Throwback: Amsterdam February 2016

Earlier this year I took advantage of a university society trip heading to Amsterdam. Despite having only traveled within the UK with family, and to Spain and France with school my desire to travel and explore is quite high. At £150 for travel and hotel I really could not say no. So, despite the looming university deadlines and all my reading, myself and a few friends set off at 10pm on a Monday night for a night of travelling.
Honestly? I was not prepared for the cold I would experience on that bus trip. I wore shorts and tights so I could easily curl up in my bus seat but I really wasn’t protected against the minus temperatures we were travelling through. The bus driver claimed the heating was on but I’m still suspicious.
So, after 12 freezing hours we finally made it to our destination! Stopping outside the Heineken factory we had a short walk to our hostel. After quickly changing and deciding none of us were tall enough to reach the top bunk (why wasn’t there a ladder?) and moving out mattresses to the floor, we stepped out to explore the city.
We made it to Amsterdam! Tiredness was so real here
but Amsterdam was so pretty we didn’t care
Admittedly, the first thing we did was find coffee – travelling on a coach for 12 hours meant none of us had had any sleep the previous night!
Instead planning in advance what landmarks we wanted to see, we chose to just walk around and see what we could find, The first place we stumbled across (after consuming all the coffee) was the flower market AKA Bloemenmarkt! An area dedicated to selling flowers, cheeses and bread with smalls cafes located in between different buildings. Here we stopped for lunch and tried a Dutch food item – Poffertjes which were like tiny fluffy pancakes. We then continued to walk around our new location, popping into different cafes, museums and shops.

Poffertjes!

 

Aesthetic AF. The little cafe we had lunch in on the first day

 

The second day started with hostel breakfast, consisting of pretty bad coffee but excellent granola and yogurt. A local cat also joined us for our meal so who can complain really?

This was the day where the history nerd in me was truly let loose. At 9am we set off the Anne Frank Museum (which was absolutely incredible, and 100% worth the two hour wait in 1°C temperature.
This was after an hour of waiting. Three of us started doing star jumps to keep warm.
Members of the public stared. We were too cold to care
We made it
One cheese toastie later, we moved on and went to explore the Royal Palace and explored the history of Royalty in Amsterdam.

 

 

Safe to say the Palace was extremely fancy.
We never got to go to the Van Gogh museum but our souvenir trip
almost made up for it.

 

 

That night, we walked for about 5 miles trying to find somewhere to eat (turns out restaurants close around 8pm in Amsterdam). Finally, we found a pub-like extablishment that allowed us to eat around 9pm. Pretty sure we were sat in the middle of a woman’s birthday party but she did not seem to mind. Here, I was probably given the biggest veggi burger I have ever consumed in my life. As I was absolutely staving this was an excellent thing.

The next morning saw our departure from this brilliant city. The second twelve hour bus journey was spent sleeping and praying for my bed.

I 100% have future plans to go back to Amsterdam, and every other European country I can get my hands on. Two days living as a tourist was lowkey stressful and extremely rewarding. Maybe next time, I’ll stay for more than two days though.

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