In December, Adam and I booked a little break in Amsterdam. Our first holiday away together which was rather exciting yet a little bit terrifying at the same time! Here’s a little insight as to how we got on…
After a blurry 2am start to get the airport on time, we landed in Amsterdam after a smooth flight and made our way by train to the Apple Inn Hotel, opposite Vondelpark. The boutique hotel was a perfect, with lovely staff, set in a nice residential area and offering a cosy lounge complete with a PS4! Our room was modern and spacious, boasting a balcony and the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in. The garden area fast became my favourite place to be; it reminded me of The Secret Garden! Don’t you agree?
After a super early start, we revived ourselves with a power nap before exploring the city. Lunch was at my go-to favourite foodie place, Wagamamas (not very cultured, I know!) We enjoyed a comforting bowl of chicken ramen and a beer before deciding to jump straight in and hit the famous Amsterdam coffee shops.
This did not end well! We ordered a few coffees with a side of the local specialty *ahem* and found a seat among the locals. Giggling like children, we waiting in anticipation…and waited some more! Nothing much seemed to happening until all of a sudden, my heart began racing faster than ever and I knew I had to get out of there!
Somehow we managed a hazy 45 minute walk back to our hotel without getting mowed down by the million crazy bicycles en route. Once we’d consumed half of the junk food we could find and pondered over exactly why Orangina was so orange and why birds fly (not my finest hour) we then slept for 10.5 hours solid. Rock and roll…
We woke up to find some pretty grim weather. Not just normal April showers but the kind of harsh rain that hurts your face. Cold, wet and dark; perfect for all the summer dresses and pumps I’d naively packed (!)
We happened to be in Amsterdam at the same time as the Game of Thrones exhibition, hosted by HBO. This was obviously a must-see and made my inner geek rather excited! Just a few of the items on display consisted an array of show memorabilia and props, including white walker models, the infamous bow and arrow that Tyrion Lannister used to kill his father, various costumes and crowns, dragon eggs, the poison necklace Sansa Stark used to kill King Joffry and more. This place was a fangirls haven and we must have spent a good few hours here just mooching around in awe
*Excuse the poor quality photos, my camera promptly died the day after taking these images.
Given the awful weather and after discovering that my impractical shoes were not very waterproof, we decided that undercover attractions were probably our best idea for the rest of the afternoon. We ended up in the somewhat controversial body worlds exhibition by Dr Gunther von Hagens. The theme was ‘Happiness’ and aimed to show the influence that the emotional phenomenon of happiness has on our physical health.
The display features real human bodies donated by individuals who requested that, upon their death, their bodies be used for educational purposes and be displayed within the exhibition. From fetuses and animal corpses to dissected reproductive organs, it certainly was a far cry from the usual tourist trap.
I’m going to be honest; I found this fascinating yet uncomfortable at the same time and the exhibition has haunted me since. The positive is that it has left me thinking a lot more about my health and the way I have mistreated my body in the past through smoking, junk food and ignoring warning signs of illness. It was certainly an experience for me to witness the human body in such a candid, if not slightly bizarre way, and has undeniably made a lasting impression.
*No images were allowed in Body Worlds but that’s probably a good thing for you guys!
The China Palace was where we decided to eat our evening meal. Based on a boat adorned with traditional and grand Chinese decor, the setting was pretty cool. Our window seat provided an unforgettable view of the canals and the food was good, if not a little pricey (over 110 euro for what would have been a £25 meal back home was a bit of a shock) The steamed dumplings, black bean beef and noodles warmed us back up again and provided shelter from the rain that had now become torrential!
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