously), so we just sat and listened, laughing when others did, and looking happy to be there (which we were).

 Molen De Breek - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Molen De Breek - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

After the ceremony there was the obligatory pictures before the Champagne toast and coffee and cake. The Afternoon reception started at around 5pm with the bar opening to serve beer and wine and the BBQ buffet being served shortly after. While we waited for the BBQ Emily and I took a wander around the venue, checked out the windmill and took some pictures. After the BBQ Buffet, which was amazing, the evening “party” started. Friends and family who couldn’t attend the ceremony started to arrive and the speeches started. Fathers went first, then Mothers, then Brothers, songs were sang (including an out-there rendition of I’m In Love With The Coco), gifts were given and good times were had. Emily and I managed to hitch a ride with someone of Anne’s friends who live past Amsterdam and kindly offered us a lift back to the hotel. We met lots of really lovely people at the wedding and are so grateful we were invited.

 Selfie - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

Selfie - Amsterdam, Holland 16/06/2017

We arrived back to The Student Hotel after midnight finally checking into our room, and got straight into bed after almost 24hours since leaving the house that morning.

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Have you ever been to a foreign wedding? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob