Thursday, 22 June 2017

Europe 2017 Diaries. Amsterdam is just bikes!

Amsterdam
It was hard to believe, by the time we got to Amsterdam that 14 days were nearly over. It was hard to think we'd started in France and were ending in Amsterdam in a couple of days.

Edam
We started in a small town called Edam, famous for Edam cheese with a Cheese tasting and Clog demonstration! The cheese was yum. We tried so many different flavours from smoked ham to paprika to nettle, which surprisingly tasted quite nice. I was so tempted to buy every flavour but knew once I'd come home it just wouldn't taste the same as abroad. 





The clog demonstration was pretty cool too. It's strange how they're just made from wood and then painted to look more 'appealing.' Clogs are very much a personal taste type of footwear, as you'll probably see from the pictures, but it was interesting to see them made. 

City of Amsterdam
After tasting some incredibly yummy cheese, we took a short journey into Amsterdam. Whether, you've been to 'Dam' (or Amsterdaym as Tom called it) or not, you'll probably have heard a lot about the city; things to do, places to go, what to see. And although we weren't there for long, I think we covered the most of it. 

If you're going to Dam it's a given you'll probably go to The Red Light District. In all honesty, it's a very eye opening experience and as I said you will have heard things about it. One thing I will say though is when you walk down the red light district, you don't see anything outrageous.

From what we'd been told it's as 'tasteful' as it can be. The women are very much respected, which is why you can't pictures of any of the windows walking around the district. 



Also, we obviously did the most touristy thing possibly and saw the I AMSTERDAM sign. Followed by a pedal boat ride around the city, which was absolutely hilarious, and then spent some time at a Banksy and Salvador Dali exhibition. They're both such different artists so to think there's an exhibition of both together is a little though provoking. Even when you see the exhibition; Banksy is very contemporary whereas Dali is very much a surrealist. I didn't think I'd become so interested in art and architecture and history but along with everything else, I definitely have enjoyed that side of the trip.

The one thing I'll never forget about Amsterdam is the chips slathered in ketchup and mayo! I bet you're thinking you can get that anywhere but it tastes even more amazing in Dam. I also tried something quintessentially Dutch - a croquette - usually mash potato, mix veg or mince meat covered in breadcrumbs. It's very soft when you bite into it but so flavoursome and yummy. One to try in Dam. 



On the other side, one thing that really annoyed about the city was the stupid bikes. Bikes take priority in Amsterdam and they will not stop for you. So when you're crossing the road you have to look out for them otherwise they'll near enough run you over. Trust me, I came close a few times. 

Our final night in Amsterdam felt super quick and a little surreal right now. A few people had decided to stay in the city and carry on to other places or decided to fly home straight from there. Cue the first set of tears. 

At no point was I expecting to cry. 14 days with a group of people, how hard can it be to say goodbye? Turns out quite hard. When you've spent that long with the same group and become fairly close to a few, if you're anything like me, you're bound to feel some emotion. I know I've always been quite soft but I wasn't done. I cried again, when our trip song was played upon arrival into London and when I had to say final goodbyes. Ah me.



14 days later...
Making the decision to very last minute book this trip was probably one of the best things I've done. It was such an amazing experience to see and do the things we did. And that was topped off by the truly brilliant people I met!

If you have some time and are wanting to do something... Go and see the world! It's something you definitely won't regret and if you're as lucky as me, you'll meet some pretty cool people along the way. I booked my trip through a company called STA; a travel agents that specialise in tours for 18 - 35 year old's.

It's clique but safe to say I've caught the travel bug and am itching to book my next holiday. But for now that ends my Europe Diaries :(

Where to go next?

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