It’s that time again, my wife and I had our quarterly visit… seriously this visa is taking forever. Prisoners get to see their families more often than I do. We were meant to hear back on a date for an interview 2 weeks ago but the visa people are behind on their 6 week target so they have decided to allot themselves another 6 weeks whilst they enjoy our money, how lenient of them. In the mean time whilst we wait my dear Kimmy came to visit me in England. In my mansion.
Ha. No, but we did go swimming and for afternoon tea. Look how fruity my tea was, just look at it.
Mmm. Other than that we just chilled out, had a nice walk and fish and chips one day, annoyed our cats AKA the fur babies.
And then we packed our carry-ons ready for Amsterdam where we flew from Norwich Airport. It was a fairly cheap flight so I was thinking pretty convenient, we won’t have to leave too early. There was one shop there. One. We checked in two hours before departure like it said to on the website and they had one shop to amuse us with. I was unimpressed, I was also unimpressed that they charged us a tenner for a development fee each without mentioning it when we booked. What the hell have they been developing?
Our plane was one of about 3 there and it was tiny. The whole airport had a ‘I have a mate that can get you one of those off the back of a lorry’ type vibe.
The flight itself was great though, it only took about half an hour and security in Norwich airport took about 5 minutes so… easy come easy go. We made it to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam which was pretty nice and luckily my lovely friend Sarah had visited the previous week and told us all about the GVB travel cards on offer. The public transport for Amsterdam with all the trams and trains and buses was excellent.
We dropped off our bags at our hotel which was this retro officers’ quarters at a naval base which had been sold and then done up in a 70s style which actually looked quite nice. We had a spot of lunch, by the by, the Dutch are a little obsessed with toast – it was on the menu everywhere. I’m not complaining, I enjoy a spot of toast but still… random.
After lunch we took the tram into the city, the weather was pretty rubbish the entire time we were there and whilst it didn’t exactly hammer down with rain there was a continual icy wind between flusters of fine snow and slush.
We stopped in at the Moco Museum (another tip from Sarah!) who have a large Banksy collection.
In general I loathe modern art, I’ve never gotten over my trip to the Tate Modern where the highlights were a flashing light bulb and a smashed up piano so my rule for art is this = if I can do it, it isn’t art.
Banksy is a favourite of mine however. I like that he’s from Bristol, which is near where I used to live, and sometimes his art has funny stories about run ins with the police for graffiti.
There was also some Salvador Dali in the Moco Museum, I’m not a great Dali fan but there was only a small Dali section.
After that we stopped off at a place called De Vier Pilaren which didn’t look too exciting from the outside but was amazing, we tried some dutch poffertjes which are little pancake bites only they’re soft in the middle. I cannot for the life of me pronounce poffertjes, I tried so hard but I just can’t do it.
A bit later, in the evening, we went for a little canal cruise with cheese and wine that my brother and sister got me for Christmas. My brother Charles was also in Amsterdam just before we visited so was full of tips as it is his fifth or sixth visit now. As the weather was so rubbish and the city wasn’t too packed with tourists the boat only had about 6 different couples on.
We had unlimited wine which was nice and I decided I would be in charge of Kim and my cheese tasting experience so it was conducted in an orderly fashion with much consulting of the little cheese leaflet.
It was still bitterly cold out and a little rainy but we were comfy and dry on the boat so it was quite nice actually… until we got out to wait for the bus back to our hotel haha.