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Afternoon all,

Before I go any further –  I GOT INTO UNIVERSITY!!!!! Sorry I haven’t announced this sooner, but basically since last Thursday my life has been slightly more chaotic than usual, to say the least…

Starting with A-level results day…once I’d discovered at 7:30 am that I’d actually got a place at university, everything kicked off. I drove myself to school to pick up my results – UCAS only tells you if you’ve got a place, not your actual grades, and then I had to rush home to finish packing because I was flying out to Amsterdam with a friend that afternoon.

Once I’d finished packing and remembered at the last minute that I’d forgotten an adapter, I went to pick up this stunner…

Meet Tegan…aka one of my best friends and one of the few people that will put up with me! (she also indulged my Malteaser addiction most lunchtimes through our 2 years of sixthform together  – that’s true friendship!)

We caught the 4:30 from Gatwick to Schiphol, arriving at the hotel about 9pm because there were delays etc due to the weather. The Dutch are so unbelievably friendly – not something I was expecting in all honesty (as some of you are aware). But it meant that if at any point we were unsure of where we were (my navigating leaves a little to be desired) people were more than happy to point us in the right direction.

We stayed in a Best Western Hotel called the Leidse Square, which is located really close to the Vondelpark, the Leidseplein and the Museumplein, meaning that we were really well situated for most of the things that we wanted to visit – bonus!

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#vondelpark #amsterdam #holiday

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Once we’d checked out the hotel room – bed ✓ shower ✓ BBC 1 ✓ we went for a wander around the area.

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#amsterdam #holiday#canal #bikes #pretty

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Amsterdam is so pretty, picturesque and totally cliché, but that is in no way a bad thing!

We went to a number of places whilst we were there including the flower market…

a canal cruise…

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Canal cruise #amsterdam #holiday #canal #boat

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and the stedelijk museum, where they had a fantastic range of modern art, from Monet to Warhol.

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#jacksonpollock #art #amsterdam #stedelijkmuseum

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Something else that was really interesting about Amsterdam, was the art that wasn’t confined to the museums. It’s such an artistic and interesting city, which is made clear through displays of street art…

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#droppantsnotbombs #amsterdam #canal #boat #peace

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whilst graffiti is considered a rather controversial subject, I actually find it fascinating – I love seeing how places can be transformed through street art, because that’s what myself and other have previously hoped to achieve through movements such as yarn bombing.

Another place we discovered was a little pancake restaurant that was just opposite our hotel. We decided to try some traditional  poffertjes, which as you can see below, were truly delicious! They’re little baby pancakes, covered in icing sugar with a lump of melted butter on top. My arteries are groaning just at the thought of them…

Finally, we visited a few other places that I haven’t yet included, but sadly we were unable to take photographs (Or I might have just forgotten…but that’s not the point!)

Anne Frank’s house – definitely a must if you’re in Amsterdam, a really moving and inspirational attraction that shows where Anne Frank was hidden during WWII.

The Van Gogh Museum – I love Van Gogh’s work, the main ‘famous’ ones to see here are the Bedroom in Arles, the Sunflowers and the Irises. As well as these, there are a great deal of self-portraits, which I found fascinating, because you can study the way that Van Gogh painted himself in comparison to others, as well as looking at the different characterisitcs that he chose to highlight in himself, depending upon the period in which he was painting.

Waterlooplein – This is a flea market that was established by Amsterdam’s Jewish inhabitants in the 1800s, it’s a little bit reminiscent of Camden, but there is the odd stall that could actually be considered of the ‘flea market’ variety. I picked up a lovely jumper for €1 (it’s in the wash at the moment so I’ll show it to you next time) as well as a few postcards etc.

Finally, we made our way back to Schiphol (getting caught in a torrential downpour in the process) and then sat in departures playing scrabble on the ipad because our plane was really delayed, goodness knows why…

Storm? What storm?!

Anyway. That’s what’s been happening to me in the last few days…I’m completely exhausted, and at this current moment, feel like instead of hitting the ground running, I’ve hit the ground with  a rather inelegant ‘bump’ and proceeded to land face first into a puddle. Time to write some lists I think!

Until next time