I'm not one for being soppy, or at least I didn't use to be… but this one guy has completely changed me and how I see things. I didn't see myself fallen head over heels, over anyone this year but I couldn't be happier that I did. After only two months of knowing one another we had already decided that we wanted to get away together for a long weekend and after 4 months of dating we visited the beautiful, vibrant and fun city of Amsterdam.
There's quite of lot of writing and some soppy-ness to this post, but if you're paying a visit or wishing to soon some of the tips might just be of interest to you.
It wasn't until two days before we arrived in Amsterdam whilst having a last minute research session that Matt noticed we weren't actually staying in the heart of Amsterdam but about half and hour away in a South Holland city called Leiden (a cheaper and a happy mistake) As a couple we both have a rather poor sense of direction and it took us a good 45 minutes and the help of 3G to find our hotel. Leiden had already struck me with it's charming canals, bikes, boats and flowers adorning the streets, it is a quintessential Dutch city. Once we dumped our bags we hit the train station to travel into Amsterdam, which only takes 30 minutes on the train. We spent the day exploring, visiting the Van Gogh exhibition and walking (a lot) before heading back to Leiden for the evening where we drank Prosecco and ate strawberries from an amazing floating bar on the water, whilst the hot summer sun set behind us.
I'm glad we went to the retrospective of Van Gogh's work but to see reproductions rather then original art work is a little weird when in a Art Gallery. It all felt a bit half done, when it could have been done spectacularly.
If there is one thing you do when in Amsterdam it is to pay respect and visit the Anne Frank house, it's pretty haunting but so humbling. There's not many museums where everyone is silent, respectful, not taking photographs and being orderly. Of coarse there are several more 'must do's' whilst in Amsterdam like a visit to The famous Bulldog cafe, A cruise on the Canal which I think was my favourite thing we did over the weekend, The boat ride involved a lot of perving on beautiful houseboats, floral lined banks and residents riding their bikes around the City.
The whole time we were in Amsterdam we were on the lookout for tulips (when in Dutch land) but came to no fruition, apart from the abundance of Tulip bulbs and wooden versions available to purchase. It wasn't until we were home from Holland that we realised it wasn't a huge conspiracy that we couldn't find tulips anywhere but simply they were out of season and the whole tulip cutting, selling and festival had been and gone. Matt being the perfect boy that he is (told you I was all soppy now) bought me the prettiest cream and pink rose from a market stall. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to take a living stemmed rose on a plane I pressed the flower head in the back of the book so that I could keep it, I'm sentimental and I know it.
Matt being a Vegan and I being a Vegetarian, didn't pose any problems for the two of us. It's a non-meat eaters paradise compared to Paris for example, as much as I love my macarons and pastries (had you guessed?) there is only so much I can take of those delightful sugary treats before my stomach grumbles in disgust. We ate the tastiest falafel pitta from Maoz which are doted all over the City and our a god send for the likes of us. Amsterdam know how to do good chips, as a chip devotee and somewhat connoisseur (chip connoisseur) I can easily say they are some of the best chips I've ever consumed plus the come in cones that stand up and that makes me happy.
John Green - The Fault in our Stars