If you ever get the chance, go to Amsterdam.
4am: We hit the road. The journey to Heathrow Terminal 5 was hilarious (all thanks to Chloe’s mum). The feeling of being in the car on the way to catch a flight with my two best friends was somewhat surreal. It had only been around four weeks since we booked this trip, but those four weeks had draaaaggggeeeedd so god damn much. Heathrow looked pretty as ever, and if it wasn’t for the fact we nearly missed our flight, a stroll around World Duty Free 100% would’ve been thrown in.
Yes, you read right. We nearly missed our flight. Whilst Chloe and Cassie picked up their last few essentials, I thought I’d have a look at the departure board. THANK GOD I DID. “Final boarding”. After a train and what felt like a marathon later, we made it to the other end of the terminal, only to be told that Cassie wasn’t booked on the flight. SHE BLOODY BOOKED THE HOLIDAY. Kids, if you’re going to use digital boarding passes, make sure you use YOUR digital boarding pass to check through security. We made it onto the plane eventually, only to be faced with complete humiliation. Imagine three, young, non-gym-orientated girls trying to lift up three bags into the overhead lockers, with an entire plane of passengers just staring at them. Yeah, that was us. Thanks to the guys sat behind us who finally realised that we needed a bit of help.
The flight was extremely quick, but some improvised squares and a bit of hangman wouldn’t go a miss. However, our chaos didn’t end there. As we’d been such an ‘inconvenience’ to the rest of the passengers, we thought we’d do a nice thing and let them off first. OH MY GOD, the plane was never-ending. As we finally started to head out of the plane, we realised Chloe had left her coat. I died. She puts it on and somehow manages to get her passport stuck in her sleeve. Honestly, it pretty much summed up our morning so far. By this point, even the flight attendants were laughing at us. Glad to see you have a sense of humour BA.
The next few hours involved finally making our way out of Schiphol airport, not being able to find our hotel resulting in a €60 taxi fare, and getting on a train in the wrong direction. However, after finding some Wifi, our smiles soon returned.
We were absolutely knackered, but we only had three days and there was no time to waste. Recommended: a three day ticket for unlimited travel on the tram, metro, bus and boat costing only €17. We made our way into central Amsterdam. To say the city is picturesque would be a major understatement.
Asmterdam = Beer. Only problem was that I was the only one out of the three of us who drinks beer. However, Chlo and Cass both soon opened up to the idea of Corona, so we spent the next couple of hours making our way down the streets of ‘Dam, drinking cold beer and enjoying the not-so-hot sunshine. It was honestly so so relaxing and peaceful and just every reason as to why we chose Amsterdam in the first place.
(I also was very happy that Amsterdam seemed to love avocados just as much as me).
We decided that as much as we loved exploring the city, we couldn’t survive any longer without a nap. We headed back to the hotel and by the time we made it outside again, the city had transformed. We realised that we needed to make the most of the time we had, and so after dinner, we headed back into central. Now illuminated with bar signs and red lights, we walked past the same places we’d been earlier only to find their purpose had been transformed. Bare windows in every nook and cranny of a building were now filled up with women in the spotlight. It was eye-opening to see a completely different attitude towards sex, drugs and alcohol. In the UK, its a rebellious thing. In Amsterdam, it’s all just business. After exploring the Red Light District and deciding that it wasn’t for us, we found ourselves sat in a bar drinking more beer. It was a great way to end the night, but we couldn’t hide just how exhausted we were. Day one was ending and we were K N A C K E R E D.
We had a full day to go out and take advantage of the £190 we’d spent on this trip. Obviously that meant going on a forty minute walk in the wrong direction and getting mortal in the middle of a museum at 2pm. Exploring the city meant that once again we were able to witness some beautiful scenery but oh my God THE BIKES. They’re literally everywhere. People riding them, people not riding them. I swear to God if I ever see another bike…
Getting lost did mean that we ended up at the cutest little coffee shop. England really needs to invest in some side-street, authentic tea houses and coffee shops. As soon as my teabag was handed to me in it’s own little box, I instantly fell in love with the place.
In the end, we just Google mapped it to the Heineken Experience. Oh it was fab.
Just under €20 gets you three free beers, a museum full of Heineken history, a 4D ‘Be The Beer’ experience and a hella lot of fun. I’m not sure if it was the fact we were English or that we were clearly enjoying ourselves, but the free beer kept on coming and before we know it, we’re live-streaming on Instagram (I sincerely apologise to anyone who witnessed that) and dancing to Drake. I highly recommend the Heineken Experience to anyone who find’s themselves in ‘Dam (but get directions first).
Our last day consisted of meeting up with Cassie’s friend from work and his pals, a canal boat and some Dunkin’ Doughnuts. They forgot to put in my Nutella ones which I was extremely unhappy about. Due to our near miss of a flight on the way out to Amsterdam, we decided to arrive at the airport a little earlier on our way out. However four hours early was a little too long. By the end of the day we were just exhausted and wanted our own beds. As the plane descended into London, the pretty city lights really made me appreciate the nightlife of a major city. Night flights are definitely one of my favourite things, and it certainly was the best way to end such an amazing trip.
Here’s to our next adventure x