Onze Dag Begint !
Arriving in Hull at around 4pm, after coach swapping, ticket collecting and customs controls we boarded the Pride of Hull. We dropped our luggage in the room and headed to the bar. Two gins and tonics ordered we made our way out onto the deck to watch the sunset. The weather was warm and we were hoping this was going to carry over into the next day. Dinner was from the buffet, a good selection of dishes were on offer.
Up nice and early we went for breakfast, coffee and croissant for Vicky, coffee and the sweet Dutch breakfast Hagelslag (candy sprinkles and bread) for me. My sweet tooth was in heaven ! If you’ve never heard of that or ever eaten it you’re missing out, no seriously, you are !
We docked at Europoort in Rotterdam at 8.30am. Our journey into Amsterdam took around 2 hours through towns, passed windmills, under waterways, down the side of canals and under the runway of Schiphol Airport. There was always something interesting to see. Our drop off and pick up point was outside the Basilica of St. Nicholas just down from the Damrak in the centre of the city.
Canal Cruise, Shopping, Food
First up a canal cruise. There are plenty of places you can catch a boat from in the city. The main area is just around the corner where the coach set us down. There are plenty of companies offering different trips for different prices. Ours cost €11 each and lasted an hour. Our trip took us passed the oldest cafe in Amsterdam, Café Chris founded in 1624. We drifted along via Westerkerk the church were famous painter Rembrandt is buried. Down Brewers Canal, Emperors Canal, Golden Bend, Gentleman’s Canal and passed Amsterdam’s smallest door, yes you read that right !
We bought some delicious cheese, did some shopping and had a wander around the de Bijenkorf department store on Dam Square. Our next stop would Febo for a tasty Kroket. There are a number of these little self-serve shops dotted around the city. The Dutch are famous for their delicious croquettes and this place doesn’t disappoint. Freshly cooked and placed in coin operated slot walls you throw in your €2 and help yourself. Ragout filled deep-fried treats. All different flavours with meat and vegetarian options. Try one next time you are there.
I amsterdam City Card
The ‘I amsterdam’ city card is the most convenient and affordable way to experience Amsterdam. Visit world-class museums, take a cruise through the charming canals and sample the local delicacies. All for free or with a significant discount ! The City Card gives you unlimited access to Amsterdam’s public transport system for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours. Click on the link below and check it out.
Vicky had promised a friend that we would take her some Spring flower bulbs home. We looked around and ended up in the Tulip Museum. After a few purchases and a nosy round we headed to our next stop, Café Winkel 43. Doing our research as usual we already knew about this place. Famous for its apple cake we just had to try it. Two pieces of cake and two cappuccinos ordered they arrived at our table.
We were not disappointed. The base was nice and crunchy, biscuit like. The filling was incredible, deep, lots of apple, juicy sultanas and cinnamon. The top was nice and soft a bit spongy and topped off with lots of freshly whipped cream. It definitely earns its title as “Best apple cake in Amsterdam”. Highly recommended and just short of €15 with the drinks.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam on Dam Square. Looking incredible against the bright blue Autumnal sky. Busy with all the hustle and bustle of locals and tourists alike.
Deciding to avoid the red light district and surrounding areas, we opted for the streets behind the palace and around the Jewish Quarter. A beautiful area of the city. Full of interesting little shops, cafes and lots to see.
We loved our day in Amsterdam and will visit again one day for sure. I’d like to stay over and spend a few more days exploring to see and experience it by night. We’d like to explore more of The Netherlands and I am sure one day we will.
Back on the ferry and our 10 hour journey back home begins. We are already excited for our final getaway of 2018. Barcelona in November, bring it on.
Looking for more inspirational ideas for Amsterdam ? Go and check out this recommended post from one of our guest bloggers Adventures Of A Ginger.