Well if reading what I got up to on my first day in Amsterdam was enjoyable for you then I’ve got another fun-filled post of what I got up to on day 2 of my trip. Despite how tiring city breaks can be I likely jumped out of bed that morning at the thought of another day exploring the beautiful city of Amsterdam. I may have only been 24 hours into a 4 day trip but I had fallen head over heels in love with the place (maybe not it’s weather when I was there though, it reminded me too much of home).
We had arranged to go to Pancakes Amsterdam for breakfast but with it not being the largest of places and already filled to the brim, we decided the wait wouldn’t be worth delaying our full itinerary for the day. On the look out for somewhere else to go we came across a little bakery called Croissant selling fresh pastries, cakes and hot drinks, it all smelled so good when walking past so we had to turn around and stop for a visit. Whilst David went for a croissant, I went for a spinach and ricotta pastry, which proved to be a delightful and filling breakfast, maybe it was fate we ended up at Croissant after all.
After devouring our pastries we headed in to the Amsterdam museum, a museum dedicated to the history of Amsterdam (you probably guessed that by the name though right?). The art galleries can become quite repetitive if you go to one too many or if museums aren’t typically your thing, however there was a imitation bar on the top floor where I pretended to pull a pint, and got to look all cool and mighty whilst sat on a bar stool. Other than that the Amsterdam museum was just another museum. What do you do once you leave a museum? Go to another museum of course. We then headed to Museum Van Loom, a canal side house named after the Van Loom family that lived there from the 19th century. Eventually the future generations decided to turn the place into a museum, which was lovely as it allowed me to see how the other half live, the house was beautiful, and the garden was even nicer…what I’d do to own a place like that. It was lovely to see how well the house has been maintained over all these years, and that despite it now being a museum open to the public, it’s still a family heirloom.
Following our tour around the lovely house of the Loom family, Oude Kerk was on our agenda for lunch. Oude Kerk is Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest church, in actual fact it’s 800 years old, which is crazy if you think about it. This church is located just beside the Red Light District, but there was nothing to see in broad daylight so don’t get too excited. Before we got lunch we had a look around the church, it was massive and I nearly broke my ankle tripping on the deep engravings in the stone floor because I was too busy taking all the amazing surroundings in. After we had seen enough of the church, we headed to Koffieschenkerij de Oude Kerk (the little cafe inside, although its host to a hidden garden outside if you fancy sitting out in the fresh air). We had a lovely tomato soup with bread, and David had a homemade lemonade to go with this, whilst I went for a plain old diet coke. Not only did I love the decor of this quirky little cafe, but also the fact the soup was made by victims of human trafficking who are being trained in culinary skills in order to prepare them for starting a fresh in life. The individuals who made the soup definitely have amazing culinary skills as the soup was so rich, with the hint of oil drizzled over the top adding to the presentation and the taste.
The Netherlands is well known for its tulips, with tulip souvenirs of all shapes and sizes being found in every shop, street stand, or plastered all over the airport, so it was only right to visit the world’s only Floating Flower Market. You can tell just how popular tulips are over there, with the locals stocking up and us tourists thinking of what sort of tulips to get our mums, grans and aunties. I picked around 5 different coloured wooden tulips in order to make up a little bouquet for my mum, they’re truly the most beautiful little things I’ve seen, and I may have currently borrowed them for the vase in my room.
If the floating flower market gets you falling over these pretty flowers then there’s always a visit to the Tulip Museum, which is located just across from Anne Frank’s house. After a wander around this museum learning about the history of tulips, we were all flowered out and headed back across to Anne Frank’s house to wait in line for our slot as this was next on the itinerary and something we had been looking forward to that whole day.
I attempted to read Anne Frank’s diary when I was a kid but I don’t think I was mature enough to truly appreciate it, so I purchased it again this year and read it within a couple of days, feeling every type of emotion by the time I reached the last page. Anne Frank’s House is what I’d imagine to be the most popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam, to the point where it’s a necessity to book tickets 2 months in advance in order to secure your visit. After trying to get us 2 tickets online 1 month before we departed on our trip, let’s just say it was a complete fail with them being totally sold out… I wasn’t giving up though. I’d check everyday in hope that they’d release some more but with no luck, that was until one day I went on the site during my lunch break to find that they had released SO many tickets and new time slots due to refurbishing work that was going on. I frantically texted David to let him know so that we could both agree on a time and then I purchased the tickets, I couldn’t quite believe I’d be visiting Anne Frank’s house. After waiting in a short queue, we entered the house, grabbed our little audio system and ventured inside. There was nothing but complete silence when walking through each room, with the only sound being the guided audio that everyone held tightly to their ear. It was unbelievable going through every room knowing there was a story behind it. We had went through each room until we were met by the bookcase that separated Anne Frank and the outside world. You would never have thought there was a whole family leading a life for two years behind this bookcase. After stepping into the Secret Annexe we couldn’t quite believe our eyes. In Anne’s room some of the posters she had glued on her wall to make her room feel like her own remained. The steps up to the next floor were so steep and narrow it was impossible not to bang your knees. The floors were creaking with every step that was taken that you just couldn’t imagine having to watch every move you made, afraid of being found out. We were unable to go up to the loft where Anne and Peter shared their first kiss but there were mirrors placed so carefully up there which allowed for a view of what it was like. I could honestly do a post on Anne Frank’s house alone as it was a truly indescribable experience, which only makes you even more appreciative of the life you currently lead. After the visit, you seen many people hurrying to the gift shop to purchase a copy of her diary, which I’d highly recommend you read if you haven’t yet read it. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit this place on my trip, as it really did complete it for me.
After the extremely emotional visit to Anne Frank’s house we headed to Rancho Argentinian Grill for dinner, and again this was one of the restaurants the IAmsterdam card got us a discount at. This year I’ve been known to love a good steak so I was looking forward to this meal. After turning up at the restaurant absolutely drenched with the rain we were seated and got on to ordering a cocktail… we both went for the margarita. For my dinner I got a 300g rump steak, chips and peppercorn sauce. By the looks of the food everyone around us was ordering I knew this was going to be one of the highlights of the trip. Not long after ordering our food was brought out, and all I can say is that it was by far the best steak I’ve ever had. Cooked to perfection, it was so juicy, full of flavour and the peppercorn sauce only made it even more of a joy to tuck into. The picture above brings me so much happiness just looking at it (someone book me a flight to Amsterdam just so I can eat this again). David’s wise decision of getting me the 300g steak rather than the 200g paid off, so thank you David and to the amazing chefs at this restaurant for feeding me with such good quality food.
Feeling fully satisfied after what turned out to be an unforgettable steak dinner, we had planned on heading to the Holland Cassino to do a spot of gambling. However, when it turned out you had to sign up for a membership and with that being the only time we would have visited the casino, we found it rather pointless and opted against going in. Instead we decided to head to the Red Light District, as you can’t go to Amsterdam and not take a walk through this area. With it only being around 8/9pm we’d assumed it would be too early and pretty dead but the streets were buzzing. I thought the Red Light District would be some girls in a few windows but it really is a full district, it was hard to believe what was in front of my eyes. There were girls dressed in next to nothing, either getting ready for the night ahead or seductively posing in the window trying to encourage business, it’s hard to get your head around this being legal and accepted here. All these girls looked so young and normal, it was definitely an eye-opening experience taking a walk down here, but now that I’ve seen it I probably wouldn’t return.
If my 2 days in Amsterdam were going this good, I could only imagine how my third day in the city would be, especially because I’d be turning 22 that very day. Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post to find out how I spent my 22nd birthday in Amsterdam!