Autumn in Amsterdam. Leaves, which are tinged a warm rusty orange, are reflected on the water. The air is cold and crisp, it tingles on my skin, whilst I am wrapped up in the cosy snug of a winter coat.
In the half term, I was lucky enough to visit one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world. For a while now, I have longed to go to Amsterdam- its history and iconic sites filled my dreams and Pinterest boards. So, when I was offered the chance to go with my best friend and her family, I was so excited- and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.
We visited Holland for a week in our well-earnt and truly needed break from sixth form. It’d been a long and hard term, with my to-do list only getting swamped by more and more work, so I couldn’t wait to take some time out.
After a trip in a ferry and perhaps one-too-many car games, we arrived in Amsterdam. We had a precious but packed weekend there, before continuing down to a Centre Parks where we truly relaxed (although I’m not sure zip wiring upside down and sliding continually down water rapids is everyone’s idea of relaxing… I certainly enjoyed it).
On our first day in Amsterdam, we enjoying strolling through markets and the city’s beautiful scenery- you can truly not appreciate how breath-taking all the houses and bridges look until your standing there before them.
The city is fun and has such a warmth to it. Maybe not all parts of its culture are quite like ours, as we skirt round the red light district and countless shops and cafes selling brownies that I certainly would not want to try, but it is such an interesting place.
We actually stayed on a houseboat- a short car-ride or cycle from the centre. It was so quirky and perfect, with beautiful views over the river and plenty of space for the four of us. Matched with the necessary viewing of The Fault In Our Stars, we soon fell asleep ready for the next day.
Day two was even more filled, visiting the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum and TFIOS bench. We also only cycled on day two- which was so much fun (though a little scary as motorbikes skirt past you in the cycle lanes and the roads are slightly vague when knowing when it’s safe to cross).
WHAT I LOVED
The Anne Frank house is simply an amazing place. I was reading the Anne Frank diary in the run-up, and whilst we were away, so I felt a strong connection to it. I have always wanted to go to the house, as I feel it is such an important historical place, and it was.
There is something so unfathomable about the strength of the Frank family, Anne included. In the years they spent constantly fearing capture, relying on rotten potatoes for food and trapped within the space of a few rooms, Anne wrote a diary that has changed the world. Walking through the house was like walking in their footsteps- which was a privilege.
The house, and joining museum, reminds us of how lucky we all are and how insanely wrong what happened to their family, and others who were deemed ‘undesirables’, was. Seeing it all makes it real. Yet I still felt uplifted in the inspiration of Anne, who never gave up and always had the right words.
WHAT I’LL REMEMBER
Our short but unforgettable visit to Amsterdam will always be important to me. It is a stunning place, which holds so much history and beauty. I felt blessed to see it all, under that canopy of auburn leaves, and hope one day to visit again. Thank you Amsterdam, you inspired me, amazed me and reminded me of how beautiful our world is.
I hope you all enjoyed hearing what I got up to in my holiday, along with some pictures I took along the way. I haven’t had much time lately for blogging, a precious hour here and there to keep everything going, but I hope to get back into it now. Thank you for reading my lovelies and I’ll see you next week,