We got up at about 9am and after showering we headed downstairs for some Breakfast. We are staying on the third level in a loft Bedroom which Kit has so kindly given up for us. We both slept pretty well although I always find it a tad hard to fall asleep when I am in a foreign house with sounds I'm not used to. I'm sure tonight and tomorrow will be better! We are definitely being very well looked after and it is so nice to be staying with a Dutch family because we are getting the whole culture experience as well as local knowledge.
We were off to Amsterdam for the day so we packed a bag and rugged up because unfortunately the weather didn't look like it was going to be very nice. Desiree and Bert had organised to hire a mini van for the next couple of days so we could all fit in and have plenty of space. Weirdly enough it was cheaper to do this than for us to all catch the train to Amsterdam so it was well worth it! We all hopped in the van and hit the road and it only took one hour to get there. Andrew was navigating us off the motorway with his google maps on his phone and we managed to find a good park close to the city centre.
Everyone was keen for a coffee and we came across this neat wee deli 'Patisserie Kwekkeboom' after a short walk so we popped in. It was also raining pretty heavily so it was good to get inside especially considering it looked as though it would pass. The display cabinets in the deli were filled with amazing looking cakes, pastries, savouries and huge coloured meringues! Even though I don't normally drink coffee I decided to try one and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it!
So we got our caffeine hit and thankfully the rain pretty much stopped for us to continue wandering the streets of Amsterdam. I spotted a few little vintage shops that I couldn't resist looking in and Desiree is really into vintage/alternative things so she was happy to join me. We fell upon a fresh produce market where Anne and Richard bought some yummy olives, hummus and nibbles for later on. Some quirky tulip patterned clog slippers caught my eye at a souvenir shop that Desiree insisted buying for me! She's just so lovely and is truly spoiling me!
Bikes are just everywhere and you really have to watch your step because they seem to come from all directions and often at fast speeds. We went to 'Anne Frank Huis' but didn't go inside because the queue to get in was so long that we would have been waiting for a couple of hours or more so I will have to do that another time. I bought a gorgeous little ornament of the house which I found in an amazing shop jam packed with traditional dutch pottery. We had a late lunch at 'Restaurant Gespot' then had a quick walk through the red light district before returning to the van and heading back to Rotterdam. We had a fabulous day and Andrew and I have decided we definitely want to go back to Amsterdam if we can because we just loved it!
We had some drinks and nibbles when we got back and then out came a piano accordion and guitar so Richard started playing different tunes that we sung along to. From traditional New Zealand songs to ABBA and the Beetles he kept us all entertained for a couple of hours or so. He plays everything by ear which is so incredible and we all had such fun!