Week 35 In Moments


Brace yourselves for the most photo-heavy Week In Moments of the year!

Last week my sister, Zara, Mum and I headed to Amsterdam for a few days.  It was my first real city break and somewhere I'd never been before.  Being honest (and incredibly ignorant) I didn't really know where Amsterdam was exactly (as I said, ignorant!) and had no preconceptions about where we were going.

Well, I was just blown away with the place!

I had no idea just how easy the trip to Amsterdam would be (45 minutes on the plane!) so after a whirlwind tour of duty free we were among the clouds and on our way.

We stayed at the Amsterdam Marriott, which was a 30 minute shuttle trip from the airport and situated nicely at the end of the Leidsestraat.  It turned out to be the ideal location, with the shuttle drop off and pick up points right outside and everything we needed within walking distance.

Speaking of walking....we did lots.  I had no concept of how compact Amsterdam would be and we ended up heading everywhere on foot.  It was the perfect way to get our bearings with the city and provided plenty of opportunities to admire the beautiful architecture.

 On one of the nights we booked on to a Red Light District walking tour - again, something I was pretty uneducated in.  It didn't solely focus on the Red Light District (although yes, we did walk amongst the famous red windows!) and we also found out about Amsterdam's drugs culture.

I'd been told by lots of people that a canal tour was a must, so on Tuesday we spent an hour exploring Amsterdam's favourite canals.  I always find tours like this so interesting and it was great to get a different view of the city, as well as seeing some of the further away spots which we didn't visit by foot.

The food in Amsterdam was another highlight, as I made it my mission to sample as many pastries, cakes, crepes and pancakes as possible.  We managed to tick a fair few off the list!  We also had an evening at Amsterdam's Hard Rock Cafe, which was a lovely treat to end the trip.

We left it too late to book tickets for the Anne Frank House so unfortunately, besides wandering and seeing the exterior, didn't manage to make a trip.  We were also a little overwhelmed by the number of museums and failed to make a decision on which to visit...we did stop at the gift shop though (obviously!) and agreed we'd like to go back in the future.

Another thing I was surprised by was the shopping.  I'd expected quaint, independent shops (of which there were plenty throughout De Negen Straatjes) but I wasn't expecting the big shops (Topshop, Primark) which we're familiar with at home.  We took advantage of the fact that there were also stores which aren't so close to home (Stradivarius, Weekday) and spent a good few hours shopping and people watching around Dam Square.

This was definitely one of my favourite weeks of the year.  Amsterdam was absolutely beautiful and I don't think any words could do as much justice in conveying this, so I'll leave you with some more photos.  If you ever get the chance to visit this city, you must!  It's given me the bug to explore more of Europe's major cities and is certainly somewhere I'd like to travel to again.

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