Saturday, March 14, 2015

Two Days In Amsterdam | Adventure & Travel ♥

For Jacek's birthday back in November I got him flights to Amsterdam, a place which I had wanted us to go to together for ages. We had both been before but never together and we both love the city so we really wanted to visit again. I conveniently booked our trip for the day after my birthday and I'm so glad I did because the weather was perfect for our visit - no wind, no rain just sunshine.

We arrived in Amsterdam at half eight in the morning so we had the whole day to explore the city and do some sightseeing. Our first mission of the day was the find somewhere to have a nice breakfast. We strolled through the streets looking for somewhere that took our fancy and stumbled upon a place called Le Pain Quotidien in one of the backstreets, it had the most lovely, warming atmosphere, the perfect place to do a bit of blogging whilst having a smoothie but I have to admit that the menu wasn't really us... it was all health and detox food - not a big greasy fry in sight and that was just what we wanted. We made do with a waffle and fresh berries as well as a pain au chocolat fresh from the oven. I washed mine down with a mimosa and Jacek has a bowl (yes a bowl!) of coffee.

Rainbows follow me everywhere...
Amsterdam has unicorns!
 After our breakfast in Amsterdam we made way for our first sightseeing trip of the day, a trip to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Neither of us had ever been inside the palace before so it was a great experience to see it first hand. The palace itself has a real calming feel, especially the 'hall of wisdom' as I like to call it, which features lots of chandeliers, stars and even the signs of the zodiac. The rooms in the palace are absolutely breathtaking and the artwork is amazing, I loved the paintings of angels and cherubs on the ceilings in some of the rooms. I have to admit though that I was a bit taken aback when we first got to the palace at the fact that we had to leave our bags and coats in a 'guarded room', which, in my opinion wasn't guarded at all. We left our possessions with a man who simply hung them up just like a cloakroom and considering that we had our passports, money, cameras, phones, etc. in those bags I really wasn't happy about this, I was even more unhappy when I spotted the 'guard' on the other side of the palace when we were going to pick up our belongings... very well guarded indeed. I would highly recommend a visit to the palace though, it's absolutely stunning and is the 8th wonder of the world, it's not everyday that you can say you've been to one of those!


The Queen trying to steal my thunder!
Jacek and Obama having a right laugh!
South African men.
Dam Square.
 After our tour of the palace we went to Madam Toussauds, a place I had never been to before but this was Jacek's second visit. We got our tickets in a tourist office in the street opposite Madame Tussauds, this saved us €4 and we could have gotten a good 2 for 1 deal on attractions too if we had planned to go somewhere else (which we hadn't). I was really looking forward to visiting and seeing all the waxworks but to be honest it was a real disappointment and definitely not worth the €40 I had paid for our two tickets. The place was filled with waxworks of people we didn't know - lots of Dutch politicans and TV and radio personalities. Some of the waxworks didn't exactly look like who they were supposed to be either - Justin Timberlake looked nothing like him... I really do wish we hadn't bothered going and just went to a coffee shop instead.

Our coffee shop of choice was the Bluebird, which is a place I fell in love with on two of my previous visits to Amsterdam. The decor is great to look at and I love the original artwork, the staff are friendly, their menu is great and the vibe in there is really relaxed. The smoking room upstairs is great to chill out in and enjoy a smoothie - my favourite being the papaya and mango. When you need a bit of air they also have outdoor seating. They also do food if you're feeling peckish, I used to have a crepe breakfast there on my previous visits.

Can you tell how much I liked this artwork?
 The street art in Amsterdam is absolutely amazing. Everywhere you go there is something fun and vibrant to catch your eye - from graffiti on walls, to posters, to sticks all over lamp posts, there is art, vibrancy and fun everywhere around the streets of the city.

Bikes EVERYWHERE!
The heart of the Red Light District.
Building work ruined my picture!
 The canals in Amsterdam are so beautiful to stroll along. The banks are littered with bikes and boats and there is such a sense of calm walking along by the water. The multiple bridges are quite scenic too and make for some great photo opportunities. I tried to take some great shots of the canals with my new camera and I don't think I did too bad. There was a lot of building work going on at one canal-side road which sadly ruined my picture! I could sit on the bank of a canal all day reading a book, I think it's so peaceful even though you're surrounded with busyness everywhere. The shots of the canals above were mainly taken in the famous Red Light District. I sadly didn't get a chance to go there at night and capture the red lights (I fell asleep, the perks of getting old!) but hopefully on my next trip I'll have a better lens and will be able to get some proper artsy shots.

The best waffle in the world, if only we could find the shop again...
The best chips I've ever had.
 Amsterdam offers a whole host of delights when it comes to satisfying food cravings. You'll find a pizza, ice-cream or waffle shop on almost every street you walk on in the city centre. We didn't visit any restaurants in our two days, although we did go to an Irish bar, Durty Nelly's, for a meal consisting of Irish stew, chilli nachos, chicken goujons and wedges - we are so healthy! We also enjoyed three servings of waffles topped with melted Nutella, chopped walnuts, fresh strawberries and whipped cream - all at separate times of course, we're not that bad! Our first waffle we enjoyed on the way back from the Bluebird and for the life of us we couldn't remember where the waffle shop was. We strolled the streets of Amsterdam endlessly looking for it the next day but alas, we weren't to find it again... *le sniff le sob*... We made do with waffles from Dolce & Gelato Bio and Delicious instead but nothing compared to that first waffle. We also enjoyed a big cone of chips with lashings of sauce for just €3.50. These were the nicest chips I've ever tasted, made all the more better by the sunshine and vodka and Red Bull to wash them down with... as I said we're very healthy... *cough*.


