We shoehorned 5 days in Amsterdam between Corsica and our stop off in Paris at the end of the month. 5 days! This was the longest we’d been here since we left and we had no plans. How glorious!
As you’d expect from us, we created a spreadsheet of days, and time slots and began reaching out to our friends to make appointments for breakfast, lunch, coffee, or dinner over the 5 days.
We booked a cute Airbnb in the centre of the city, picked ups some shitty looking and very rattly bikes and started to re explore the city where we both lived, where we met and where we had many happy memories.
With the exception of the Sunday where it *issed it down with torrential rain, the rest of the week was great in terms of weather. Cooler than the recent heatwave, for sure, but the temperature slowly increased over the week to a high of 21C/72F and sunglasses were needed from day 2.
It was quite lovely cycling around the city with our bikes rattling on the cobblestones. It gave us both a sense of calm, familiarity and ease. And after the first 2 weeks of arriving in Europe and launching straight into a tough hike, we started to feel relaxed and as though we were on holiday.
Here’s what we did:
Sunday: arrived, and got drenched-to-the-skin dragging our luggage from Amsterdam Central to our Airbnb (the weather reminded us of why we left)…We dropped our bag at our room, went for lunch in the nearby Brandstof (and to also dry out) and later hung out with our friends N+K who had just moved back to the city. Finally that evening we saw A-C and J for drinks at their apartment.
Monday: Picked up bikes, met L for breakfast at Brandstof (as it was over the road from our place), closed down our joint bank account, cycled round the city, popped into our friend’s art gallery, dropped by De Winkel and had some apple tart, met L+H for wine and food for dinner at Rayleigh and Ramsey.
Tuesday: Met T for breakfast at The Breakfast Club, cycled around Central Station which has been all zoomed up and is very cool now. Took the ferry to NDSM wharf, had a cup a tea at Noorderlicht and cycled to Amsterdam Noord before meeting S for drinks at Morlang, and the revisiting N+K for dinner at De Reiger.
Wednesday: Cycled to the Museum district, had lunch at De Kas (our wedding location- ), cycled back to the Stedelijk Museum for a dose of modern art, cycled to the Hoxton Hotel and had drinks and food with L.
Thursday: T went for a run, I wrote this post at (guess where….) Brandstof, where the owner had bought me a coffee within 3 mins of me arriving and without me ordering anything. Service has improved over the past 5 years it seems. That afternoon we cycled along the Amstel to Ouderkirk which is a small village around 30 mins cycle from Amsterdam where we grabbed a tea and T checked out all the moored boats that line the route. Randomly T’s sister Whitney happened to be in Ams as well on a work trip so we managed to catch up with her for an early dinner in our old neighborhood of De Pijp. We then popped round to see our old neighbors DJ+E. These fine folk bought our apartment and then expanded into it – adding stairs and an additional floor – it was great to see their new space.
Friday: Our last day started with a final breakfast with our friend J at the Hoxton Hotel followed by dropping our bikes off with the rental guy and collecting our bags before jumping on the train to Paris.
Our next city is Paris – C’est Possible?