I’d like to start this entry about Amsterdam with some glowing praise for the low cost carrier, Transavia, that brought us here. We really weren’t sure what to expect, but found the service to be top notch & friendly and due to the friendliness we were rewarded with some free snacks towards the end of the flight. This is in stark contrast to the service we have received on the three British Airways flights we have taken in the past 10 days. One is a low-cost carrier, the other claims to be full service.

They were even selling a knitted bear in their colours onboard, so we had to have him and he will be our new mascot around Europe.

Our first point of call in the city today was for a bite to eat, which turned out to be a harder task than you might think. There were a lot of cuisines on offer, but I was really only after Dutch, and I finally found that at Haesje Claes with a stamppot… a mashed potato dish.

Following lunch we had a nice coffee at Andalucia before heading to the Rembrandt museum, and then stumbling into what is known as the ‘red light district’.

The following day we were due to meet my father for breakfast in the airport in-between his early-morning arrival on Cathay Pacific and mid-morning departure on Vueling, however a delay to his first flight resulted in him missing his flight, with the following flight fully booked. He ended up on a KLM flight to Barcelona later in the day, affording him a chance to have lunch with us at the Rijks® Restaurant. A review of which can be found here.

Dee-Anne and I then took a small tour of the Rijksmuseum, seeing among other art the Van Gogh ‘self-portrait’ from 1887, Vermeer’s ‘Milkmaid’ and Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’. By the time we were ready to set off the weather had turned, resulting in some awful delays on the way back to the hotel and then the airport. We did manage to check-in on-time, to find the flight was delayed!

My review of Amsterdam… this is a hard one! I always thought I’d love it here, but actually found it hard to navigate (public transport), expensive to navigate (public transport) and not as user friendly as some cities I have visited. It’s also becoming quite clear that for such an advanced block of nations that Europe claims to be, the amount of litter on the streets and percentage of those that smoke is extremely high. Australia feels like a hospital in terms of cleanliness in comparison.