Hello guys and Welcome back,
I decided to share my experience from amazing trip to Amsterdam. We decided go to Amsterdam just because is vibrant capital city of Netherlands known for cosmopolitan culture, rich architecture, coffee shops and museums. We found cheap ferry going from Hull port to Rotterdam with shuttle bus to Amsterdam. Ok let me show you what we did.
Our trip started with journey to Hull port. It is easy journey mostly on motorway but reserve plenty of time just because traffic could be heavy. We chose the way across Humble Bridge. This route require toll charge of £1.50 for standard car. You will get great views if weather is kind to you.
Have to say that this bridge is engineering marvel. Once you crossed bridge and payed you toll charger there is only 20 minutes journey to reach Port. At the port there is large carpark available and 24 hour ticket cost £7 and offer you easy access to terminal. Once you at the terminal there is easy check in at P&O Ferries desk and easy passport control. You have to be checked in 90 minutes before departure. but Ferry offer you plenty to do. Our Ferry was Pride of Rotterdam.
I have to say that I was a bit sceptical about over night ferry journey just because my vision was that there would be 1 buffet restaurant and nothing else. How ever I was very wrong. We checked in around 2 and half hours before departure.
I was amazed with hotel like lobby surround it by large bars, casino, games room, children play area, smoking deck, 2 restaurants, 2 cinemas, large main bar with stage and life music, and many bars in every corner. I was not expecting that at all. I wasn't very keen go on cruise ship holidays but after over night FERRY experience I will definitely consider cruise ship holidays.
Now you probably thinking that is nice you be occupied and have a choice of bars but what are prices like. I have to say that prices are very good. Drinks are not over priced and selection is rather large. All staff is friendly and attentive. Please see picture below for drinks prices.
This is only small selection from drink list. Food is very good too. You have a choice from French brasserie, carvery restaurant and Starbucks selling sandwiches, hot dogs and pizzas. Before we decided to have a drink we went in to our cabin. We booked cabin with bunk beds inside. I have to say that room with no window is not my kind of think how ever this room was cosy.
I do apologise for quality of picture it was due to excitement about our cabin. I have to say that cabin is small but airconditioned and homely. There is one single bed on the bottom and one above with little ladder to clime up. Its comfortable enough to spend night.
Bathroom is functional with Shower, Sink and Toilet compacted in one small room. Water pressure is good and water can get very hot. Have to mention that water from tap is drinking water and you don't have to be worried about that and safe some pennies on bottled water and be kind to environment. I have to say that little bit of sunshine give us a wonderful view from Ferry or should I say mini Cruise??
This view is just before departure from smoking terrace. I have to admit that we had more then few drinks with our friends before bed time and night was just fine. By 7am we were woken up by announcement that we will be docking in Rotterdam in 1 hour and 30 minutes and that Breakfast is available in buffet restaurant. I have to say that we didn't try breakfast and overall experience was amazing and we definitely book again. Cost of Ferry tickets with transfer to Amsterdam was £60 return. Once we arrived to Rotterdam disembarking was easy and smooth and coaches were ready for us. By 10.30am we were in city centre of Amsterdam. Fist what we did just jump on canal boat go around.
Amsterdam got infrastructure of cleverly design canals and traveling around is very easy. Watching life goes buy and have a relaxing feeling. I have to say that this city doesn't feel like other hustle and bustle capital citys. Amazing architecture and combination of modern and old design make you feel amazed.
Rich architecture, lifestyle of Dutch people and 21st Century truly meet here and blend together. One of the main attraction here is Red Light District. I wasn't able to take any pictures as I didn't want to upset ladies working in rather bizarre window displays.... Another well known attraction is places called Coffee shops. Places where you can legally buy and consume Marihuana. This places are so interesting...
Coffee shop we walked in was on one of the main streets. When we walked in we were greeted with very chilled man and rather large light up board with Marihuana and Hash products. All different kind of weed available to purchased. Joints or just few grams of anything from large board. I find it interesting, bizarre and felt like we are doing something illegal. I have to admit that I went in to this Coffee shop just for purpose of this blog. How ever we spend there about 10 minutes and decided to move on. Our next stop was Cannabis Museum.
This place was amazing. Stuff you can buy was interesting starting with Cannabis lollipops, Cannabis chocolate, space cakes etc. Museum it self was very informative and show stopper was display of tree real growing Cannabis plants. Lady gave us tour and explain how Hemp plans were part of human culture for centuries and talk about many products made from Hemp like - car interiors, medical supplies etc and explained that Cannabis had medical use for thousands of years. Definitely one attraction you have to try. After this we moved on and find Sex museum. Cannabis Museum entry - £4
I do apologise again about picture but manage to wash this ticket in my trousers. Well have to say that Sex museum was interesting. Showing how sex is part of our culture from ancient civilization to present day. I did not take any pictures as they will be too explicit for my blog. I have to recommend this to everyone but its time to move on. Our next stop was Amsterdam Ice Bar. Sex Museum entry - £4
Ice Bars are tourist attraction in many big cities you visit. I personally went to Ice Bar in London and Winter Wonderland in London too. This is great experience rather cold but fun. Temperature reach -9 Celsius and after 20 minutes you frozen completely. We had 1 drink included in the bar before experience and 2 drinks in Ice Bar themed as pirates adventure. Compering London and Amsterdam experience is that London got more ice sculpture and is more fun. Amsterdam experience is more theatrical with Pirate as your host. But both include ice-glass with selection of drinks of your choice. But there was time to move on because of our tight schedule. Next stop is every gardener dream - Amsterdam Flower Market. Amsterdam ice bar £15 including 3 drinks
This place is amazing and I can spend there hours. As winter approaching quickly season of spring bulbs is in full swing. Holland is known as land of tulips and trust you will find one here. Tulips, Liliies, Callas and many more for very good prices. I have to mention that would be rude not to purchase anything from world famous flower market in land of tulips.
I purchase this beautiful Calla Yellow Lilies, they grow from rhizomes and once they finish life cycle they need some time to be dormant and that is the best time to propagate them. You just dig out rhizome and spited in half and next year you are having 2 pots instead of one. This packet was £2 including 1 rhizome and mix of soil.
Some people may say that is not right purchase any flowers or plants abroad and take them back to UK. Holland is biggest exporter of flowers and all products are carefully selected and examine to avoid any type of disease to spread. I love this place and have to say that if its only me I will be there all day long. But unfortunately it was time to move slowly back to our pick up point scheduled at 5pm.
Have to say that Amsterdam is beautiful place and 100% recommendation for visit. Vibrant culture, architecture and stuff you don't see elsewhere in the world. If you not fun of Ferries you can fly to Schiphol Airport and short transit to city centre. We will go definitely back and probably stay over night to explore more like Ann Frank Museum or Rembrandt Museum and explore more Dutch way of life. That's all for now guys and thank you for your support. If you like this blog please share, like all this is very appreciated.
Happy reading guys see you here again soon.