Houseboats bob along the endless canals. Cyclists rule supreme as the undisputed kings of the road. Locals drag their sofas and breakfast tables onto the pavement, turning the city’s famous cobbles into their own private living room. It’s impossible not to fall for Amsterdam’s old world charm. And fall hard we did…
Despite landing in Amsterdam with a heavily dog eared Lonely Planet and a to-do list the length of my arm, my very favourite thing to do was just to walk aimlessly, getting lost amongst the city’s beautiful side streets and stopping only for coffee, pancakes and blister plasters.
Having said that, we did manage to tick off a few of Amsterdam’s must-sees such as the Van Gogh museum (I’m not art aficionado but couldn’t help but try to somehow reconcile his work’s evolution from dark and sombre to vivid and colourful with his personal struggles with mental health), the Anne Frank Huis (words really are not enough – poignant details such as a height chart pencilled onto the peeling walls serving as a sobering reminder of her life) and some light relief in the form of the Heineken Experience.
One recommendation which cropped up time and time again was Pancakes! The pancakes here are the size of generous pizzas, so we decided to share one savoury and one sweet pancake between us. Oh my…I would head back to Amsterdam in a heartbeat for one of those goats cheese concoctions alone. Other treats included twice cooked chips from Chipsy King and fluffy miniature pancakes known as poffertjes. Being Germans, we also pounced on the white asparagus like, well, like German on white asparagus.
To be honest, I was sold on this apartment as soon as I read the words ‘house cat’ but it really did surpass all my expectations. Relaxing in the garden and cooking in the kitchen in the evening was just as much part of the experience as weaving the canals during the day. We were able to live in amongst the locals, just bordering the Jordaan area and the apartment’s lovely owner gave us tips which we would never have found in a guide book.
Thanks for having us Amsterdam, you’ve been good to us!