Europe / Summer 2014 / Amsterdam / Part 17

Amsterdam

After a massive night on our pub crawl in Berlin, the tour had sadly come to an end for Katie and I (plus Kelly and SJ as well.) We were the only 4 who had chosen to do the ‘Trail to Berlin’ tour with Topdeck, so we had been combined with the rest of our group who were doing the same tour, except finishing in Amsterdam after Berlin.

Luckily for Katie and I, Amsterdam just so happened to be our next and final stop, so while everyone else loaded onto the bus, we flew to Amsterdam and met the tour there! We had a fairly relaxed day in our hotel room – recovering from the past 2 and a half weeks no doubt – and took great pleasure in being excluded from another hostel stay! The next day, after an awesome breakfast at our hotel, we headed over to meet the group.

Amsterdam Topdeck

We went cycling around the city that morning, which is an absolute MUST in Amsterdam. It’s ridiculous how many people use that as their only mode of transportation. It was a little scary at first, but once I got the hang of it I was fine!

Amsterdam Topdeck

Britt and I

Amsterdam

After our bike ride, we had lunch at a quaint little cafe and it was divine.

Amsterdam

We spent the rest of the afternoon ambling around the streets; I didn’t take many photos on this day as Katie and I would be in Amsterdam for another 2 days after the tour left, so I knew I’d have plenty of other opportunities to do so. Sometimes it’s just nice to appreciate the scenery without feeling obligated to take photos.

Amsterdam

We had dinner at the Sea Palace, which is a floating Chinese restaurant on the waterfront and afterwards, we went on an evening canal cruise. I took some pictures on the cruise, but all of them came out quite terribly. It was a bittersweet night with the group, we hit a few clubs after the cruise but I think the Berlin pub crawl definitely felt more like our last night than this one. We said our goodbyes to our friends and headed back to our hotel for the first proper nights sleep we’d had in weeks.

Amsterdam

The next afternoon, Katie and I had brunch at a cute little pancake cafe right near our hotel. I got the veggie one and it was delicious. Huge and delicious!

Amsterdam

We spent the afternoon exploring more of the city and taking pictures of everything we’d missed the day before.

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This park was so beautiful and full of so many interesting people.

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We rode our bikes through here the day before.

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The Canal Boat Cruise

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The shopping was really cool in Amsterdam, this is a funky little vintage store we walked past.

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After another lazy night in our hotel, the next day we headed out to see the Anne Frank House. Just a word of advice; book this online if you can! You may have to book a few weeks in advance, but its definitely preferable to waiting in line….

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…for 3 hours. Somehow we managed to make the time pass by, but yes, 3 hours in line. The Anne Frank House was totally worth it though, her story and legacy is truly incredible. Photos were not allowed inside, it’s an experience not to be missed.

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Afterwards, we were famished, so pizza it was!

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I don’t know why mine was all wrapped up, but it was still delicious.

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Dam Square

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After a few more hours of wandering around, we met up with our friends from the tour, Anisha and Marshall. They had decided to ditch the bus ride back to London and had booked a hotel in Amsterdam for a couple of nights instead.

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We had dinner together at a little pub.

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Afterwards, we went for a walk through the streets.

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Anisha, Katie & Marshall

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The square was pretty surreal at night.

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We said our goodbyes to Anisha and Marshall here, as they were flying home to New Zealand the next day.

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Before heading home, we deemed it appropriate to visit a waffle house, to toast our last night in Amsterdam.

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Walking back to our hotel was beautiful, the city truly comes to life at night.

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The next day, we checked out of our hotel and found a great spot for brunch, before heading over to the Van Gogh museum.

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We couldn’t take pictures in here either, but it is another must-do to add to your Amsterdam checklist! We weren’t in the line for too long, but were on a tight schedule due to our pending flight to London, so we did our best to see most of the gallery in under 2 hours.

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Afterwards, we headed to the giant ‘ I amsterdam’ sign to get our suitable tourist photos.

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It was a beautiful day, but unfortunately our half day in the city very soon came to an end. After snapping some last photos,  we hurried back to our hotel to collect our bags and hail a cab!

heathrow airport burger

We arrived in London at about 5pm that night and spent a couple of hours together before I headed off for 24 massive hours of transit back home. We had our last dinner at a pub in the airport and after saying our goodbyes, I strode through the security gates to the other side with not only a sense of purpose, but a sense of relief. After 5 weeks, I was going home.

My Europe trip was absolutely incredible, not only for the sights and places I visited, but for all the things I learnt about myself. I left Europe with a better understanding of where I want my life to be and who I want to be in it, I also learnt a lot about how I respond when faced with different situations and how other people respond as well.

I met amazing people on my tour and established some truly beautiful friendships, ones that I know will last a lifetime. In the midst of all this, I also started to deal with the fact that I was in the process of losing a friendship, which was difficult to accept until I realised that I was the only one who was willing to fight for it in the first place. Travel can be really hard on relationships, but in saying that, I am most definitely in a far better place now having put that toxic friendship well and truly behind me.

There are things I would’ve definitely done differently about my trip; there were lots of places I didn’t see and experiences I wish I’d had with somebody else. That being said, this was just a taster trip; I have so much more time in my life to properly see and do everything I want in a country, time that I fully intend on taking advantage of. You can never travel enough.

I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed breaking it apart into chewable pieces for you. I would highly recommend doing a Topdeck tour, Emirates are amazing and remember guys; when in doubt, pizza is never a bad idea!

marnie

1 Comment

  1. October 29, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    You’re so lucky! Your posts always make want to travel!

    \ Indigo Lights

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