Amsterdam

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.

Amsterdam BuildingsAmsterdam Buildings
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”.

Amsterdam Coffee Shop 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.

Red Light District ChurchAmsterdam Walking TourAmsterdam CanalAmsterdam City GatesAmsterdam University
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.

Dutch Food

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.

Amsterdam Coffee Shop
Obligatory weed picture.

Edibles Weed
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.

Amsterdam Sex MuseumAmsterdam Sex MuseumAmsterdam Sex MuseumAmsterdam Sex Museum
As you can see, a lot of dicks.

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.

Amsterdam Cheese Museum
You’re welcome.

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.

Flora Park AmsterdamFlora Park AmsterdamFlora Park Amsterdam

Flora Park Amsterdam
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.


It was an incredible holiday, one I’ll never forget. I hope you enjoyed reading about it 🙂

Until next time,

J x

The Travel Tag

Hello!

I was recently tagged by Mew (her blog is really cool go have a look, https://love-mew.com/) to do the travel tag. It seems like a fun tag and because I love travelling and am going on holiday in a few days I thought now would be the perfect time to write it! Hope you enjoy!

1. What is your favourite place that you have visited?

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

I went to Prague in August 2014 with some of my friends. This was my first proper holiday (not just down to Glasgow for the weekend) with my friends and it was absolutely amazing. Prague had the perfect mix of restaurants, nightlife, beer gardens and beautiful architecture. It was the perfect place for us to go on holiday at that particular time as well, we’d all just turned 18 so we could drink legally! It was also really cheap out there, you got so much for your money!There were so many cool attractions in Prague like paddle boating on the river…

Prague

Exploring the local attractions…

Prague

and, of course, checking out the famous ice bar!

Prague Ice Bar

2. If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Perhaps it’s a popular choice but it’s been on my bucket list forever, New York City! A few of my friends have been to New York over the years and I am just SO jealous. I want to eat in all the cool cafes in Manhattan, try real New York pizza, go to the top of the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre building. I want to visit Liberty Island, Broadway, Central Park, Times Square and the Met. The list could go on, I’d like to spend weeks there to properly explore everything and get the full NY experience!

3. Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Don’t get me wrong there are awesome things about both beach holidays and city holidays, but for me at the stage of my life I’m in at the moment there’s no doubt in my mind that my answer is city holidays. There are just way too fascinating, culturally rich cities so close by to go see. So far I’ve been to quite a few interesting cities: Prague, Krakow, Paris, Bruges. There are so many more on my list though such as Budapest, Berlin and Rome to name a few.

Krakow Poland

Krakow, Poland

Eiffel Tower Paris

(as I’m sure you all know)
Paris, France

Brugge Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

4. My top 3 holiday essentials are…

SUN CREAM

The worst mistake you can make is going on holiday without sun cream because if you get burned you will remain burnt and flaky for the rest of your trip (should also probably mention the danger you’d be posing to your health)! No one wants to look back on pictures of them on holiday and only be able to think about how red they look, do they? I’ve been there and I cannot stress enough how important sun protection is when you’re away even for a few days.

CAMERA (or any photo taking device)

I know some people aren’t the biggest fans of getting the camera out whenever they’re doing something interesting or cool, but I absolutely love looking back on photographs and remembering what I was doing and how I was feeling that day. I think you can be immersed in the moment and still take a few snaps to look back on later 🙂

A MAP

Of course you can access this pretty much anywhere now on Google Maps, but it’s really important to be able to get your bearings wherever you are. You don’t want to be wandering aimlessly the whole time you’re there, especially if you’re not there long and want to cram in all the local sights! Another thing a map is good for is finding your way back from all the exciting places you’ll be exploring, there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve been pretty stumped as to which cobbled street the hostel I’m staying in is down!

5. Are you an over packer or an under packer?

Unfortunately I have to admit I’m an over packer. I’m always pushing the weight limit on my hold luggage and usually have to take a pair or two of shoes out. I’d be so nervous if I only packed the essentials because I’d be worried there would come a desperate need for that fifth pair of shorts or that moisturiser I never even use. Better safe than sorry!

6. What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

This one has to be split into two for me. Number one, is exploring new places. I absolutely loved visiting Krakow as it was so rich with history, museums and of course the Jewish Quarter which was incredible to visit. The other would be spending time with whoever I’m with, whether it’s friends or family. Going away on holiday and taking a hiatus from day to day life is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those close to you.

Port De Polenca Majorca

Majorca, Spain

7. Would you rather go on holiday with friends or family?

This is a difficult question to answer because I love doing both, however I am at a time in my life at the moment where I am going on holiday with my friends more than with my family so I’d have to say friends for now. I have so many wonderful memories of holidays with my family from growing up through and would love to go on many more holidays with them in the future!

8. What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

I visited Shenzen, China in 2008 and tried quite a few interesting foods while I was out there, but I can’t specifically remember what any of the dishes were! The first thing that pops into my head other than that is when i tried Lobster when I was in Florida (wasn’t such a fan) and when I tried dumplings in Krakow last summer (definitely was a massive fan).

Polish Dumplings

They may not look massively appetising but I can assure you there were DELICIOUS! Me and my good friend Rebecca polished off the whole lot and a bread basket just to ourselves!

9. Who do you want to do this tag?

Anyone who wants to do it. Hearing about and getting travel suggestions from people is great! I don’t know that many bloggers as of yet so I’ll leave it at that for now but everyone is invited to do this tag by me 🙂

Please comment below if you’ve been to any of these places or would like to, and with any suggestions of places you’ve been and loved! I will also be going to Amsterdam on the 29th and will most likely put up a post about it shortly after I arrive back so stick around to give that a read!

Until next time,

J x