Hey friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
Next up in my Discover EU adventure is Amsterdam, which was actually organised by my bartender friend, so don’t be surprised if you notice a lot of the places we went to were alcohol-related 🤦🏻♂️
- No rest for the wicked! As soon as we arrived we chucked all our baggage into the hostel, then made our way to a bowling alley and played for an hour. We challenged ourselves that whoever scored the lowest by the end of the session would have to do push-ups equal to the amount scored by the overall winner. I came second overall, but oh my god were there so many spares🤦🏻♂️Every time I thought I got the hang of the ‘swing’, the ball pretty much just says ‘lol nah’ and falls into the side
- Visited my first ever cocktail bar. I’m writing this a few days after the event so I honestly forgot what I ordered, but I remember it being REALLY good. My friends and I all ordered different things and had a taste of everyone else’s, and I can now confirm I’m basic as hell and like soda cocktails
- Ended the night off by visiting the notorious Red Light District. It was…an interesting experience to say the least. What I certainly wasn’t expecting was the massive amount of other people also coming to visit the place, though I suppose it is a famous tourist attraction. We were also taken aback by how upfront some of the workers were, as they danced and twirled and wagged their finger at you as you passed by them, enticing you to come in. We even watched one of the famous ‘sex shows’ and..it was also interesting. Respect to all the sex workers, it is absolutely a real profession and I honestly think they don’t get enough gratitude or recognition.
- Visited the Heineken Museum and learned about its history, and more about beer-making in general. If I remember correctly, the 4 main ingredients for Heineken in particular were water, barley, hop, and ‘A-yeast’, with the last ingredient being accessible to only 11 people in the world behind a vault. We got free beers, an excellent and interactive tour, and a much better insight into the massive beer brand.
- Visited the House of Bols, which is apparently a world famous brand for cocktails. Let me tell you right now that in there, we were invited to smell tons and tons of different cocktails ingredients and mixtures. And oh my god, were some of them heavenly. Peach, cocoa, and the mint aromas stuck out to me the most. We also had the opportunity to try cocktail-tasting but by using ‘all of our senses’ which was…..an interesting experience. You were invited into this small box, which recorded your reaction as you downed the cocktail. Some of them were quite amusing, not gonna lie. We also got a free cocktail and some more cocktail history, but the smelling experience was by far the most vivid and memorable for me.
- Went to what we thought was a good Amsterdam nightclub, but turns out my friend booked the wrong date and we actually turned up to a concert of a Dutch rapper whom none of us have ever heard of. Some of his songs were bangers of course, but it was definitely amusing when we all collectively realised “I think we’re at the wrong event”. The event did eventually turn into a general party afterwards though, so it was still alright. I’ve realised this ages ago already, but nightclubs are still definitely not my thingOh yeah, the smell of weed was also extremely strong in there
- Visited the beautiful windmill village of Zaanse Schans. It was here that I’m certain we all spent the most money on souvenirs yet. We bought crystal art, fridge magnets, toys, and Dutch jewellery. No doubt some of the prices were gauged, hindsight 20/20, but we were mildly excited by the place so it’s all good. We walked around, befriended some local ducks, took pictures and videos of the little windmills, before getting intimidated by the looming storm clouds and promptly going home.
- Another cocktail bar! This time it was a supposedly well-known one called Rosalia’s Menagerie. Oh my god, the cocktails were so good. I was never a big alcohol nut, but these cocktails were phenomenal. Get the Sicilian Sour if you ever get the chance to go, you won’t regret it. I also loved the atmosphere and staff there too. I honestly thought cocktail bars would just be like regular bars and be noisy, loud, hectic and messy, but it’s almost the complete opposite! They all had a chill, quiet, and relaxing atmosphere and I’m honestly so up for that.