Destinations · Travel and Leisure

Ticket to Amsterdam

All you hear, see and talk about Amsterdam from photos to videos to movies etc.. I would suggest put all of that in the back seat and jet set to Amsterdam to experience it all with your own eyes. This is one place that took my breath away and I will certainly try to pen down my experience into words and describe how our trip was.. I’ll try my best. This place has abundance to offer and on a serious note we certainly din’t know where to start from.

DAY 1

After enjoying our breakfast at hotel NH Jan Tabak, we headed out to the city for a tour. The distance to the city was a 30 min ride/drive from the hotel. The mini tour was organized by AFC holidays.

A little overview – Amsterdam took its name from the river Amstel. This city is home to the famous art museums, historic museums, canals, vintage houses, rustic cafes, cheese markets, coffee shops, street food etc. Amsterdam was not destructed during the World War 2 and hence, has preserved its buildings and the Dutch architecture. The city is buzzing at all times, the night life is at its best and the party scenes are highly recommended.

Its also called ‘the city of cycles’ as there are more cycles than the total population. The road networks are great and bicycle riders are given high priority. Watch out for the on coming bicycle riders as they don’t stop and they do not expect you to be in their way at any given time.

unnamed (3).jpg

unnamed.jpg
From the Left: Tehzeeb Huda, me, Amar and Heena

A ticket to Amsterdam along with a free 3nights 4days stay with a city tour included??? Does this sound like a dream or something you might have secretly wished for once and never though it would come true? Well, this EID was one of the most memorable EID holidays ever in my entire life here in the middle-east. I actually won a free trip to Amsterdam on radio – SUNO1024 fm which was sponsored by AFC Holidays and all they required was valid documentation to travel. Yes, I literally had to pinch my self to believe that I was traveling to Amsterdam for free and honestly, I’ve never won anything before on radio. So, for those of you who have not, don’t get disheartened, there is always a first time and its worth the wait.

We were a bunch of 30 people who won the trip from Dubai. I was grateful to have been given this opportunity to have met 3 gorgeous ladies at the briefing session a day prior to our flight. Introducing …. Amar who works for a PR firm and she is a very dear friend as well, Tehzeeb is a Marketing professional and a great blogger checkout her blog on food, beauty and fashion: The Tezzy Files  great reads guaranteed, and finally Heena who comes from a Finance background. It din’t take us long to get to know one another and we were all rocking the boat together like it was meant to be.

unnamed (1).jpg
Windmill
Our 1st Stop was at the wind mill in Amsterdam dating back to 17th century. Holland, is known for its windmills and you will
bump into one every now and then. This is definitely one for the picture album :). Quite an unusual sight for us Middle-Easterns.
Floating Flower Market – Bloemenmarkt
Our next stop was at the Floating Flower Market which is situated on the Singel canal. You can find the famous Dutch Tulips, Peonies and all the other flowers in the world that you can probably think of. Souvenirs and fresh produce of local fruits are also sold at the Bloemenmarkt, as known in Dutch. The entire market is covered in flowers and the setting feels just out of a story book. If you are visiting in December around Christmas time you will notice that the market is covered green with masses of Christmas trees. A sight to see.
unnamed (2).jpg
Blomenmarkt (Flower Market)

Amsterdam Canal Ride 

Whether you are a first timer or an experienced visitor everything looks magical when viewed from a boat/cruise.
This was indeed the most exciting part of the tour where we set off on a cruise through the picturesque canals of Amsterdam. It was an experience itself and every moment felt picture perfect. The scenic waters of Amsterdam are the highlight of the city and an artists paradise. The tour was for approximately an hour and was worth every moment. It felt like scenes out of a movie where people where enjoying a drink or perhaps celebrating their bachelors on their personal yachts or hired yachts, some oldies where enjoying some time off their regular rotuine and some newly weds having the time of their life. The cafes and houses alongside the canals provide a perfect backdrop to the city and its most memorable when discovered on a cruise.
unnamed (6).jpg
unnamed (7).jpg
One of my fav shots!

