A CITY OF CONTRASTS

DAY ONE

We pulled up to City Camp which sat on the waters edge in the creative hub of Nord Amsterdam. It was perfect for our little self sufficient home, but be warned it is just a carpark with a tap and nothing more. For us though it gave us piece of mind for security and a relatively quiet place to lie our heads, that way we could enjoy Amsterdam to its fullest. I will admit, I was a little concerned that the site seemed a little out of the way, you need to take the ferry to get into Amsterdam basically. We were very surprised at the ease of the ferry and were amidst the madness of Amsterdam within 15 minutes. Luckily for us whilst looking for the ferry port, we came across a little area by the waterside, with a couple of vibrant bars and event spaces. This area seemed very popular with locals escaping the norm of Amsterdam central.

It was absolute carnage. I have never seen to many bikes, mopeds, people and cars all in one place, the swarm around central station was crazy but going with the flow we headed with the hordes towards the centre. Some quick navigation and we were soon in the quiet and more bohemian Jordaan. The pretty canals lined with flower boxes and bicycles were such a contrast to the seedy connotations Amsterdam is well known for.

 

 

 

We wanted to enjoy the scenery and the little bursts of sunshine on offer as we’d had little so far and headed into a beautiful little deli to pick up a panini and San Pellegrino. We enjoyed our snacks on the canal side whilst snapping a few polaroids before exploring some more. We rode alongside the canals until we were back near the central station, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without visiting the famous sex museum right? I guess we were intrigued and fancied a good laugh and without a doubt we laughed so hard. It was crude, gross but most importantly hilarious. The dated and terrible statues and examples, provided hilarious laughs whilst the historic assets seemed a little too hard to believe. It passed a few hours and with our cheeks aching (facial don’t be so rude!) we headed back out into the madness.

 

Another fabulous recommendation for food was the Market, we do bloody love a good market. A little way out of the centre was no problem with two wheels and this little hub was similar to the Baltic Markets in Liverpool (not that I have been but Joshua told me so). Wall to wall with different foods from oysters to currys, nachos to dim sum I don’t think there was a part of the world not covered by a tantalising supply of food. To make the most of the offerings we selected a few different stalls and sampled each option, probably more so because I was hungry and I am greedy. It was worth every bite and if anyone travels to Amsterdam this is a place I would now recommend too!

 

 

Thoroughly filled and with the evening drawing closer it was easy to see how this place could slip from the beautiful sunny canal sides and into a dark seedy environment. Of course we had to get stuck in (within reason obviously) though because it is all part and parcel of the experience of Amsterdam. We visited one of the famous coffee shops to sample the offerings and after an hour or so of people watching, the sun had completely set and the stag dos were out in force. Red lights lit up each alleyway and seductively dressed women shook what there momma gave them in the windows. After a short wander around I think we’d seen enough ass and tits for one day so because we are clearly not suited to the seedy side we grabbed an ice cream and headed for the ferry back over to our camp.

 

 

We’d come across an unusual container style beach bar on the way to ferry that morning and so seeing as we didn’t feel quite finished for the day we thought we would check it out. I am so glad we did! It was a bustle of locals all drinking and eating both inside the converted containers and outside on the manmade beach by a fire. A mix of all different people ensured an amazing atmosphere and a live DJ was enough to keep the background beats in check. After sampling a few of the offerings we decided to head back.

 

 

DAY TWO

Ready to face another day and full refreshed after a quiet sleep in City Camp we again hopped on the ferry and into the centre. Joshua had found our breakfast stop Omlegg and I was sold just by the name. We were surprised to find a queue out the door but that only intrigues us more, if this many people are wanting omelettes then surely they must be good? The menu was an array of as many omelettes as you could possibly think of and they really did set us up for another day exploring.

 

In our final day in the dam we went to see Anne Franks house, we didn’t fancy the queue so just took the obligatory picture of the sign outside and we also sought out the famous giant letters for a photoshoot before we packed up and headed back on the road for another adventure.

 

 

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