Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be able to fly out to Amsterdam for a weekend ! I really love the City and it was lovely to go back! Its amazing just how much there is to see that I have never seen before! This time I found a street market, a cafe with a fantastic view all over the city and a part of the Red Light district that we had passed by before. We also found that Dam Square had been turned into an International Beach Volleyball venue!
Amsterdam remains a friendly happy city with brilliant shops and restaurants,I can't believe that we had not visited Albert Cuypmarkt before. It is the biggest market in the Netherlands (allegedly!!) It took us a good few hours to walk the length of it. It was stuffed full of the usual market wares with the added bonus of several bars to help us recover from the non stop shopping along the way.
We went back to a fabulous hotel called The Neighbours Magnolia. Its in the suburbs near the famous Vondelpark. Its on a tram line (The number 2, described as one of the most picturesque routes in the world) - I am not sure I would describe it in the same way! We arrived early (6am flight from Luton) and were made to feel very welcome, we dropped our bags and we were offered a cup of tea before we headed off to the market.
Our rooms were on the first floor up a flight of very steep stairs, we had the rooms over the front door and the one with the balcony, there was a bit of tram noise from outside but nothing that kept me awake, I was so tired on Thursday night that I didn't move all night!!! The people at the hotel were really lovely very helpful, lugged our bags up the stairs while we were out, every time we came in they offered us a cup of tea! The only curious thing was that in my room was a plain canvas with an outline of a magnolia bud in the corner, at night it glowed in the dark ! Very odd!!!
We wandered around the area outside the Rijksmuseum, every visit there is a different exhibition, the last time it was globes, this time it was Miffy in various disguises! Always off the wall!
One evening we decided to go and watch a beach Volleyball match between New Zealand and USA. One of the guys who was playing for the USA was one of the tallest chaps I have ever seen, he must have been 6ft 10 plus! The atmosphere was fantastic, Between each point they played loud music and wound up the crowd! It was a great evening.
So heading home was eventful, we were due to fly back to Luton on the 9.30 flight, we got to the airport early as the shuttle was unable to collect us at our 'preferred' time, so once we went in and checked the flight info we found that the flight was delayed until 11.30pm. We asked at the Easy Jet counter and they said that there were 'technical' issues with our plane and they were trying to repair the plane , which is always a worry! we asked if we could swap to another flight, we were lucky as there was a flight going to Stanstead at 9pm an we got the last two seats! We managed to get back to UK before our original flight was due to leave. The Luton flight finally got away at 12.30am.
Although I was glad that we had swapped flights, in the back of my mind was the worry that may by it was one of those situations that you read about where one plane crashes and the headline reads 'last minute swap saves passengers lives' or conversely kills them!! Luckily we all got back safely!"
Back to work :( but worse than that, no prospect of any holiday until October. Its going to be a long summer. Have a good week!