Today is the first day of April of my most favourite year yet, and subsequently also one of the best days of my life, as I discovered later. Why was it so good? Because I’m finally back in the Netherlands and it’s sunny outside (note for my future one: just take me to NL and plan sunny weather, I’ll be happier than ever)!
After only 4 hours of really bad sleep, I woke up in this amazing country, being welcomed by gezellig Goedemorgen! shouted at me by a gas station worker. In the meantime I caught cold in the bus since air conditioning was open the entire night and I was feeling really unwell, however, this completely made my day. At about 8am we arrived to Keukenhof. I definitely recommend you to come this early, we were almost the only ones in there and hence the photos were amazing! As we were leaving at about 11am, we saw hundreds of people waiting by the entrance or coming in. Having an earl entrance has by far more positives than negatives, trust me. The only negative thing was that it was freezing outside and while those latter ones were enjoying warm rays of the spring sun the entire time, we were trying to walk at the fastest pace to warm ourselves up.
Then we took bus nr. 854 (7€ p.p.) which brought us to Leiden. I love Leiden, but since I was guiding in Amsterdam since 1pm, we couldn’t afford it. We took the Sprinter train to Amsterdam Centraal (9.60€ p.p. one way if you don’t own OV-chipkaart) and there I was, in the beginning of my first guided tour! Yes you heard it right, I was the guide in Amsterdam!!! I’ve already published an article about my very special own tour plan before (My Very Own Ultimate Amsterdam Guide), but I’m gonna talk about it for a little bit again.
First I led us to the water, because Amsterdam without a good rondvaart isn’t anything to write home about! I chose the Rederij Plas company, because they offer great discounts for 20+ groups, we paid only 7€ per person. This company is situated on Damrak on the left, they have this big blue sign and you’ll hardly miss it. This boat tour took about 1 hour and it was “guided”, the information were spoken out in English, German and French. I personally didn’t enjoy it because I’ve been to such tour before, but I heard only great responses about it.
The first place on my list was Oude Kerk and then through De Wallen we got to the Bloemenmarkt. This year, since March 30th until April 30th takes place there a flower festival, so there are even more flowers than usually, check it out! By Kalverstraat we continued up to the Begijnhof, which is….well, definitely different than you’d imagine. These hofjes are really tranquil and amazing, do not regret the time you’d spend looking for this place, it is really worth it in my opinion. Then, because I wanted them to see more of what Amsterdam has to offer (unfortunately we didn’t have time for Museumplein and Vondelpark), I brought them on a walk around Jordaan and showed them three of the most famous canals of Amsterdam: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht. Last but not least, I led them to Dam Square, from where everyone could head anywhere. Some people went to Madame Tussauds, some back to Jordaan or De Wallen and some went shopping. I went to meet my aunt and we had a great time together. I was hoping I could visit Polaberry, which is basically a very fancy café offering very fancy treats, but since she was being tired from work and I was tired and little bit sick too, we just went to McDonalds and Primark. Oh, and we also got some Belgian waffles. What an amazing way to spend time with someone you haven’t seen for 6 months. But she was amazing, it was great anyway. I was kinda sad I didn’t meet my cousin, but she couldn’t make it to Amsterdam because of some personal reasons. Nevermind, we’re gonna see each other very soon anyways since I’m most likely coming back here already in June.
Anyway, we arrived to our Ibis budget hotel late in the evening, and let me tell you….I have luck with finding accommodation right by the airport. Last year I had window right over the hangar (in Nice), this year at the end of one runway. It made great noise, if only I could insert here that voice note that I made! You’d see. I mean the sealing on the windows was good, but as soon as it got more busy (around 4:30am), the noise was constant. Thankfully I am a good sleeper, but some people were complaining about it.
All in all, it was a gorgeous day, one of the best ones in my life as I’ve mentioned already. I just love everything about this country. Tomorrow we’re going to visit Zaanse Schans and later on move to Belgium and visit Brugges. I hope it’s gonna be sunny, sun makes everything better.
Have a great day!