Amsterdam …. Another city ticked…..

Hey everyone,

I hope you are all keeping well.

I am just getting back on track after a busy April. In one week I went to see Nathan Carter play the 3Arena on the Saturday night, party until 5 in the morning. Helped my friend pack up her house for moving on Sunday. Back to the 3 Arena on Monday for Olly Murs and then flew to Amsterdam for 3 days at 6 o’clock on Tuesday morning.

But that is pretty much how I lead my life, I am always on the go and making memories.

When making travel plans I love to read travel blogs on different places so I thought I should write blog posts on the cities I have been to. I have ticked most of the European cities off by now except for the usual suspects Paris and Rome. I have been to neither and with the way Paris is at the minute it’s moving further down the bucket list.

Amsterdam was one city that was high up on the list. I had heard so much about it I just wanted to see it for myself. 2 weeks ago I finally took the plunge and we jetted off.

We booked our flights with Ryanair about 2 weeks before going and they were only €55 return. We decided to go for 2 nights and 3 days so we fly out early morning and back late in the evening.

We arrived at the airport early in the morning and got the train to Amsterdam Central Station. We weren’t quite sure which train or Metro to get but we just asked at the desk and the lady gave us all the information we needed. The train ticket was €5.70. When we got to Amsterdam Central we got the Metro to the hotel which was only 2 stops away. We purchased a 3 day ticket for €17 so we had unlimited travel on the Metro for that.

When booking the hotel, I did so through Booking.com and used Tripadvisor to make sure I was making a good choice. No matter where I book I will check with Tripadvisor first. I read about 5 bad reviews and 5 good reviews and make a choice. It is hasn’t let me down yet.

I booked Hotel Allure. The hotel is really well located and only 2 minute walk from the Metro Station Wesserplein. It is also about a 10 minute walk to Dam Square and The Heineken Museum. It was clean and fresh, perfect for our stay. Don’t be put of by the outside facade, it could do with a lick of paint but other than that it was perfect. It is located in the quieter part of town but like I said it is only 5 minutes by Metro to Central Amsterdam.

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When we arrived we planned out things we wanted to do. The usual tourist suspects.

First up for us was The Amsterdam Dungeons. I had been to The London Dungeons a few years ago and still rave about them (if you are ever in London they are a MUST) so I was dying to go to these. If like me you have been to the London ones, I would proceed with caution. I was very disappointed with the Amsterdam Dungeons. I just felt they didn’t tell the stories as well, the theatrics weren’t as good even the staging was lacking something by comparison. The finale left me thinking “Is that it?”, I was just expecting so much more. However my sister who hasn’t been to the London ones, went to Amsterdam in November and thought they were really good.

The Heineken Experience, this wasn’t high on my list as I’m not a beer drinker but you know when in Rome kinda thing. I was pleasantly surprised by this, it wasn’t the museum experience I was expecting. You literally talk a walk through the Heineken life cycle from production to bottling to promoting. There is lots of cool interactive features that are free to use and of course a little sampling for the journey. The tour itself was €16 and we bought our tickets at one of the many Tours and Tickets shops located around the city.

One thing to note in Amsterdam is the bikes. They are everywhere to the point that you are probably more likely to get knocked down by a bike than you are a car or tram. You can hire bikes out at most hotels and from several spots throughout the city.

 

Dam Square, possibly my favourite place of the whole trip. Yes it was overrun with tourists clamouring to get their picture on the IAMSTERDAM sign but the place is just beautiful. The sun was shining, the tulips and ducks on the water.  It was so peaceful despite the hustle and bustle.

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We spent the day strolling through Vondel Park and all the little city streets. Amsterdam is a city that you want to stop and take pictures every 2 minutes and if like me you have an appreciation for Architecture you can double that. Sometimes you feel like you are strolling through a little dolls village. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too.

 

In Amsterdam there is plenty of canal tours that you can take. We booked the Lover Cruise. It was grand, passed a few hours on our final day, saved us walking and we got to see some parts we probably wouldn’t have seen had we been walking. The tour guide also gives you some interesting facts on the city. If you have a few hours it is worth taking just don’t expect fireworks.

