Secondly, I apologies for how long it has taken me to finish this post! So without further adieu, the real writing will begin…
As some may know, in April I came back from an amazing trip to Amsterdam – if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook that is! I’ve posted the odd photo here and there whilst on the trip, but wanted to save the bulk for this post. Now it’s taken me a long time to gather all the photos, pick the best ones, edit them and also to write this long a** post, but hopefully this all will have been worth it, and you will love it!
Monday night was a welcome party at Panama, which, in all honesty, was an absolute disappointment and set off our rage with the tour company. A vodka and coke was €8.90! Surely, for a trip aimed at students and young people, you wouldn’t plan to take them to a club that is extortionately expensive? But yes, they did. Surely you’d think that they’d have some sort of deal in place or a few free drinks on entry? Nope! So we drank €3 half “pints” all night!
When the night ended, a few of the reps said they were going to a club in where, you guessed it, Rembrandtplein! So we went to Prime, which quickly redeemed the night. The music and atmosphere were amazing, the drinks were still on the expensive side, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a good club at home.
After Monday’s debacle with the night out, we weren’t planning on going to the day party that had been planned, but, seeing as it was a day party, we did want to go and check it out to see if it was any good. The party started at 2pm, and was way out of Amsterdam, that we had to get a tram to Central Station, and then a ferry. It was held in a venue called Undercurrent, and, if it had been held later on in the day, at maybe 6pm, then it would have been cool!
(Face paint and flower crowns at Undercurrent)
But seeing as it was 3.30pm by the time we got there and made it through security (it was worse than the airport!), no-one was feeling it and the venue was half empty. I was also starving, and with no food in sight, I wanted to leave straightaway! We didn’t though, we bought two tokens (what?), cashed them in for half a pint, got our faces painted and left!
(Some of the tastiest chips I’ve ever had!)
After that, we wandered around for the day, had the most disgusting coffee but most amazing portion of chips in a little restaurant, and went home for a disco nap.
Later that night, we thought, why not go for a walk to the Red Light District?! And I will tell you now, it was the most surreal experience I have ever had. I don’t now exactly what I was expecting, but for 1. I wasn’t expecting the women in the windows to be so close to the street as some of them were! And 2. I honestly didn’t think I’d actually see men going in and out of the windows!
Anyway, even if it doesn’t seem like your thing, you need to go and see it for yourself if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam! Plus, there’s some nice bars and pubs down there!
That night, we had nothing planned, so ended up in the underground bar in our hostel, and I have to say, it was the most chilled out and fun night we had of the whole trip. The music was great, the drinks were cheap (€4 for a vodka mixer) and the company was better than I could have ever wished for!
The next day, we went in search for a full English breakfast to cure our hangovers! We ended up getting dragged into an Italian with promises of a full English, but instead got a full Italian… or, something like that! Now, I didn’t think it was too bad, it was all very flavorful, but that’s not what you want from your fry up, especially with a hangover. I wish I’d taken a picture of it… there were spicy sausages, mixed beans, fresh tomatoes – it was all a bit weird.
After that we wandered around a bit, ended up yet again in Rembrandtplein and went and sat in St. James’ Gate for a coffee. After that we made our way back to the hotel, had a nap and then went out for food at Wok and Walk on Leidsestraat, just around the corner from our hostel. Again I wish we’d taken a picture but we were in a bit of a rush! This was amazing for €7 and there was so much! Also so many options! From rice, noodles, veg, chicken, beef, tofu and about 7 sauces to choose from + extra toppings!
Anyhow, we were in a rush as we had booked to go on a bar crawl with Invasion. We were a bit dubious about this at first after the shambles the first two parties with We Are Forever were, but with it being Invasion, we thought it might be a lot more organised. The night it self was, however we received a text from We Are Forever to be waiting in the hostel bar for 7pm. So, we were… and were still waiting at 9pm. Anyway, we finally left and turned up at the first bar to free shot being poured down our throats… literally!
(Bar crawl. Credit to Lucy Gilbert)
This made me a lot happier, and made the night a lot better. After the bar crawl was over, we went to the organised club night at Coco’s Outback, which I loved. Everyone we’d met and spoke to the whole week were there, so that was lovely. However it ended too soon, so we made our way over to Prime again!
I seriously loved that place, it felt like my home away from home!
No hangover, yes!! Today we planned on doing and seeing a lot of things… can you guess what we did? Not a lot!!
We walked all the way over to the Anne Frank museum to be faced with the longest queue I have ever seen in my life… like Alton Towers on a bank holiday Monday in August queue. So we decided against it. We then thought, let’s get on a pedlo! Yeah, what a great idea… nowhere near us had pedlos to rent, just boat trips. So, we thought, let’s go to the Red Light District again.
We’d been told that there were women in the windows all day long, so assumed it would be just as busy in the day as it was the night. I’m not sure if it was because it was in the daytime on a weekday or what, but there were only a handful of girls in the windows – pretty disappointing for our friends who had not been during the evening yet.
We went for a pint in the same pub as the first night, and looked out the window for any pimps.
We then decided to do the one tourist-y thing we’d done all week… Go to the sex museum! You’ve all seen the pictures on Facebook of your friends sitting on the giant willy – we just had to go an see what all the fuss was about.
And to be very honest, there was no fuss at all, in fact it was pretty rubbish in all fairness. Ok for €4 I suppose.
After walking pretty much walking all over central Amsterdam, it was mandatory to go back to the hostel and take a nap! The final night that was planned was to go back to Panama, but after the extortionate prices and just the generally sh*t night we had the very first time, we decided to just go down to the hostel bar/club thing in the basement. It was another nice chilled night as everyone was so tired from the week!
We had planned to stay up all night so that the trip home would be more bearable and we’d be able to fall asleep almost instantly, but by 4 or 5am I had to sleep. We’d already ventured out to try and find food at 3am (which, for a capital city is bloody hard to find!), so I just needed those last few hours in a nice bed before a 12 hour journey home.
This has to have been the worst day of my life. I was so hungover and so tired, I was dreading getting on the coach for the 12 hour journey home. We got a taxi from our hostel to the coach as the walk was unbearable. Once on the coach I was fast on, until we got to Antwerp where the traffic was a nightmare and the coach had gotten so hot I thought I was going to set on fire.
I fell in and out of sleep until we reached a chocolate factory in Belgium where we had to stop off. We had ice cream (Coconut!) and sat in the shade until we set off again.
Because of the traffic, we missed our ferry, but luckily managed to get on the next one. The ferry this time wasn’t as calm and quite as the first one at 3am. This was a 5pm ferry, full of school trips and families – a nightmare for a hangover.
I don’t think I have encountered as much traffic ever as we did that night. Motorways back to Manchester were closed, junctions shut, detours were made. We finally arrived in Manchester at 2am, 4 hours after we were supposed to. What was already a 12 hour journey home turned into a 16 hour journey.
If I have learnt one thing from this experience is ALWAYS FLY! I don’t however regret anything from the trip, it was quite possibly, the best 4 days of my life! I’m so grateful that we decided to go on a “package holiday” and stay in a hostel with a bunch of other people, as I really don’t think it would have been as great as it was! The people we met were amazing and I really hope that we get the chance to do this trip again!
If anyone is planning on going on a trip like this, I say do it! It’s cheap, and the perks thrown in are pretty great too, even if the nights out are pretty awful! The people you meet just makes it all worth while.
I hope you enjoyed this post, if you do I may just post another one about my little road trip to Bruges and Paris!
Help me reach 50 subscribers on my blog and click this link to subscribe!
If you haven’t already, check out my Youtube channel!
Nicole Lauren Blake