AMSTERDAM – Our new home, Lunching by the canal, Canal Cruising & BIRD Thai…
Upon returning from Australia back in January, I knew I could only face the rest of the English winter if I had another little adventure to look forward to.
With a majorly unexplored Europe sitting right on my doorstep I recruited a new travel parter, Issy, and we each booked a return flight with Easyjet to Amsterdam for £75.
At the time, April seemed like ages away, but of course, life flies by at a million miles an hour and before we knew it, it was 7am and we were on the plane ready for take off…
I’m so used to long haul flights that I was genuinely taken aback in shock when the air hostess asked me to put my laptop away after 20 minutes flying, claiming we were already preparing for landing.
Just you wait to see how beautiful it is here.
And it’s just a 45 minute flight away.
So, lets get down to business…
We arrived at 10am (GMT +1) and hopped straight on the train at Schipol Airport to Central Amsterdam.
From there we hopped on the number 18 bus for 10 minutes which took us just outside the centre to our home for the next 3 nights.
Honestly, I cannot fault our choice of accommodation one bit.
We stayed here, and paid £69 a night (£35 each).
Not only was the price very reasonable, every single need of ours was catered for and more.
Included in our stay was:
– Double bed (insanely comfortable mattress and pillows)
– Unreal bed and balcony views over city
– iPhone with unlimited 3G for use during stay (google maps!)
– Fresh fruit and bread every morning + access to cupboards FULL of amazing food.
– Kitchen, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer.
– Shower, Bath, Bathrobes, Clean towels.
– Access to bikes and locks for use around Amsterdam.
Like really – what more could we want.
Yes we were just outside Amsterdam but the bus stopped right outside the doorstep, took 10 minutes and they come every 10 minutes too!
(Takes 5 minutes on the bike into the centre).
Anywho, I know you love a photo, so here’s our place in piccys…
With a fully packed itinerary of things to do and see in Amsterdam we dropped our bags and headed straight back into the centre to get our bearings and have a nosy around…
And of course a bite to eat to fuel our little legs…
We actually happened to stumble across this perfect little spot on the Canal called Cafe de Jaren. We each stacked our plates with goodies from the fresh salad bar ($10 euro) and sat in the mid morning sunshine.
One of those perfectly peaceful little moments…
We sat in the sun and watched the world (boats) go by before setting back off to explore more of our new territory…
It didn’t take long before we got distracted once again by food.
Amsterdam, you see, has 2 signature smells. One being, cannabis, the other being freshly baked waffles.
If you are weak for a waffle fragrance (like me) then it’s a good job there’s so much walking and cycling to be done in Amsterdam.
In we went to Del Gelato…
Waffle topped with Nutella, Banana ice-cream, Walnuts and Strawberries (makes it healthy right?).
Amsterdam is pretty much a maze of canals and beautiful streets filled with the cutest of houses, coffee shops, and markets.
The best way, i had heard, to get a full sense of Amsterdam is on one of the Canal Cruises.
Most of the cruises board from near Central Station, and vary in price from $9 – $23 depending on what’s included.
We went with Lovers Canal Tour, which departs every half an hour and was $16 for an hours cruisin’.
(Not sure why we didn’t go for the $9 next door but hey ho).
After securing a better idea of Amsterdam and seeking out places to venture back to it was 7pm and we headed back to our apartment to freshen up for dinner.
Would i recommend the Canal Cruise?
Yes and no.
I personally think if you do, do it at the beginning of your trip and go for the cheapest option (they really don’t differ for the standard hour cruise).
It was great to get the bigger picture of Amsterdam, but you can’t stop at bits that you like and i find that quite restricting.
I guess it’s just that you can see most of what you see on the boat by just walking / cycling.
Although there is actually a hop on hop off canal tour, which sounds like a good middle ground option.
The evening led us to a Thai recommendation on Zeedijk street, Bird, one that was full with a queue outside.
The decor inside is authentic and I always find Thai design so beautiful, so yes, a lovely setting for a sit down meal.
True to my Thailand adventures, i opted for my favourite dish – the Chicken and cashew nuts with rice.
I’d have been surprised if they got it wrong – and luckily indeed they didn’t, I was suddenly catapulted back onto the beaches of Koh Samui.
I’d love to tell you that we continued on the evening with a few Mai Tai’s and Singapore Slings but i’d be lying.
We were both cream crackered after a 5am start and a day on our feet, so instead we headed back to our dressing gowns and memory foam mattresses ready for tomorrows adventures…
Stay tuned there’s some pretty epic sun rises and sun sets coming your way…
Oops! I can’t help being a tease…