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Five Hours In Amsterdam Guide

Our rushed guide to exploring the Dam.

After having spent the entire summer working, me and my boyfriend decided we deserved a little weekend away together, partly because I was leaving him a few weeks later for Australia, but also because Amsterdam had always been high up there on my list of cities i wanted to visit, so why the hell not.

The night before we arrived we sat on the ferry, with our beers and a map, which thankfully came free with the welcome broacher, trying to make some kind of plan. It’s safe to say it was an expensive night, given how irrational I can be about planning, but we eventually decided we’d try to hit up a Museum, see the Red Light district and if we had time, smoke something naughty.

Unfortunately, we didn’t even accomplish the latter. However, we did manage to pick up a box of space cakes from a sex shop to eat on the way home, but they just made me feel about as high as I was when I was thirteen and smelled my first Bacardi Breezer.

Anyway…

After the coach dropped us off outside of Central Station, we huddled, sheltering each other and our map, from the rain, attempting to put our plan in motion. However , since it was still pretty early we decided to regroup, somewhere dry, and with coffee. We found this retro bar called Susies Saloon, drank our lattes, stole a beer mat out of amazement that places still use beer mats, and pushed on. We had four hours remaining.

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After walking for about an hour in search of the IAMsterdam sign, which my boyfriend had actually been to before, he just has as much sense of direction as a broken compass, we finally, or should I say I, finally found it. Located in the south of the city, just behind the Rijksmuseum, which we didn’t have time to go in given that the que went all the back into Germany, the sign, to my amazement was pretty vacant.  We took a selfie, making sure the sign was in the background like any good tourist does, and moved quickly on in search of food. We had three hours remaining.

Now then, contrary to what I was saying earlier, I’m terrible when it comes to making a decision about where to eat. I love food and I love coffee, so walking around a city full of quaint and inviting cafés was unbearable. Eventually, we took residence in a cafe called De Brabantse Aap, on Spui street, whose food was simply delicious. As a vegetarian my options are often limited, but my boyfriend, being who he is, kindly ordered the alternative option so that we could share.

In my cheese induced coma, I downed the rest of my beer, ushered my boyfriend to finish his, and headed back out in search of the Red Light District. We had an hour remaining.

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As we walked back through the city, stopping off in book shops and to admire the architecture, we finally found ourselves in the middle of the Red Light District, well one of them anyway. I don’t know what I was expecting, given that I’ve heard so many people talk about it, but I felt slightly cheated. I thought I’d see atleast one person dancing in a window in their birthday suit; i’m just going to assume it comes to life at night.

Anyway, I bought my best friend a penis toothbrush, ate a couple of space cakes and ventured down the street in search of a bar. I needed one more pint, we had half an hour remaining.

We went back to Susies, partly because it wasn’t far, but mostly because i didn’t have the mental energy to find somewhere new. As we sat drinking our pints, looking ahead at the canal and all it’s beauty, it occurred to me that our five hour adventure was over.

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Even though I wasn’t there long, it was a taster for the adventure I’m now embarking on. It reminded me what it is about traveling that I love. I remember saying to my boyfriend on the ferry on the way home, “I would love to travel Europe with you.” I can’t remember what he said, but whether I travel Europe with him, on my own, or with a group of friends, there’s just something unbelivebly exciting about the idea.

I can’t wait to go back and make new memories, drink more beer and actually visit some of the beautiful places that sit dispersed around the city. Once I’m finished with this side of the world, I know where I’m going.

We’ll always have the dam.

Jon x

We booked with DFDS Seaways, through Groupon, departing from Newcastle, Royal Quays to IJmuiden, Amsterdam. Our two night cruise with a day in Amsterdam cost £89 between us, which included a sea-view room and a £10 gift voucher to spend onboard

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