Continued from From the Alps to Amsterdam! (Part I)
We stayed in Amsterdam in one of the most quirky hostels I’ve ever seen – a converted sleeper train. We loved the interesting concept, but it was maybe not the most practical hostel. There wasn’t much space in our tiny little three person cabin, and we were lucky that our roommate was super accommodating and didn’t mind us making noise. It’s also lucky that I’m 5ft2, and not 6ft2!
We did a different thing every single day of our stay in Amsterdam, and never ran out of things to do! I’d definitely love to go back in the summer; rushing through Vondelpark in the rain wasn’t quite the same. We did stuff with the other Maddie, also an assistant from Roanne, and her friend Michele most of the time we were there, which was lovely.
A brief summary of what we got up to:
Tuesday: Arrival. Had a delicious curry for dinner!
Wednesday: Fun and interesting free walking tour of Amsterdam. Dinner with my friend Ella from Birmingham.
Thursday: Rock the City Tour- Heineken Experience, boat ride, A’DAM Lookout. The Heineken experience wasn’t quite Cadbury’s World, but we did get free beer.
Friday: Anne Frank’s House in the morning, which was probably the most moving and significant part of our holiday. It is ESSENTIAL to book tickets for this in advance, but it’s well worth the hassle. The Rijksmuseum in the afternoon, which was good but we found the big central gallery very crowded, echoey and noisy. I really loved the 20th century art exhibits.
Saturday: Indoor food market and a second hand book market, which I walked away from with only one book. Achievement. Dinner at the Hummus House (heaven on earth), followed by some drinks for the other Maddie and Michele’s last evening.
Sunday: The Van Gogh Museum, which was amazing! I learned a lot about the history of art through the progression of Van Gogh’s work, and the history of the artist himself.
Monday: Back home, 7am flight (cry).
I loved the friendly, welcoming feel to Amsterdam, as well as its picture-perfect canals, cobbled pedestrian streets, and bicycles everywhere! My favourite bicycles were the ones with special buggies for multiple children on the front- clearly in the Netherlands having a family is not a valid excuse for needing a car.
Amsterdam wasn’t particularly expensive, everything was about on-par with France price wise. However, this can soon add up if you’re there for a week eating out every day. The most expensive part of our trip was the museums, which were about 18 euros each, with no concessions for students. They were definitely worth going to, however I’m used to free museums in the UK, or at least large discounts for under 25s in France, so it came as a bit of a shock.
The week after coming back from this wonderful adventure was pretty miserable- I worked on my Year Abroad essay all week. This essay counts for 100% of my grade this year, so it was a pretty big deal. Luckily, many of my classes were cancelled because the terminales had mock exams, which meant I had plenty of time to try my best to correct my French grammar.
This weekend was great: I’d handed in my essay and could enjoy myself with my friends without feeling like an irresponsible student. I spent lots of time with my Roanne girls, which was lovely. After a catch up and drinks Friday night, we woke up on Saturday to discover that due to a crazy heat wave it was 20 degrees! So we all headed to the park, to play cards in the sunshine. Saturday night we celebrated Hind’s birthday with her, which was really fun. I hope she had a good evening with us all!
On Sunday Hellie and I had a Lego Movie day- we watched the original film in the morning, and went to the cinema to watch the Lego Batman Movie in the afternoon. It was as hilarious as the first film and I would definitely recommend it! We also went for a nice walk around the Marina in Roanne in the afternoon together, which made us realise that it’d be awesome to live on a boat and spend our days sailing around the Med… maybe when we retire (and learn to sail!)