unnamed (8).jpg

Nutella Fixation – CREPE BAR, Amsterdam

unnamed (11).jpg
Chalk Board Menu

unnamed (12).jpg

unnamed (13).jpg
Black and White Crepe

We longed to find a rustic cafe to experience the real feel of the cafe culture in Amsterdam after a relaxed cruise tour. The next thing we could think of was some NUTELLA indulgence. When on a holiday I feed my soul and if that calls for nutella crepes and sinful delights, BRING IT ON :). The four of us always had space to have nutella crepes every single day while our stay in Amsterdam, no matter what or how full our bellies were! It brought never ending smiles to our faces and it was some serious fixation – Confession!
While walking around the streets we spotted this quaint little cafe – CRERE BAR and we knew this is it! This was crepe heaven and we were in awe of the rustic interiors and the list of crepes on the menu. I always end up ordering the so called Black & White crepe (Nutella & Banana crepe) with a cappuccino as that is one thing I can’t go wrong ordering with. The crepe tasted out of this world. Absolutely, well done with a batter that literally melted in my mouth and nothing like it when you really are that hungry! It fed my heart, soul and whatever I could think of at that moment! This certainly was Crepe perfection! If you are strolling around the streets of Amsterdam and you are craving to indulge into sweet-something then this is it!!! It is a must-must-must visit! I can go on and omnomnom and on …. haha!

Enough said about the Crepe Bar. Now moving on to the next spot on the bucket list while visiting Amsterdam…

The Infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam

unnamed (14).jpg

When you think of Amsterdam you think of Canals, Cannabis and the Red Light District. Not surprisingly this district is swarming with crowds around the later hours of the day and the red neon lights illuminate the inky canals. De Wallen as known in Dutch is one of the most famous district among the three others in Amsterdam. It is one of the oldest areas in Amsterdam and houses canals, mansions, shops, cafes, restaurants, erotic retail shops/ museums etc. It is advised to visit the area in a group and it is strictly forbidden to take pictures of the windows as you pass by.

unnamed (17).jpg

Dinner at Weigh House or In De Waag

A big thank you Tehzeeb and her wonderful friend Anna who is Dutch, and took the time out to take us around Amsterdam and booked us into Cafe In De Waag which is situated in the old city center of Amsterdam. I ordered a Mushroom Tagliatelle which was very sumptuous and had quite a distinct flavour of baked red onions, green asparagus and parmezan cheese.

DAM SQUARE

unnamed (18).jpg

Dam Square is a town square in central Amsterdam and is famous for its noticeable tall architectural structures and historical significance. It has a great vibe with a rush of travelers at all times for its major attractions on all sides. The tall white stone pillar was built in 1956 to memorize the victims of World War II now dominates the other side of the square.

unnamed (19).jpg
Madame Tussaud’s Museum 
unnamed (20).jpg
Royal Palace and the Gothic Church at the Dam Square
The Royal Palace is situated on the west end that also served as a city hall. We were told that the king and the queen reside there on a regular basis. Next to it is the 15th century Gothic church and on the opposite side lies the Madame Tussaud’s Museum which has a sprawl of tourists during the day until early evening.
That was the end of day 1 as we called it a night pretty late and had to run into the central station to catch the last train at 11pm that would go towards Naarden-Bussum, where the hotel was located close to. The train ride took us around 30mins to Naarden-Bussum and a further 30-40min walk towards the hotel. I still can’t forget prancing about on the streets at 12 midnight and the unforgettable long walk to the hotel on a chilly night.

Hope you enjoyed reading through Day 1 of our experience in Amsterdam. Share your travel experiences in Amsterdam. I would love to read them and I shall feature the most amazing ones on my blog.

Watch out for Day 2 in Netherlands coming up…

Mintberry xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s