Monday, 23 November 2015

How I Spent My Time In Amsterdam | Day One

It was my friends 21st Birthday and we wanted to celebrate in style. You may or may not have seen my tweet regarding a last minute weekend away to Amsterdam. As you can imagine the excitement built up for weeks and even in the impulse of it all I don't regret my decisions. We flew out early Friday morning, so early I could barely speak! Here is how I spent the rest of my day...
We arrived at our hotel around half nine, Netherlands time. As you can imagine we had heavy eyes, aching bodies and all the moans and groans you could think of. After dropping off our luggage there was one thing on all of our minds - coffee. Aiming to reach the centre we hopped on a bus which got us there in no time and before we knew it had a drink in our hands ready to wake us up for the busy day ahead.

Next up (our thought process thinking Friday wouldn't be as busy as the weekend) we headed in the direction of the Anne Frank museum with that being one of things we wanted to see most during the trip. I'm not sure what we were thinking we were still in the queue for an hour before actually going in. I could not longer feel my toes and was regretting the silly shoe choice I had made. Note to self: dress sensibly. Forgot my gloves too, classic Aine. 

Once getting inside it was completely worth the wait. You just can't gain cultural experiences like that everywhere. Amsterdam is often stereotyped for things such as legal Marijuana or the Red light district, but trust me there is so much more to it. I'm gutted there was no photography allowed but I obeyed as I don't think the image would do justice for the atmosphere you felt walking through the house. It was truly touching seeing how they lived and heart wrenching to believe it even happened, with parts of Anne's diary documenting her way of life throughout you could almost put yourself in her shoes for an hour or two. I would highly recommend going to this, the earlier you can get there the better, you still have to wait but not as long.
Spending the majority of our morning in the Anne Frank house the time flew and before we knew it our tummies were rumbling for lunch. At this point we would've eaten almost anywhere, we ended up just round the corner in an old pub which had been there for many years. I had a mozzarella, tomato and pesto roll which certainly filled a hole and I felt much better as it provided a last burst of energy.

Anyone watched 'The Fault in our Stars'? These next few images may look familiar!
We went on a hunt to track down the bench which featured in the film. After about an hour and close to giving up we found it! A sad part in the movie but I think the original bench was actually stolen, so really it's just a new bench in its place but it was the sentiment I guess. I loved the padlocks attached and the quotes covering it making it something special. 

Plus although walking to find it was a bit of a nightmare, with almost every street looking the same in our touristy eyes, it was the most refreshing thing we did the whole trip. Something about walking along the canal trigged a calmness in me and not once did my dissertation cross my mind. It was the break I needed and that all elements of me urned for, time to unwind and relax. It did me the world of good. I think it did the same for all of us with the lack of sleep creeping back into our emotions we headed back to check in fully and look at our room. There was a double and bunkbed provided and I ended up on top bunk which I actually didn't mind at all unless I had left something down on the normal level. The power nap originally made me feel worse and we all just wanted to stay in our duvet cocoons, however with such a short trip we didn't want to look back and be annoyed at ourselves for just forcing each other to move. As soon as the air hit I already felt better and then dinner and a few cocktails - turned out pretty dam good if you ask me. Spot the pun!
We arrived back around midnight and curled up for the next day ahead. If it was anything to go by this one I knew it would be something I'd enjoy.

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