Last night I returned to Glasgow from my short break to Amsterdam. I’m now sat on a train going home for Easter so I thought since I have almost 4 hours to kill I may as well write a blog post documenting the trip!
On the night we arrived we went to a restaurant for dinner and then decided to go walkabout. The first, most obvious, thing about Amsterdam is that it’s GORGEOUS. The architecture is so unique and pretty.
Walking around the city at night was quite an experience. The city is buzzing yet serene at the same time, depending on which street you turn down and Amsterdam’s intricate canal system means that there are beautiful rivers and bridges at almost every turn.
Naturally, we were all quite excited to try out one of the (many) coffee shops. So we looked around for a while and eventually ended up in a shop called “The Greenhouse”. If you’re going to Amsterdam and want to try a coffee shop I’d highly recommend that one. The walls were coated with pictures of celebrities in the shop: Rihanna, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Eminem among the many others. It was loads of fun and the atmosphere was great! I wasn’t supposed to take pictures in there but before I was told that I managed to sneak a picture so here you go, the “menu”.
We tried super lemon haze, it was pretty nice. Fun fact, there’s a set amount of lisences in Amsterdam for coffee shops. No new ones are produced and the only way to get one is if you know someone who doesn’t want theirs anymore. The lisences essentially get passed around. They can, however, be taken off people on the grounds of misuse so for that reason the number of coffee shops in Amsterdam is ever decreasing. There used to be around 600, now only 200. So if you want to smoke weed go NOW!
On the second day we went on a walking tour around the city that lasted around 2 and a half hours. It was amazing and maybe my favourite part of the holiday! Our tour guide was amazing. If you’re going to Amsterdam (or somewhere else in Europe) and want to go on a scenic, interesting walking tour I highly recommend SANDEMANS (Link here). It was SO informative and I’ve come away knowing so many interesting facts about Amsterdam and also with some lovely pictures.
The first picture is of a church in the Red Light District. I know what you’re thinking, seems like an odd place for a church? Well apparently back in the day sailors used to go to the church for a confessional after visiting the Red Light District. Or, if they were sailing out early the following morning, they sometimes even professed their sins before they’d even committed them! “Forgive me father, for I am about to sin” were our tour guide’s words.
Speaking of our tour guide in that second picture is our awesome guide Robb showing us the plaques on the buildings that used to be used instead of either house numbers or family names (can’t quite remember) to identify who lived where.
The fourth is a picture of the old city gates and the fifth is of the local university.
After the walking tour we went for lunch at a traditional Dutch restaurant with a friend we had met on the tour and ate Stamppot. It was delicious.
Afterwards, we walked to the Van Gogh museum (on his birthday no less). Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take photographs in there so I have none to share, but there was an amazing and vast collection of paintings and I’d recommend the museum to anyone.
Later that evening we went to another coffee shop and out to a bar for some drinks. It was a great night and we got home at about 4am.
Sorry about the snapchat filter on this picture but my friends and I tried space cakes and it was great fun so I thought I’d share a picture. The shop also had the most incredible fruit juices available and I tried lychee juices, amazing.
On our second day we did went to two museums. I really wanted to go to the Anne Frank House but unfortunately we forgot to book in advance and the queues were about 3 hours long. I will DEFINITELY be returning to go and visit that though, it’s on my bucket list. The museums we did go to were the sex museum and the Amsterdam cheese museum. Cultural.
Personally I thought the sex museum would be a bit more artistic and informative (about the history of sex/sexuality) than it was. It was a bit more of a novelty museum than expected. Here are some pictures.
After the sex museum we headed to the cheese museum which was pretty cool to be honest! There were a lot amazing cheeses to try and I ended up buying a bit of goats cheese. There was also a bit downstairs for you to dress up as farmers and get a picture, so… here you have it.
Our friend Calum came out to visit us that evening. He’s doing a semester abroad in Arnhem. We decided we would try truffles which are also legal in the Netherlands. Honestly, they were potentially the weirdest experience of my LIFE. We went to a park which we later found out was called Flora Park. It was stunning and we sat on a bench there for hours and hours just talking absolute rubbish. There’s no way I can put into words what it was like unless you’ve tried truffles before but it was the most high I have EVER been by miles.
The park really was beautiful, there’s another picture on my Instagram if you want to see more Click here. After hours of being too high to do anything other than sit and admire a park, cry with laughter and then morbidly consider our own existence in the world (you know there’s a chance life is just a simulation?) we finally managed to act normal enough to go for a pizza.
The following day we travelled back to Scotland, exhausted and sore from all the walking.
Until next time,