Wednesday, 16 January 2019

How Easy Is It To Take A Coach Trip To Amsterdam

I have written before about my son living in Holland with his wife, he is a greenkeeper on a golf course in Bruinesse, just outside of Rotterdam. Last year we discovered how easy it was to get the overnight coach from Dover to Rotterdam and it made visiting my son, so much easier. We get on the coach at about 11pm and then wake up in Holland. It's not cheap but it means Matilda sees her brother and I see my son. We wanted to go to Holland before Christmas and we booked a trip but as I was talking to Matilda about it, she asked if we could go to Amsterdam for the day too. So I booked the coach to Amsterdam as it was the same price.

We took the Ouibus and it actually arrived on time, they are not the best at timekeeping and I have waited over an hour in the freezing cold at midnight before for a late-running coach. But on this occasion, it arrived on time and we climbed on the bus. We arrived in Amsterdam really early in the morning and found that the coach doesn't actually take you to Amsterdam centre, it takes you to the outskirts and you get a train to the centre. It's easy because the bus stops next to the train station.

The bus that takes us to Amsterdam

As we waited for Amber at Amsterdam Centraal Station we I sat and people watched as Tilly had a little nap on the bench. It's funny when you watch people in a different country because everything about them is so different. The people getting on and off the trains, on their way to work were relaxed and not even rushing about like the commuters do in London. One man even dropped his joint, I forgot for a moment that it was legal in Amsterdam and had a little giggle. We eventually went for breakfast in McDonald's, we counted 4 McDonalds in walking distance of each other. So you will never be short of anywhere for fast food. There are also many restaurants and cafe's along the canals if you want something different to eat.

A bicycle leaning on a window of a cafe

We took some shopping in, and of course, that involved a toy shop where Matilda scored a free toy because it had the wrong price on it. I love the different shops in Amsterdam and the way that people have the freedom to enjoy a joint. When I was younger and knew of Amsterdam allowing the smoking of cannabis, I always thought it was seedy but it is far from it. Shops openly sell cannabis-based products and it is fun to window shop there, obviously, you shouldn't buy stuff to bring home!
 Cafe's sell joints and cannabis brownies and muffins. You cannot take children under 18 into the cafe's, which is how it should be. So Matilda is absolutely oblivious to what goes on in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam cannabis museum

bicycle outside a shop covered in cannabis leaves

Amsterdam tourist gifts of fridge magnets

Tilly standing in front of a door

Whilst we were there Amber pointed out the Dam Square, I always thought Amsterdam was named after river dams but a Dam in Amsterdam is the city square. It's the most famous of the squares in Amsterdam and it is central in the city. It is the focal point of many national events throughout the year. It is a beautiful part of the area and very Instagrammable.

Dam area of Amsterdam

We then took the free ferry over the river to NDSM, it is an area of Amsterdam that has street art around every corner and there is a cute little cafe that sells the best chocolate covered croissants in the world. NDSM is an upcoming place to visit and you really need to go and visit it. After all, it's free. The ferry is one that you have to stand on, so if your feet ache you can't sit down and many Amsterdammers take their bicycles on there. In the river, as you approach the pier of NDSM is a half-sunk submarine, I'm not sure why it's there or what it's story is but its just there ready for some Instagram photos to be taken. Over at NDSM, you will also see a small residential area that has homes built out of shipping containers. This actually makes me smile whenever I see it because it goes to show you can make a home from anything.

half sunk submarine in the river

street art mural of Anne Frank

We stayed in Amsterdam for a few hours before Matilda wanted to go and see her brother, She decided she had enough and we went on our way to Bruinesse. We were there for a day but if you are looking at staying for a few days, we have a discount code for £15 cashback on your room. Just click on this link and you get the cash back and I get £15 too.

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