So Christmas has been and gone, as has the new year and also my birthday. It’s summer, I have manged to score myself a few weekends off and general life has been pretty swell. I have today off and plan to get some stuff done for work. I also have half a bunch of bananas that with each passing day become more brown. I intend to bake with these today.
I believe Monica and I were off to Amsterdam.
Monica was determined to go to Amsterdam; as soon as she told us that she was coming over for a visit, Amsterdam was a definite must. Sam and I were both happy to accommodate this request. I mean, it is Amsterdam after all. So I was more than happy to look into flights and accommodation for us all. During the researching process, Sam regrettably advised us that he would not be able to come to Amsterdam as he was too poor. So, it would be Monica and I alone in Amsterdam. We were both okay with this. Sam would just have to be jealous. I’ll write Amsterdam here, just one more time for effect.
All was organised: Monica and I were catching a bus to Liverpool airport, arriving in Amsterdam in the evening, catching a train to the city, arriving at our hostel… and then Amsterdam would be ours. For a grand total of 36 Hours. We got all the way to the city incident free. We got off the train, looked at the address of our hostel ‘Dirty Nellies’ (Irish accommodation in the Netherlands, that’s how it’s done right?) and discovered we had no idea how to get there. At this point of my life I was yet to own a smart phone, Monica had an iPhone but was a little reclutant to use her roaming internationally as we had heard stories about people clocking up thousands of dollars from using it. We came to the smart conclusion of using it as quickly as possible to get a route up, memorize the route and turn the roaming off. We didn’t remember the route, it was getting dark and we were sick of dragging our wheely bags over the cobbled streets. Cobbled streets and wheely bags are not a good mix. We resorted to using the roaming again.
At check in, the friendly staff showed us to our room, showed us where to get breakfast in the morning and invited us to the pub crawl they do nightly. We had no plans so decided to join the pub crawl. We made friends with a very strange man – he took quite a fancy to Monica. Once realising this we quickly tried to unfriend him by making friends with some Australians. They were in a band together and on a university trip. They were cool. The pub crawl only had a small following that night, so we made our new Australian friends come along as well. We went to a karaoke bar, and a few dance clubs. We witnessed one girl fall flat on her face while doing some sort of sexy dance with a boy and I somehow managed to attract a girl who spent the duration of her time with us trying to kiss me. Tongue and all. The night ended up being reasonably epic.
The next morning we went down to our breakfast, made some delicious ham sandwiches and set off about our day. If you haven’t already guessed, we wanted to find a coffee shop. Like its Amsterdam, I wasn’t going to be a snob, embrace the local ways right? So a coffee shop we found. The best part about this coffee shop was that it had a cat. I was a little bit sad that the cat had to be in there whilst people got merry, but he didn’t appear to be distressed by it. He was more distressed by my constant patting and attention. I had no idea what to order, we looked at the menu for a bit and Monica decided we buy a small bag and use one of the pipes we had bought earlier as a gift for her boyfriend. After that we did a bit of sightseeing, walked down the beautiful canals, took in all of the amazing buildings and marveled at how it appeared that the entire population of Amsterdam rode bicycles they seemed to have misplaced. There were chained up bicycles everywhere. We then found somewhere to have spot of lunch, I ordered an amazing cream filled pastry thing, it was divine. Then went back to the coffee shop. It had dawned on us that we may have been a little ambitious with the purchase of an entire bag, we used the pipe one last time and had a long discussion about what to do with the remainder of the bag. We decided to leave it on the table as a gift for the next person who came to sit there. We then went back to the hostel, packed our belongings and found our way back to the train station, stopping only once to get a couple of croquettes out of vending machines that sell hot food. I mean, come on. What an awesome invention.
We made it back to Liverpool without a hitch, although there was a wee moment of panic when we couldn’t find where to catch the bus back to Manchester from; thankfully someone was around to point it out. We made it back to Manchester and unpacked and repacked, as we were going to Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay tomorrow!