Friday, 10 July 2015

Amsterdam Adventures!

Hi guys! I've been in Amsterdam since Friday until Tuesday night, and I have been dying to tell you all about my adventures. To say that I had the time of my life, would be such an understatement, and I can't wait to return someday! I went to Amsterdam with my boyfriend to celebrate his 21st birthday, who also had a blast. I've always wanted to go to Amsterdam as it just seems like such a beautiful and liberating place to just be yourself, and it did not disappoint! We stayed in a gorgeous part of the city near the Museumplein area in an apartment. 
The first night we were there, we decided to check out one of Amsterdam's most notorious spots- the Red Light District, to see if it lived up to its reputation. After trawling little short streets full of touristy shops and head shops, we finally found it. There were two different sides to the Red Light District, separated by a canal. I don't think the place is as sleazy as it's made out to be, and the Red Light District was smaller than I imagined. The working women in the windows were indeed, beautiful and cocksure, in the nicest sense of the word. There was something robotic about their poses, and a few were having a cigarette or on their phone. After the Red Light District, we went to the Sexmuseum, which only cost €4 to get in. I loved it and I thought it was so interesting to see all of the artefacts, like 1920's dancers dancing sticks. It's a real eye opener and funny in parts, like when a naked lady jumped out at me! It's important to keep an open mind and not be prudish if visiting it, because I think it really is a must see.

On Saturday, we woke up early and went to the Rijksmuseum. I love visiting museums and the Rijksmuseum had so much to see and offer! My favourite section was the Asian section. It's a huge place. I also loved seeing the collection of the origin of fashion magazines, the Rijksmuseum library, a massive brick of tea leaves, works by Van Gogh and Rembrandt. After the Rijksmuseum, we visited a very small place. Situated in a basement, it was called Electric Ladyland, and it's perfect if you want to see something interesting and more alternative. It's a museum of florescent art, one of its only kind in the world. It shows all types of rocks, common and rare finds around the world and how amazing they look under a black light. We were shown signs, tickets, ID cards, and the secret symbols they have on them. Something I found the most interesting was a UV sign used during the Prohibition Era, that showed up under black light that you could drink there. Wonderful place to visit! As a present to James, I booked us a Cocktail Cruise. We were given a cruise around the country side and the city, coming into the city as it started to light up. We told told secrets of the city, given two free cocktails and nibbles. I couldn't believe how amazing it was! I wholly, 1000% recommend going on a cruise when in Amsterdam! One of my favourite parts of the whole trip. 

On Sunday, the first thing we did was join the almost two hour queue to visit something I have wanted to see for years and years- the Anne Frank House! When we went in, I couldn't believe I was actually there! I'll assume you all know Anne Frank's story when she went into hiding with her family and the Van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer. 263-267 Prinsengracht was the address of Opekta, a company which her father Otto Frank was managing director of. The floors which the company would have operated in was completely cleared out and replaced with artefacts, documents and dedicated to the Franks, Fritz Pfeffer, the van Pels and the four that helped keep the annexe a secret: Johannes Kleiman, Miep Gies, Victor Kugler and Bep Voskuijl. As we went up higher, we saw the moveable bookcase that hid the door into their living quarters, which was so so amazing to see, as even though it was mostly cleaned out, sinks, walls and the floors were keep the same as the were in 1942. Mindblowing place to visit. Even if you aren't interested in history, you have to see it! Then we ventured to Vondelpark, a huge park in Amsterdam. To be honest, I thought it'd be better, but it's so dirty! Cigarette and joint butts everywhere. It was disgusting haha, so we didn't stay long. Drink prices in Amsterdam is ridiculously expensive. So on Sunday, we decided to buy drink in a nearby supermarket, grab dinner and get off to have them around 11pm near a grassy bank near the canal, listening to music, chilling and watching the sky. It was perfect! 

Monday was our last full day in Amsterdam, and as we had seen and done most of what we wanted to do, we thought we'd take it a bit easier and take it down a notch and relax a bit more. We went to check out the Jewish area of Amsterdam, which was really beautiful, but not much different from the rest of Amsterdam. There was a Portuguese synagogue I wanted to see but it cost €15 just to go inside. We also stumbled upon two big, fantastic markets on Monday, the Albert Cyupstraat and the Waterlooplein markets. Some of the stalls were so unusual, with beautiful art prints, funky hippy clothes, and my favourite, a stall with old stamps around the world, old coins and such. I couldn't believe what I stumbled upon- stamps from the Third Reich! I had to pick them up! If you're ever in Amsterdam, make sure you treat yourself to a big fresh Stroopwafel. Oh christ. I can't oversell how delicious they are! 

And that is our trip to Amsterdam! I couldn't get over how beautiful everywhere was in Amsterdam, such an interesting place that I'll never forget. I was so at ease around the Dutch people, they were so chilled out, friendly and happy. Though I made an effort to speak a little Dutch, most spoke happily in English to me before I had the chance to dazzle them with my sub par Dutch. ;) The city has a relaxed and safe atmosphere. I loved every moment. :)
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What did you think? If not, would you like to go someday? Let me know below!
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

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