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We arrived in Amsterdam, dropped everything off at the hotel, and tried to figure out the tram system to get ourselves into the city centre. Hat's off to Helen who did most of the figuring out the entire trip (because my GPS on my phone is a little off and also because boys).
As soon as we got into the centre we were met with what can only be described as “Scottish weather”, something we had just came from and we not looking forward to. Thankfully this only lasted around an hour and then it cleared up.
As we were in Amsterdam we figured the best way to travel was a hop-on-hop-off canal boat for the first 2 days. This way we got to tour the city as we went on our adventures.
Our boat went past the diamond factory Gassan, which is the most popular diamond factory in Amsterdam. They were offering a free tour, so of course we had to get off and look at the shiny things! After around a half hour of looking at all the jewellery and watching some diamonds get polished, we decided it was time to grab some lunch and tour the flower market. To my disappointment, the flower market turned out to sell about 95% flower seeds, and not many actual plants. This is most likely because April is their flower season and we showed up in August haha.
After a very long day of early morning travel and walking around Amsterdam, it was time for dinner. We tried a very funky looking asian street food restaurant called “Happy Happy Joy Joy” which sold small portions of very unique food. Pictured below is their pink butter chicken burger and their black tofu burger.
Day two started with my new favourite thing, Profiteers!! They are pretty much miniature pancakes. We sat outside in the sun and enjoyed them with fresh strawberries and ice cream.
Stomachs full, we then walked up to the MOCO museum to see the Banksy exhibit and some of their modern art pieces.
After what had been a very windy morning (I lost my hat a few times), we decided it what then time to go and buy me a new dress as it had been blowing up all morning. Helen and I found the Amsterdam Primark and the boys found a nice bar to sit in.
For dinner tonight we went to what had been described as the “best burger in Amsterdam” – Lombardos. A tiny burger shop with about 8 seats inside. It was AMAZING! Nick fell in love and I haven't heard the end of it. It did however make me extremely bloated, hence the beautiful maternity photograph below haha.
We decided to stop past a German bar on the way home and we truly took advantage of having “just one drink”. Check out these amazing one litre steins of beer! All except Helen who stayed classy with her white wine.
Day three started with us losing Helen. None of us are fully aware of how the tram system works within Amsterdam, so when it came to get off, Helen walked out and the doors closed behind her. Don't worry though, the next stop was just down the street. Today was possibly my favourite day as we went to visit the Van Gough museum. I've been desperate to see the painting “Wheatfield with Crows” ever since I can remember, and seeing it in person was just amazing!
After what was hours walking around the Van Gough museum, we ventured off to find somewhere else. We ended up at the Rijksmuseum, the largest museum in Amsterdam. This was followed up by a lot of coffee and some traditional schnitzel for dinner.
Day four started off with some more pancakes and some cheese shopping. I say shopping, it was more like sampling. We headed down towards the Anne Frank house but as they were fully booked for tours for the next month we went around some of their amazing little shops while the boys had another beer stop.
We then came across Polaberry, a lovely little shop with the CUTEST little treats. Check out these unicorn cake pops! This was followed up with some street wine.
By this point the weather was horrible. We got on the trams and headed over to the botanical gardens for a short wander around, before we went and found a lovely small restaurant with some amazing sharing boards, YUM! We decided it was time to head back to the hotel, but we would walk through the red light district as it was a little grim at night time. After a quick walk up and down, we decided it really wasn't for us and headed back.
Our last full day in Amsterdam was spent in Edam, a lovely little town about 30 minutes on a bus. Here we ate lots of cheese with some lovely wine. We then decided we had to visit a clog shop before going back to the UK.
Before heading home, we wanted to do a quick round up of out favourite things and a few things we had missed. Helen and I went back to the Profiteers restaurant for lunch while the boys went back to Lombardos for one last burger. We strolled the shops again and grabbed one of these amazing chocolate dipped stroopwafles. From here, we went back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head off to the airport for our flight home.
Amsterdam was just wonderful. It was so great to spend so much time with friends and I would definitely recommend it. The entire place was so scenic! Also it doesn't hurt to take one of your favourite photographers with you so they can take some amazing holiday snaps of everyone, a big thank you to Dean Gray for most of the images above!
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