Amsterdam is sinking, but it’s not going anywhere without a fight. And with good reason, Amsterdam is too beautiful a place to be lost to the North sea. The lanky buildings, so detailed in their slender frame, sink graciously into the uneven earth as the invisible swamp underfoot tries to suck in every brick.
Amsterdam is all water and bridges and more water. I studied a map before we got there and realised that all I needed to do was follow the water. The water would get to everywhere I wanted to go.
At night the glowing windows of the prestige houses distracted me from where we were headed, as we spied on families blissfully sitting around huge wooden tables enjoying meals without need for any entertainment but conversation. But the faithful canals didn’t let us stay lost for long and if we kept following the water we got to where we needed to be.
As we wandered around the magical city, my boyfriend became my bike-warden who’s sole purpose in life was to stop me being killed by a cyclist. It is important to elect the bike-warden of the party before you visit Amsterdam. The city involves lots of looking around and relishing the surroundings, which leaves little time to watch out for speeding incoming cyclists who are weaving around tourists, holding a potted plant and having a phone-meeting all at once.
Not only did I fall in love with the city but another love affair occurred on my visit to the Netherlands. The famous love story between a girl and her new thermals.
Now, I was brought up to know the importance of a good vest. I still have my Dad’s ‘pro-vest’ voice in my head as I look out at the weather every morning and think “do I need layers today?” But I had never gone so far as to own thermals. I now realise that I was living in the past, because I have seen the future and it is unconditionally warm!!!
I’ve even branched out and started wearing my thermals under my work clothes, and because I have an unquenchable need to tell everyone everything about myself at all times, I regularly lift up my top and shout: “look, thermals!” at my unsuspecting and, frankly, shocked colleagues.
The food we ate there was so tongue-tinglingly great it made me moonwalk across bridges singing “Amster-daym gurl!”
Here’s a little list of some gems I would recommend visiting:
We had breakfast here every morning and it was great for two reasons. 1) They have mock-chicken sandwiches. 2) Everything on the menu has ‘Dr’ in front of it so ordering sounds like reading from a Dr. Seuss book.
I got raw cheesecake to-go here, cause why not?!
Dotted around everywhere and a lifesaver for the weary vegan traveller.
Not food but very entertaining. Two thumbs up.
Wood fire pizza, which is all I need in life.
Sit real far back in your chair and pretend to be as trendy as everyone else here, just don’t fall backwards. I got a cheese-less pizza here, it was good. They put extra vegetables on it for me, which I consider to be height of kindness.