Four nights in Amsterdam!

At the beginning of March Ali and I travelled to Amsterdam to spend 4 days exploring and eating! It was a bit of a celebration as it was ten years since our first date. A lot has happened in a decade, and since we haven't yet killed the other person it seemed as good an excuse as any to treat ourselves!

We wanted somewhere that was easy to get to from Belfast so that we could use our precious time off work enjoying ourselves and not travelling loads and being jet lagged. FYI it is a lot cheaper to fly to Amsterdam via Dublin than Belfast (please fix that, easyjet) so that's what we did.

Amsterdam 2015

The most memorable visit of the trip for me was the Anne Frank House. I grew up reading her diary and it impacted on me a lot. I have a great interest in WW2 and how people lived day to day during that time so it was a big moment for me to finally visit the house. It was extremely emotional but I would recommend it to everyone as a really significant  part of Amsterdam. For tourists it can be a city of excess and partying but I think it's really important to remember that 107,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps, with only 5200 surviving. To ignore the city's history is really doing a disservice to yourself. A lot of people are put off by the long queues but we found that by going just before opening on a Friday we only waited around 30 minutes.

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

We didn't do a lot of shopping but there were plenty of cute shops to poke around in. Lots of rummaging and clutter in a lot of Amsterdam shops so it really felt like we were on a treasure hunt. I loved them. 

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

We tried these delicious pastrami sandwiches in this little shop in the Jordaan. Delicious! 

Amsterdam 2015
Visiting the Cat Museum! 

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

I loved the architecture of the city, the many churches were stunning to look at but I mostly loved seeing all the different canal houses. They are so full of charm though honestly we couldn't believe how many of them were crooked and looked about to fall over! They look a little like a cartoon at times and I loved that they were all so different. 

Amsterdam 2015

We ate these donut like things called Kwarkbollens, I really recommend them! I dragged Ali back a few times to have them. Delicious! 

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

We took a day drip to Haarlem which is only around 15 minutes outside Amsterdam and you can get a train from central station. It's a beautiful little town. We went on a Sunday as it was our only free day and though it meant some things were closed (I really wanted to go on the tour of the Ten booms museum) it made for lots of peaceful strolling. If you look closely at the photo above you can see a little bench outside the black building. We sat right here and had a delicious lunch at the water's edge. It was blissful! 

Amsterdam 2015

Our base for the weekend really made the whole trip. It was just perfect and I wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else in Amsterdam now! We stayed at the new Hotel de Hallen in the West of Amsterdam. The whole building has been converted from a tram storage base to an amazing mix of hotel, food hall, cinema, shops and restaurants. 

The hotel were kind enough to upgrade us to one of their amazing apartments because we were celebrating, and it was so luxurious and new! The balcony you can see in the photo below was our bedroom, containing the biggest bed I have ever slept in! Oh how I wish I could go back! 

Amsterdam 2015

Right across the hall from our apartment was the Food Hallen. It's a wonderful mix of all different food booths and a bar. It was really nice to have this so if we were too tired for a fancy restaurant we could still pick up something interesting here and soak in the atmosphere. I ate a lot of burgers. 

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015

Amsterdam 2015


I hope you enjoyed the photos, I really loved Amsterdam. The people were friendly, there were no problems with language as in Amsterdam nearly everyone speaks English so we could be lazy, and it was a really easy city to get around by tram or walking (just be careful of all the bikes!). Have you been to Amsterdam? What was your favourite part? 

Amsterdam 2015

Rainwear by Joules



How come the one day you want rain in Ireland it refuses to rain? I had all these grand plans to take photos of my new raincoat while splashing around in puddles but it was a glorious winter afternoon when I had time to take these! I was approached by Joules to create a wish list of some of their gorgeous rainwear. Joules is a brand I am fairly new to, it's been on my radar and they recently a store opened in Belfast (we tend to get things a lot later than everywhere else!). Their style is just my thing, bright colours, fun patterns and stunning florals. Their rainwear section is seriously making me wish for rain which just seems wrong since sun is so scarce here!


1.2.3.4.5.

I chose the Coast raincoat in my favourite colour which is bright green! It also comes in a light yellow, a gorgeous pinky coral colour I almost went for and navy blue. It's a lovely jacket, and it keeps me both dry and warm as it blocks out the wind. I also really love the stripy pulls on it and the striped lining, I'm a sucker for little details!

 

Now that I have gone on to the Joules website just now to get links, I have been sucked into their dresses section. Oops! Might have to treat myself! P.S. The awesome dino sweater is from H&M!