On wednesday my boyfriend and I packed our bags and sailed off to Amsterdam on a very cheap ferry deal! I have been once before when I was in 6th form, but we only went for the day and spent most of the time in galleries. I felt that I hadn't experienced all that the city had to offer!
This time I must sadly admit we did nothing cultural (apart from one photography gallery), but the weather was beautiful, although freezing the sun was shining right up until we left. This time I just soaked up the atmosphere, wandering the streets and relaxed for a couple of days, but I appreciated the city a lot more than last time.
I can't get enough of tall town houses, its a strange love of mine but I actually adore them - I can't wait to have enough money to live in a house like this. I first fell in love with them in Bath when I was about 10, and have dreamed of living in one ever since. The architecture in Amsterdam was just beautiful, higgeldy piggeldy but elegant and original. Looking in through some of the windows the rooms were so grand and light and lavishly decorated. Floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings everywhere!
I have never seen so many bikes in my whole life, there are literally thousands and thousands lining the streets in every space. Many of them weren't even locked up, they were just left on the side of the road or propped up outside houses. Crazy! They were all old fashioned rattly bikes too, no shiny new ones or mountain bikes, and everyone was riding them. I wish we could have better bike lanes in this country to make it easier for people to ride their bikes, every Europe city seems to have so many more bikes than we do and I think its a real shame! Its the best way to get around a city fast and easy and a great way to keep fit.
Last time I didn't go to the red light district, and I don't know what I was expecting really because I knew what it was like, but I was still shocked when we stumbled across it! Suddenly there are girls in their underwear everywhere trying to seduce you! haha, it was funny for a while, fascinating even, untill I saw an old man going into one of the cubicles and I heard the girl say 50. Then it was just a bit grose and freaked me out.
So now it's back to the slog and preparing for my review on Wednesday, feels like I haven't even been away already. Amsterdam has pushed its way up to one of my favourite cities I've visited =)