Saturday, 29 March 2014

Birthday in the Dam

Hello dear followers,

I know I haven’t written in a while, but now I’m back with a bang! I have just returned from another one of my trips. This time it was to the beautiful city, Amsterdam.

Iamsterdam
To start off with, this city has only recently become a to-go destination for me, and this was after I heard a colleague, who spent a couple of years there, talk about the city with such great passion. A great offer on Air Malta tickets for the month of March and a couple of hours later… BOOM.. the flights were booked. Obviously placed very appropriately to coincide with my 22nd Birthday, needless to say it was a 5-day long birthday celebration!

Unfortunately this place is greatly associated with smoking and the red light district, hence why I was never interested in visiting.  Safe to say however, it offers so much more.

We arrived in the evening and immediately went out for dinner together with our host. A little student hang out bar/restaurant, but after a day of travelling, a plate of food and a glass of cider felt like heaven.  The next day, my birthday started out just as it should have. Breakfast consisted of possibly the largest crepe I have ever seen and eaten in my whole life. It was larger than the plate it was in, overflowing on the sides, piled with pears, chocolate sauce, ice- cream, whipped cream and a ticket to a heart attack. I felt slightly sick and mega guilty after, but hey, who cares, it was my birthday after all. This was followed by the Heineken tour, a must-do whilst in Amsterdam. It gives you a good insight on brewery and lots of cool activities to do. I am now a ‘certified” Heineken pourer! Woop! Surely this will be put to great use in my career. Still stuffed from the crepe we then sat by the window of a little corner café simply admiring the pretty street and basking in the sun’s warmth. (Because might I add, for my standards the weather was actually pretty cold, and the sun has a habit or randomly appearing amongst the clouds and rain). 

Tuna fillet with rice in squid ink at Balthazar's Keuken
In the evening I was treated to a delicious dinner at a restaurant located in Elansgracht, called Balthazar’s Kitchen (Keuken in Dutch). They only serve a set menu where the choice is between fish or meat. For once in my life, I went with the fish. To start with we had a selection of mixed hors d’oeuvres followed by a fresh tuna fillet on a bed of rice with squid ink sauce as a main course. Best tuna I’ve ever tasted! Obviously ended with a dessert, lemon mousse. YUM!

The days after that consisted of a shopping trip and meetings with old friends, time leisurely spent enjoying the sun and greenery at Vondelpark (the Amsterdam equivalent to Central Park), a canal cruise, the Anne Frank Museum and couple of hours at Blokker (a shop selling household decorations which I fell in love with).  And there was SO much more left to do which we didn’t manage to fit in. Alas, that calls for a brilliant reason to return.
Lunch at Bagels & Beans
Random polo game on our day trip to Maastricht


Canal Cruise Views

Thai Dinner.. So many types of restaurants to choose from!


The sun was out!

Anne Frank House, over an hour waiting in the cold,  well worth it!

Strolling along Vondelpark and eating croissants..

Finally, I seriously cannot post this without commenting on how wonderful the Dutch are.  Everyone is so helpful and kind. Truly impressed!

Cheers to 22 years of living!

Tot ziens


xxxx

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