This past weekend we had a little European Adventure, it was the first since we’ve been living in London but there will definitely be many more to come!! We intended on having gone to a few places already by this time, but that didn’t happen. Thank you home office for hanging onto my passport through ALL of the bank holidays!
Between Riaan and I we took about 700 photos (approximately half of them were selfies/ussies – oops!) so this might get a little long – I’ll skip the boring parts (like us getting lost and walking for about an hour in the completely wrong direction) – and I’ll split it into 2 posts – but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it nonetheless!
On Friday night we set off from Victoria Coach Station, (Note to self – we are NEVER taking a coach for more than 4 hours ever again!) with all of the excitement we really struggled to fall asleep (we would come to regret this on Saturday!), and before we knew it we were at the Eurotunnel crossing, we went through border control and got ourselves some midnight refreshments before getting back on the bus. After settling in, the bus took it’s place on a train (well that was a first – sitting on a bus, on a train) and within about half an hour we had crossed the channel and were in France! Finally we managed to get a little sleep and woke up a couple hours later at our pit-stop in Brussels. The excitement took over again and despite only having about 4 hours of very uncomfortable sleep we were wide awake and ready for what the day had in store for us! We admired the countryside as we drove through Belgium into Netherlands.
Once we arrived in Amsterdam we took the tram to our apartment. We rented an apartment through AirBnB and to be completely honest it was totally worth it, it was about half the price of a hotel and we really got to experience what it would be like living in Amsterdam City. #WinWin!
After dropping our bags off we headed up to the Albert Cuyp Market for some much anticipated Dutch street food, we sampled Dutch cheese and browsed the market, finally settling on Kroketten (Croquette) and Poffertjies for breakfast. So healthy! *insert tounge out emoji here*
We then headed in the direction of RAI Amsterdam where the new I AMSTERDAM letters are – this is somewhat of a hidden gem, there are hardly any tourists here so you pretty much have the place to yourself – the one that everyone else knows about is located right infront of the Rijksmuseum. Along the way we crossed a few very scenic and photo worthy bridges and canals.
After taking a ton of very touristy photos we headed back to the apartment to freshen up after checking in. Then we made our way to Vondel Park and strolled the winding paths through the lush greenery for a while, there were bands playing at various points throughout the park, the central restaurant was packed and the park was full of people just lazing about.
As our tummies started to grumble we decided to find a little Dutch restaurant for lunch. We walked along the maze of canals and eventually came across De Spiegel where we had an awesome late lunch/early dinner and some very delicious cherry beer.
With full bellies we headed to the Rijksmuseum to have a look around – we didn’t go in though, we really aren’t the kind of people that enjoy looking at art for hours, we prefer architecture, history and scenery, just taking in the city. We wandered around Museumplein for a while before making our way to Centraal Station to book an evening canal ride.
We had some time to kill before the cruise so we ventured into the Red Light District with
wide eyes very wide eyes (try not to stare Simone, don’t make eye contact, holy cow that girl has high heels on, how is she standing in those? Wait – what, are those real? These are the thoughts running through my head) as we walked the narrow walkways, trying very hard not to be too surprised at what we saw. No cameras are allowed in the Red Light District – Obvs…but I did manage to snap one pic on the outskirts of the district.
At 9pm we boarded our little boat and relaxed as we cruised the canals for an hour and a half, taking in the city from a completely different and absolutely stunning angle, enjoying the guide’s stories about the history and heritage of Amsterdam!
Just off of Rembrandt square are these 7 bridges which align perfectly, it’s a breathtaking view in person – especially from the water. (If anyone is looking for a place to propose, on a boat passing under these bridges is a pretty damn good idea…just saying!) I’m in love with the way the canals and bridges are lit up in the evening, it really gives the city a romantic and almost storybook like feel to it!
Needless to say after the cruise we were pretty exhausted, the monsters we drank during the day only helped so much considering we walked everywhere – Amsterdam is very walkable city. So we decided to call it a day, we headed home and crawled into bed, tired but happy after an awesome day in Amsterdam and another item crossed off my list of wanderlust!