Postcards from Amsterdam
We landed in Amsterdam fairly late into the night and sped across the quiet streets towards the Bilderberg Garden Hotel. Having already lost an hour, and then being overcome by the exciting prospect of exploring somewhere new, meant I lay awake into the small hours of the morning. I still rose early, and began putting my make up on and getting changed. It's not often I wear make up anymore, but it felt therapeutic to have the time to slowly put myself together. I took the trip to Amsterdam with Emma - a good friend I've had since primary school. Whilst she got ready, I watched as the street outside our window busied and emptied. We grabbed some breakfast then caught a tram to collect our
tickets from the centre outside the Amsterdam Centraal. As the day lay out ahead of us, we decided to meander our way back towards and through the main streets, filled with shops and tourist attractions, stopping off at the city's infamous Venustempel on the way. I would say more, but I feel like this is one you need to experience for yourself! After a whistle stop tour of the eclectic collection we continued on the museum hype and took a tram back towards the Museumplein.
Originally the plan was to check out the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk museums, but we decided on a slight change of pace. Whilst I'd like to take a thorough look around the Rijksmuseum one day, we weren't too fussed on spending a long time in there considering we only had 48 hours to explore the city! We did decide to visit its garden and gift shop before checking into the Moco Museum though. I'm a complete sucker for a gift shop. I did notice that I managed to easily restrain from buying a lot of souvenirs on this trip though. Long gone are the days where I spend every last cent on branded notepads and pens. I undoubtedly have Marie Kondo's
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying
to thank for that!
Emma and I didn't realise the Moco Museum existed until we had finished snapping selfies in front of the
sign, and were heading back in the direction of the Van Gogh museum. Noticing the names "Warhol" and "Banksy" plastered across the building and rippling on banners in the vicinity, we were immediately intrigued. Although the museum wasn't included in our
card, we had no second thoughts about paying to look inside. I managed to swipe up a student ticket for €10 and proceeded to lose myself in the work on show for a couple of hours. As we had already made the journey to and from the
centre, I couldn't believe how early it still was when I checked the time. It felt as though the day was creeping past, but in the best way; especially as it meant we were able to take a leisurely walk for lunch when we had wrapped up at the Moco Museum.
As we wanted to stay fairly local to the Museumplein, we crossed the tram tracks, dodged some bikes and took a side street in the hunt for sandwiches. This led us to a branch of a Simon Meijssen bakery which was perfect for a pit stop. It did not take me long to settle on the quiche pictured above which turned out to be the tastiest one I've ever had. It came in the most adorable size and they warmed it up too. I was in heaven! Being a
sweet person, naturally I wanted something sugary afterwards - and the patisserie across the street was calling my name. I followed the quiche up with this gorgeous soft biscuit topped with cream and fresh raspberries from Arnold Cornelis. As I sat scoffing my lunch, I began daydreaming about living in the area; something I often did whilst in Amsterdam.
Taking a stroll down to the shops in the middle of the day on a Friday, picking up a couple of baked goods and heading back home to devour them, all whilst looking out on the canals...
It's probably lucky that I don't live nearby - I don't think I'd ever be able to resist!
Once we'd filled up on yummy treats and had a quick nosey around a couple of quirky-looking little shops, it was time to head back towards the Museumplein for the Van Gogh Museum. The Van Gogh Museum turned out to have my favourite exhibition out of all those I went to. Whilst I loved all of the museums, this stood out because of the temporary exhibit that focused on Van Gogh's mental health.
was absolutely fascinating. It completely opened my eyes to the suffering he endured, the consequences of it and how that impacted his work; all of which I had no clue about. I picked up the accompanying
On the Verge of Insanity
book on sale at the museum, which I've since found
, as I want to revisit and learn more about it as soon as possible.
As we were well and truly museumed-out, it seemed like the perfect excuse to go for some dinner. Emma asked if I would be okay with dining at Amsterdam's
Hard Rock Cafe
as she likes visiting them in different countries. This was
than okay by me, so we took a quick look around its packed shop and were seated inside at a table overlooking the canal pictured above. After stuffing ourselves silly on burgers, we decided to call it a day and headed back in the direction of our hotel. It felt a little odd to be going back so early in the evening, as on holiday I'm more likely to sit watching the world go by from a bar until late. That being said, it was most definitely a welcome change as I could not wait to take full advantage of having a bathtub by having a relaxing soak!