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Arriving in Hull at around 4pm, after coach swapping, ticket collecting and customs controls we boarded the P&O Pride of Hull. We dropped our luggage in the room and headed to the bar. Two gin 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 with a good selection of dishes were on offer. This would be our second trip over to Amsterdam and we couldn’t wait to arrive.
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 and through tulip fields 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.
Taking A 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 where famous painter Rembrandt is buried. We sailed down Brewers Canal, Emperors Canal, Golden Bend, Gentleman’s Canal and passed Amsterdam’s smallest door, yes you read that right !
If you love cheese as much as we do then Amsterdam is the city for you. We made sure we bought some delicious cheese and ate plenty of samples, for research of course. We indulged in more 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.
Travel Smarter With An 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.
The Best Apple Pie In Amsterdam
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 locals and tourists. During the Spring they hold incredible flower festivals here, carpets of Tulips and other flowers, a multitude of colours and fragrances. If this is your thing then don’t forget to visit the Tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the many Tulip museums in the centre of Amsterdam.
The Jewish Quarter
Deciding to avoid the red light district and surrounding areas, we opted for the streets behind the palace and around the Jewish Quarter (The Jodenbuurt). A beautiful area of the city. Full of interesting little shops, cafes and lots to see. You will find this between Nieuwmarkt and Plantage. Here you will find the The National Holocaust Memorial, The National Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum.
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.
Since writing this post we took another trip over the North Sea to Belgium, specifically Bruges. You can read all about this trip by click on this link A Trip To Bruges.
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