Last week I began my list of 2017 trips with a quick jaunt over to Amsterdam. Flying from London Southend is ridiculously handy as it barely takes more than 2 hours from my house to Amsterdam city centre all told. With return flights as cheap as £50, it’s no wonder this is the perfect way to spend a day off of work!
This trip was slightly different to how I would have spent it on my own, as I took my dad who has never been to Amsterdam before. Instead of focusing on expanding my portfolio which is the purpose of my other trips this year, I spent the day showing my dad some of my favourite places in this lovely little city.
We got the train into the city from the airport (18 EUR return, 20 min journey) and immediately headed for a crêpery; my idea of heaven! Strolling around the canals proved interesting even at 12 in the afternoon due to the working girls standing in their windows- my dad looking in any other direction awkwardly! Still the architecture is undeniably beautiful especially set against the inky black waters of the canal- there’s something so captivating about the way these river apartments totter over you, almost toppling right into the waters below them but somehow staying upright for all of these years.
Our day involved a lot of walking; in fact my phone told me we did 24,000 steps! That’s absolutely crazy, but when the city is set in such close quarters you just don’t realise how much walking about you can actually do without feeling like you’re training for a marathon! We drank rum hot chocolates and wandered around all of the different corners of the city- each inhabited by different cultures. There’s a little China town, an Italian suburb, even Argentinians have created their stamp on the city in the form of restaurants and bars.
Unsurprisingly my favourite part of the day was dinner. After a visit to the Heineken Experience, we stopped at an unassuming little restaurant on the way back towards the train station called Rogh. I fell in love with the aesthetics of the place immediately; matte black with warming lights and gold detailing, it could have been straight out of London’s West End. The charm of the place was matched by the food; the menu was simple, offering a mixture of traditional Dutch and more tourist-friendly food. My dad and I both chose burgers, which came with Edam, bacon and egg… well, I would put money on the fact that they were some of the best burgers in the city. I would definitely go back here in a heartbeat next time I come to Amsterdam and highly recommend it to anyone.
Amsterdam was a really good way to start my year of trips; it’s definitely given me the travelling bug if I didn’t have it before! I can’t wait for the next trip already, which is going to be Swansea to visit my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. I want to do more touristy things while I’m there as I’ve barely been outside the main town and the little place where him and his uni friends live. Hopefully I’ll have something to write about by the time I’m back!
What’s on your travel list this year?