Amsterdam — Day 1

Sorry this is a bit late, I went to Amsterdam on the 19th, returned on the 22nd, then it was Christmas! This is the first moment I’ve really had a chance to sit down and have a think about writing anything which isn’t dissertation related!

Right, so, Amsterdam.
Started off by getting to London Luton at 4am, bright and early. Eyes barely open. On the plane by 6am, sat on the runway for 45 minutes, as it was too windy to take off. This is unsettling for a nervous flyer, and after a rocky take off, I settled into reading my book. Another hour delay once in the air due to, you guessed it, high winds in Amsterdam! So eventually we landed (a very unpleasant decent might I add) and we were in Amsterdam by 9am, perfect!

The airport was straightforward, unlike a number of other European airports I’ve been in, and we found the train station quickly, bought our tickets (only €5 each, bargain) and hopped on a snazzy double decker train. Wouldn’t mind those in London! Our hotel was just outside the Amsterdam Centraal Station, which was rather handy. We were staying at the Hilton Double Tree, which I adored as soon as I was handed a warm, double chocolate and walnut cookie. I needed no more bribe, I ate mine, and I ate James’, with no regret.

We dumped our bags in our modern, bright room, complete with MacBook for movies, free wifi, and a very comfortable bed with thick, feather duvets. We headed straight out and explored the winding streets of chilly Amsterdam.

Walking through the Red Light District was… surreal? I apologised for every woman I accidentally caught a glimpse of and was laughed at by James every time. Slices of pizza for a quick lunch and more wandering, stopping for regular beers and hot chocolates of course. And the odd waffle smothered in Nutella. I couldn’t resist.

Look at that waffle and tell me you wouldn’t walk for miles to find the it. A personal hero, Leslie Knope (aka Amy Poehler in Parks & Recreation, my favourite show) shares my love of waffles… So I felt I should live out our loves in this wonderful, waffle infested city.

Vital to remember this always.

Mid-afternoon, we stumbled across a small pub just off of Dam Square, where we sipped at beers and I meticulously planned the following days.

The first day was predominately spent getting to grips with Amsterdam, the tram system and the general acceptable behaviours of this rather contrasting city.

We changed at the hotel for dinner, and grabbed something easy from a local Italian restaurant. There was no shame in a second attempt at pizza in one day… no shame what-so-ever, not for us anyway. We explored some of the bars and coffee shops en route back from the restaurant but, after 25,000 steps (according to my FitBit Flex) James and I dragged ourselves back to the hotel, and passed out as soon as our heads hit those squadgy pillows. Dreamy. It was 10pm… (party!)

Day 1, complete. Movie on the Mac, and I didn’t even get through the first 10 minutes. In fact, I don’t even remember what we were watching…