2016 Amsterdam Long Weekend

Friday 22nd April

Set off at 12.30 to drive to Canterbury to stay overnight at The Millers Arms. Accident en route so miles of tail back, my journey took over 5 hours instead of 2 12. Finally arrived about an hour before Andrew who was travelling here by train after a days work in London.

I checked in, had a walk by the river, then armed with a glass of red wine sat outside to await his arrival. Had planned an afternoon of wandering around Canterbury – but hey ho that didn’t happen We ate at the pub as the menu looked great ­ nice dinner here, but we’ve had better in Canterbury. Went for a walk after dinner & a drink in town then headed back for an early night as we are driving to Amsterdam tomorrow.

Saturday 23rd April

Lovely full English breakfast about 7.30am this morning & off to Dover to catch the ferry. Managed to get on the 10am crossing to Dunkirk, brilliant crossing – very windy but bright day. 2 hours on the ferry, then a 3 12 hour drive to Amsterdam. We checked in to the Ink hotel, dumped the luggage & went straight out for a walk & to find somewhere nice for a drink & relax after our journey.

At the Pancake House we had a lovely bacon, cheese & spinach pancake for lunch. It’s really really cold here, just like home Spring is still waiting to Sprung!! Later we had a lovely dinner at St. George Argentijns Grill – calamari, steak & wine, all yummy. Early to bed again as it’s Keukenhof in the morning!!

Sunday 24th April

After a coffee we set off nice & early to the wonderful Keukenhof Gardens to wander around this stunning place and to see the tulip fields of course – our main reason for this trip. Just arrived when Andrew had to stop as he has stomachache. Thought I’d have to take him back to the hotel, but eventually he recovered enough to continue, so we went for a cuppa & rested a bit more.

Explored the whole garden, the inside orchid area and the tulip fields, this is one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve even seen, stunning displays everywhere you look. I would recommend anyone who loves flowers to visit, there are no words to adequately describe it.

Eventually, having seen everything, we set off back to Amsterdam, parked underground again & went for a stroll around the shopping centre Plaza – used to be the post office, it’s a fabulous old building that looks like it should be a 5* hotel. Walked next down by the canal and had a beer sitting outside a cafe, a sudden torrential downpour put an end to that idea!

Strolling on after the rain had stopped we inadvertently found the red light district & wandered passed a few ladies of the night displaying themselves in the windows, several topless clubs, sex museums etc etc. Found the Grasshopper pub with outdoor seating surrounded by flowers & heaters and overlooking the canal. We ordered a hot chocolate each, very disappointing instant watery thing, we were not impressed!

Back at the hotel we freshened up & went back out to find some dinner. Strangely we found Bagels Sandwich Village where we had excellent Tapas & a really good Rioja to go with it. Went into a cafe for a drink on way back & had fabulous custard chocolate eclairs for pudding, they really can do cakes over here. Had a bit of trouble getting Andrew back to the hotel room though!

Monday 25th April

Time to check out & it’s the long drive back to Dunkirk, ferry back to Dover & the drive back home from there! Home to our gorgeous cats, who had definitely missed us, cuddles & fuss then off to Cafe Balti for a curry & relax after the journey!