Three Countries, One Day.

How come in England the only tales you hear of Amsterdam are of drugs, drink and prostitutes? I have just spent six glorious hours in the city of my dreams and can’t believe the awful hype. Why would anyone go to Amsterdam for marijuana when the magic of the city is all the drug you need?!

The streets of Amsterdam, with the glowing reflection of canals flowing through the centre of them, are an absolute wonder. Images of Wes Andersons magnificent Grand Budapest Hotel spring to mind at every corner as mismatched buildings, each one of equal grandeur, tower up at either side. And yet, despite the seemingly untouchable fantasy of ever being granted access to one of these fairy tale buildings, that surely only princesses, knights and Russian diamond traffickers live in, right there before me, as clear as day, in the window of an elaborate four story town house, is a white haired woman, reading the paper at her slightly battered kitchen table and absentmindedly stroking a fluffy tabby cat. In Amsterdam, it seems, the fantasy is never out of reach and that is why it has today been named my city of dreams.

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We arrived, tired, after an early start in England to a warm but hazy Thursday morning rush hour. I don’t think I realised there would be so many bikes, I mean, they are everywhere! And it’s wonderful, of course, why would you want to be in a stuffy car, stuck in traffic, when you can sail gracefully along the cobbled streets with the wind on your face and the smell of freshly baked churros in the air?

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This one was my personal favourite.

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There was a fair on in the big square outside Madam Tousaudes while we were there and the wonderful bearded fiancé, also known as Jake, won me an awesome snuggly dragon, now named Amsterdam.

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One of the absolute highlights of the day was all the FREE CHEESE! For anyone who doesn’t know me personally, cheese is my favourite food. Well, cheese and potatoes…it’s a close call.

Cheese is a huge thing in Amsterdam and anywhere that sells it has samples out of every flavour and variety, you just go around and try them all! We were especially impressed with the cheese shop below the Cheese Museum…yes there’s a Cheese Musuem, I told you cheese is big here.

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I also tried some of the chips that are sold everywhere slathered in cheese sauce, salsa and onions. Jake was disgusted but I was impressed.

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We had intended to go to Anne Franks house, but when we arrived to find the queue extended the length of several streets we decided against it, if we had longer than a few hours in Amsterdam we definitely would have gone. Instead we found an adorable cafe next door and had lunch.

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Jake thought my puny lunch was hilarious, but I was still full from the chips.

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After that we just spent the remainder of the afternoon walking the streets in a state of sheer bliss. Everything was perfect.

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There’s an awesome, cool, quirky shop at every turn.

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In the words of Jake ‘What a romantic day! We ate loads of cheese, I won you a dragon, we saw some prostitutes…’

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After having breakfast in Manchester and then lunch in Amsterdam,we got to Germany just in time for some lovely home made tea by our wonderful friend Henny and half a litre of Long Island Iced Tea, what an awesome day.DSC01404

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