Friday, 2 September 2016

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |
I've been back from my travels for 2 weeks now and damn do I miss wandering around random streets in European cities or going for a swim in the beautiful Adriatic sea. Can I do it all again, please?

I promised anyone who asked that I would be posting about my trip on my blog and though I really want to share my trip, it's been somewhat overwhelming just how much I have to write about and photos I need to narrow down so I've been putting it off for a while, but I've finally sat down and looked through my little stack of memory cards and my travel journal.

Just in case you missed my post with my plans, I started my interrailing trip in Amsterdam, heading on to Berlin, Prague, Budapest, then a longer stay in Croatia, up to Slovenia and final stop in Vienna, which took around a month in total.

Before the trip, Amsterdam stood firmly at the top of my list of favourite cities. I love the buildings, the vibes, the people, the Amsterdam way of life in general. After the trip, it still stands there (though it is much more closely contested).

I would happily live there. Please?

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

We got quite an early flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam Schiphol, and after bumping into my Dad in Schiphol and having a drink with him, we set off to our hostel. Hayley from Water Painted Dreams mentioned this hostel on her blog and we decided to give ClinkNoord a go as it looked nice and was one of the cheaper options. The hostel was located in the North part of the city and in order to get there, you have to catch a free ferry boat across the river. We initially thought this might be a bit of a hassle but it was actually alright, the crossing only takes a couple of minutes and you never have to wait longer than 3 minutes or so to get on one. Plus, they run all night.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |
The hostel itself was great. Looking back, it was probably one of the best we stayed in. When we arrived, the staff who checked us in were so friendly and helpful, and though we had arrived before check in time, they informed us our room was ready if we wanted to collect our keys. We ended up having a shower and freshen up (because we were already horribly sweaty - it was 32 degrees that day!) and then went to grab some lunch.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

The thing with Amsterdam is, and especially in mid July, it can get very crowded and touristy. Seriously. If you're planning on eating out, walk a little further beyond the touristy areas and you will save so much money. The Jordaan district has some amazing cafes and restaurants - that's always a good place to head.

Tom and I visited Amsterdam last summer so we gave Ed (Tom's twin) and Ben (their friend) a tour of the main sights before we collapsed in Vondelpark as omg it was boilinnnnggg.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

Vondelpark in the summer though is so lovely, it's busy and there's so many people chilling out, having bbqs, meeting friends, eating picnics or having afternoon drinks, playing chess and there's just generally really pleasant vibes.

The Red Light District is also a place you should definitely visit when in Amsterdam. It's not as I expected at all. I imagined seedy, dark and narrow streets, questionable men lurking and just generally a dodgy and uncomfortable area. But nope. I almost don't want to spoil it for you guys, but it's pretty much the opposite. Yes there are women in windows and doorways that save very little for the imagination, but it's not a 'dodgy' area. It's always very busy with even families walking alongside the canal. Go just as it's getting dark and the lights are on and the streets are teeming.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |
I mentioned Mike's Bike Tours in my Amsterdam post from last year, but I just have to mention them again. Tom and I went on their countryside tour before and we enjoyed it so much we took Ed and Ben and did it again! We had the best time, and if you're planning a trip to Amsterdam, I highly recommend adding this to your list. You can read more about it in my first Amsterdam post.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

On our second evening, we went to a restaurant called Bar B. Burgers and beer taps on the table, the boys were very happy with this choice. They offer you both a menu of set burger meals or you have the choice of making your own from a checklist. I chose to do this and it was easily one of the best burgers I've ever had.

Last year, Tom and I visited a little cafe on the corner of a street which sells the most amazing Appeltaart ever. I've talked about it more in my previous Amsterdam post but just to add, the Appeltaart is still amazing. Couldn't recommend a visit to Winkel 43 more.

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

My favourite moments

  • Sitting by the Amstel river watching the sunset with prosecco and cupcakes, chats and music
  • The farmer at the cheese and wooden shoe farm we visited on the bike tour letting me taste a lot of the gorgeous Dutch cheese
  • Wandering the streets and canals with beautiful buildings with no real idea of where we going
  • Soaking up the sun in Vondelpark surrounded by completely content people catching pokemon, enjoying drinks or having a BBQ

I hope you enjoyed this post! I'd love to know if you've been to Amsterdam, let me know in the comments...

Postcard From Amsterdam - Interrailing Part 1 |

Hannah Lane

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