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We couldn’t take a trip to Amsterdam and not visit the infamous Red Light district. We were surprised at how close it was to the center but you would stroll by the edges and not realise you were as close to it as you were. I described it as a quote from Disney’s the Lion King “That shady place over there we don’t go there”. Strangely there appears to be a “shadow” over it which is simple down to architecture and the streets being narrower. It is everything you expect, as a girl it’s a little unsettling and you do feel a little uncomfortable when you spy a girl in the window. But again when in Amsterdam and I can say I have seen it.

My one disappointment with my visit to Amsterdam was Anne Franks House. Tickets for the house are booked out months in advance so as we only booked 2 weeks before flying it was completely sold out. I would definitely go back in a few years even just to visit this.

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Three days was absolutely plenty of time to see the city. We felt like we saw pretty much everything we wanted to see. It is a beautiful city, however I wouldn’t be rushing back. I feel like I have seen pretty much all there was to see. I have heard people who return every year and for that I just can’t see the attraction. It’s too small a city to keep me returning that frequently but still worth a visit.

Lots of Love

Laura

xx

 

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Spa Break at White’s of Wexford

Hello,

Sorry I have been a little quiet on the blog front, just haven’t had the time to sit down 🙂 but I am back now to tell you about a lovely spa break myself and my best friend Patrice had in White’s of Wexford last weekend. We had planned a girly trip away for ages, and with our busy lives we wanted to chill and relax. We chose Wexford as neither had even been before and it was somewhere different, a new place to see. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted in a lovely spacious and modern reception by a very friendly girl called Sarah. She chatted with us about where we were from and told us all the info regarding the hotel.

We then proceeded to our room, (possibly the only down side to the stay the room was a good walk away at the very back of the hotel) but that didn’t put us off, the room was bright, airy and very comfortable. We were advised we would have a restricted view as you could see the roof from our room but in my opinion we had a lovely view the room looked right over Wexford Harbour and if you looked up instead of down out the window that was all you could see.

We chilled in the room for a little while, before getting ready for a night out. We headed for dinner to a lovely little Chinese that was a few minutes walk from the hotel. We then went for a few drinks before heading back for some cocktails and live music in the hotel bar.

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We didn’t have a late night as the break was more about relaxing. We arrived down for breakfast the next morning all rested, and ordered our breakfast from the buffet counter. Being a big child the highlight of breakfast for me was a pancake machine where you literally pressed a button & then watched as this machine made 2 pancakes for you. I definitely want one of these. 🙂

We had booked in for the Thermal Suite for 2pm so after we checked out we went for a stroll down along the harbour, it was a gorgeous day even if a little windy. We arrived back to the hotel just before 2 and as I have never been to a spa before (I know shock horror) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were greeted by a lovely girl called Andrea who showed us around and explained everything to us. She could not have been more helpful. We chilled and relaxed in the hydrotherapy pool, the sauna’s, the steam room, we even took a dip in the plunge pool which was literally freezing :O But when we left, I actually felt as if I had a whole new skin, I couldn’t believe how of soft and clean it was. I had presumed I would have to cover myself in moisturizer when I came out being in so much water would dehydrate the skin but I only had to apply a little and mainly to my face. I couldn’t recommend this treatment highly enough. If you are not into your facials or massages but would like some pampering then I would definitely recommend this. I will definitely be back.

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One final little thing I need to mention, I  left some items I had just bought in the locker of the spa, the next day I rang the spa to ask if they wouldn’t mind would they post up the items to me and I would pay the postage and packaging. The girl on the phone was so nice, and no problem doing so and wouldn’t even let me pay postage. My items arrived a few days later.Now that is customer service. I couldn’t thank the staff enough.

So there you have it guys, my stay in Wexford, if you are looking for a break away on the sunny southeast I would definitely recommend White’s of Wexford.

Lots of Love

Laura

xxxx