Thursday 23rd Happy Thanksgiving.
Flight- I flew out of Heathrow because I got a fantastic deal on British Airways. I decided to fly out on Thursday because last time I felt it was such a waste flying out in the morning you don't really end up spending the day in the city because you're just exhausted from flying.
Hotel - Renaissance Amsterdam as always I stayed in a Marriott Amsterdam has 2, and I stayed in the renaissance which is there fun, unique cool brand and is pretty high on their service level. The hotel was not all that unique it was more Marriott brand cookie cutter style but beautiful none the less. The location was also fantastic after staying so far away in Stockholm it was awesome because in the morning I went to check where I was and it's literally off the main shopping street through Amsterdam is pretty small and even the furthest point was only 2 miles away.
Starbucks- as usual, I started my morning by finding a Starbucks which is how I quickly realized how great a location my hotel was. While getting my Starbucks, I went on my phone and looked up hop-on-hop-off bus and got a ticket for bus and boat combo.
Bus- nothing made it obvious where the bus started. So I just headed in the direction of the most prominent building (Amsterdam central) luckily on my way there I came across a store that sells tickets for the bus, and he gave me more accurate directions which were primarily the central station but just a little to the left. When I got to the bus, they were almost ready to go, but they didn't allow coffee on board, so I had to throw mine away (sad).
The tour- the tour took me by much of Amsterdam most of which I stayed on for.
Diamond factory- one stop on the bus was the diamond factory. You can get off, and there's a free tour with the bus that takes you up, and you hear about how diamonds are cut and the different qualities.
But- after I got back on the bus for a few more stops I thought about getting off at the Heineken factory but didn't because I don't actually like beer and had been to the Guinness experience in Dublin. But I the next stop was the museums which I did get off for.
Museums- all the museums in Amsterdam are pretty much together. The Rijksmuseum is the main museum and is the center of the area there's a few more. I visited the Van Gogh museum which is incredibly modern and holds only van gauges and it’s amazing just how many they own and are in existence. Of course, his two most famous one's starry night and life of a sunflower are in the NYC MOMA and British National Gallery respectfully, but that’s some of the beauty of it not having his most famous as it would detract from his others. Though the museum is one of the newest museums and has lines even in the end of November for tickets and there are no discounts except for kids, so I highly recommend buying tickets online.
Hotel- after the museum I needed to go to the hotel and change my phone (normally I hate people who don’t plan ahead and charge there phone before traveling or doing stuff but I hadn’t this time) I went to back to get the bus but after a bit I got impatient and was worried that my phone should die and I would get lost so I called an Uber.
Shops- after relaxing a bit and recharging my phone. I walked back to the shops on the backside of the hotel and just started walking around and purring into some of the shops I walked to the end of the street and got some cute blue and white ceramic products for my mom. Then I went and explored the other side of the street and visited the two department stores Hudson Bay and De Bijenkorf I don’t know what it is but I love department stores (in big cities I don’t go crazy for Macy’s in the mall and stuff).
Boat- I had paid for ticket combo for the hop on hop off bus and boat, so I made sure to go that day before my ticket expired the next day at noon. The last boat that leaves central is at 5:15 so around 4:30 I got to the boat and as the sun was setting and was able to take beautiful night cruise. The cruise hose by a few of the same spots as the boat including the diamond factory and the Rijksmuseum but is a nice cruise though you don’t really need to listen to the commentary because it’s similar to the buses.
Dinner- after the boat and going to the hotel for a bit I still needed steps, oh and dinner so I went back to the shops and tried to find some Dutch fries. I was able to stop at a burger and fries restaurant.
11-mile walk/run-I’m currently training for a marathon I’ll be walking in January, so I do all sorts of stuff but for the past 6 or 8 weeks I’ve taken long walks with little runs throughout, normally on Sundays but since I was flying on Sunday I decided to switch Sunday and Saturday. I started with walking 6 miles and have worked my way up to 11 and soon will do of 13.1 ( half a marathon). I looked up some walks but Amsterdam is so small it’s hard to find 11 miles and I couldn’t figure out the routes I found so I just did my own by going out 4 miles along the central canal that hose to the bay. Then coming back in I walked to the Rijksmuseum as that’s the furthest point in Amsterdam and then right through the center towards the science museum this really took me around the half circle of Amsterdam as that’s one of the befits of going on these walks is going places I haven’t been yet it’s how I’ve been check things off my bucket list.
nine streets- once I finished my walk I need a bit of rest but after that, I looked up an area I had seen on the boat and in my Uber that has lots of boutiques and just strolled around a bit.
Damstraatjes- after strolling around the nine streets I thought I would go to the red light museum. I started walking over there, but it started hailing I the point of just ugh so I stopped and had one of Amsterdam famous sweets a Bueno chocolate crepe. After the rain stopped I headed towards the museum the rain had stopped but on the way over I noticed the street signs for Damstraatjes which I had seen and heard about on the bus the day before but hadn’t remembered the name of it well enough to go back, so I decided to check it out instead and wander around. I don’t think I end up at the big flea market I had heard about but it was fun none the less.
Deliveroo- after wondering all over the town I was beat and head to the hotel to rest. After the long day I was hungry and didn’t want to move so I used my favorite app and got some amazing pizza delivered to me in my room.
Fly home- I took an Uber back to the airport I had taken a taxi to the hotel before which had cost €50, and the Uber back cost only cost €26. Amsterdam’s airport is really nice so not a bad place to hang if you get there early and really efficient but still leave time.