Our last picture in Amsterdam.
Of course no romantic mini-break would be complete without a selfie or two... or multiple in our case. I really like these pictures, I think we were so happy whilst we took these and I love looking at them. Of all the things we did in Amsterdam, my favourite was sitting outside with Jacek in the sunshine, enjoy a drink, some good chips and just enjoying each others company whilst overlooking the canals. I guess I'm getting sentimental in my old age but it's moments like this which really stick in my mind. It was so lovely to have some 'us time'. Time for no responsibility, just fun, adventures, sightseeing, cuddles and kisses. Love should never be lazy and we saw Amsterdam as our chance to recharge our batteries and rekindle our spark which had been dimmed by the relentless worries of life and all the crap that keeps us apart on a daily basis.

 In the airport for our flight home I spotted these beautiful rainbow tulips. They were too amazing to leave behind, I had to pick up two bunches for my bedroom and thankfully they survived the plane journey. I don't think I've ever seen more beautiful flowers before in my life. I need to visit Amsterdam again for my rainbow tulip fix sometime soon!

I really can't wait to return to my favourite city. If I could live there I really would. The way of life is fantastic, so relaxed and easy-going. The Dutch people are really friendly, the city is so scenic and cultured, there's lots to see and do and people are happy and tolerant there, something which is sadly lacking in a lot of places. I don't know when we will return but it will be a highly anticipated return by us!
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45 comments

  1. Amazing pictures! ♥
    I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam, too..That's a magic city *-*

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    1. Thank you! I definitely recommend a visit sometime :)

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  2. Beautiful trip. I want to go afterseeing your pictures,so fun. Thank you

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  3. Beautiful photos! Really a great and pleasant memory. The city and the tulips are incredible! I loved!

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  4. What a wonderful sounding trip and that is one advantage to living in Europe everything is close to go and visit. I love your pictures and would love someday to visit Amsterdam.

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    1. Definitely, It's great that countries are so close for a visit. I'm so glad you like the pictures :)

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  5. wow those rainbow tulips are gorgeous aren't they! I've never been to Amsterdam but it looks lovely, and the waffles look rather good too! x

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    1. They are stunning, I love them :)

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  6. fabulous pictures, I don't remember it being that gorgeous when I went many years ago..time for revisit I think! the palace looks beautiful, but strange about the bags?! and those tulips...wow!

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    1. Thank you Dawn! Yes very strange about the bags, my nan said it may because of possible theft or terror threats - I have no idea!

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  7. Amsterdam is insanely beautiful. I'd like to go one day. Thanks for sharing! And also, those rainbow tulips are so cool!

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    1. It really is such a beautiful city. I love my rainbow tulips!

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  8. Amsterdam has been on my whishlist for long as well, thank you for this post! The pictures are so beautiful as always, love the rainbow tulips! :)

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    1. Definitely visit Tea! Thank you so much, I'm so glad you like the pictures :)

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  9. yay, ticked off your travel itinerary, i'd love to visit, it looks great!

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    1. Yes, I love seeing trips ticked off that itinerary! :)

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  10. I've never considered Amsterdam as a place to visit, because like many others I suppose, I'd always connected it with boozy stag nights, dope & of course, sex! Thanks for settings me straight!

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    1. There is definitely a lot more to Amsterdam than sex and drugs!

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  11. So so beautiful place! Merlin was just great!

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    1. What is Merlin? Sorry I'm clueless!

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  12. The architecture is beautiful!

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  13. I have never been in Amsterdam. The city looks great. Your photos are so beautiful

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you like the photos.

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  14. Photography is fab Fi. Never been to Amsterdam, looks so pretty. Looks like you guys had a lovely break away!!

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    1. Thanks Kellie! It's such a beautiful city. I highly recommend a visit :)

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  15. What a fabulous holiday you've had. Great pictures that show you have plenty of wonderful memories. How lucky you are.

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  16. I've never seen tulips that colorful in my life. And man, looking at those fries makes me crave them so bad! Your pics of the city are so beautiful!

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  17. Amsterdam looks gorgeous! The waffle looks really delicious?! And those rainbow tulips are just amazing

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  18. Those rainbow tulips are stunning!

    I love the photos, such beautiful shots! I adore Amsterdam though I`ve only been once. I also visited the palace and madame tussauds, and wasnt too impressed with tussauds myself - definitely not worth the money and I wouldnt go back.

    I loved Dam Square though, and the chips and mayo ... omg!

    I think the Anne Frank House was what stands out most in my memory though xxx

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  19. Amazing pics i love it and i love wall art its superb <3

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  20. Lovely photos - looks like you had a great time. Amsterdam is on my list of places to vsit before I die!

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  21. Thank you Tracy! Definitely visit one day, it's my favourite city :)

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  22. Amazing trip report and I just adore Amsterdam and feel envy :)

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  23. Amazing color full post yummyy food Thanks for sharing ;)

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  24. I wish i could be there some day!

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  25. I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam ♥ Thank you for all those lovely photos and for taking me to a trip there through them :) hope I'll visit it some day with my hubby too, and make some wonderful memories :)

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  26. Wow, I've always wanted to go to Amsterdam and now I wanna go even more after reading this! Fantastic pictures too!

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  27. gorgeous photos.Last time I been to Amsterdam I was only little. Might have to go again.

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  28. Oh my goodness you're so lucky!! I've always wanted to go to Amsterdam.
    By the way you have officially made me very hungry.

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  29. wowww nice pics!
    i love Amsterdam! Is a dream for me!
    I hope one day succeed him to visit

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  30. I love your travel posts and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. So beautiful! The rainbow tulips are to die for. I've never seen anything like them before. :)

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Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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