so i had a 4am start and left home at 5am. we probably should’ve left even earlier. in the morning big city rush hour, minutes were ticking by like seconds and it was getting worrying. we were going through customs at 8:01 for an 8:16 eurostar, luckily the train was delayed by an hour. that was so close! we managed to get into the business lounge though which = much needed free food. if you’re wondering why we took the train, i’ve got a bit hacked off with my wheelchair getting broken every time i fly. a little extra stress maybe, but no broken chair and i didn’t have to get lifted by a 4 foot 9, 62 year old woman. after arriving and just about working out the metro system thanks to the help of the first of many very nice and very helpful people, we made our way to our hotel. €13 each for every metro while we were there, bargain!
we stayed at the corendon hotel thanks to simplyemma. it was modern, the staff couldn’t do enough for us and it had some neat little touches like electric curtains that we broke in the first 5 mins. i rented a hoist and it was a bit different than what i’m used to, but we managed. we had a breather, then got right back to it. we had a random walk about around the many diagon alley’s and found dam square, such great vibes except the evil pigeons. we were hungry and found a cool burger bar that was blasting toe tapping hip hop tunes. this is where we met old amsterdam cheese, which lets say was an acquired taste. we ended up in a locals pub watching home side ajax playing juventus just across from hotel jimmy. disaronno was consumed. back to the hotel for an early ish night it was and the beds were goood. i slept like a log, something i don’t often say when i’m away from my own bed.
there’s nothing like an outdoor breakfast in the sun, a ham and cheese toasty never tasted so good. we checked out a cheese shop and made our way to an accessible boat tour, obviously we should’ve booked. we went for a stroll in vondelpark instead where we became at one with nature, commenting on how happy everyone was (even the dogs) and how cute the parakeets were. later on we wandered around the red light district and not long after found a wicked little cuban bar and it was mojito o’clock. i loved this place, it was the real deal. after a couple of drinks, we left to find an accessible loo, which in amsterdam are few and far between. plus maybe i was cutting it a little bit close – cue mad dash to the nearest maccy d’s… which had 0 toilets, the next one had toilets and 3 massive steps. so off to the closest, darkest alley we went and what a relief. goose chase over and we relocated a restaurant from earlier in the day, rancho grill for the most ribs i’ve seen on a plate. lush. followed by the cuban bar round 2, then bedtime.
after another al fresco brekky on dam square (great bacon!), we made it our mission to find the “i am amsterdam” sign. we went on a pretty long walk to get there, all the way across town actually… and it had been moved! i mean what are the chances? after one of the most cobbled drives of my life, nothing, but it was a nice open grassy area, the sun was beaming and we had rare time to chill. we got a metro back to centraal station, the place where we started and bam there was the sign just across the water. with only a couple of hours until home time, we failed our mission and took a pic from afar. we had 3 other missions to complete – have an ice cream, get the souvenirs i kept putting off buying and take our agreed 1 selfie. again it was cutting it close, but missions accomplished. speaking for myself, i wasn’t ready to go. i had a really amazing time with 2 of the best people i know, nothing bad happened and everything worked out nicely. what a trip and what a place!
cue picture of some bikes next to the canal.