Sunday, 20 September 2015

tourist in my own city - with TravelEx, FlyBe and Liverpool Airport

I've been in Amsterdam for five years now. It's actually official. I got a five year anniversary plaque from work a few weeks ago. Time has flown by, I adore this place but I don't truly know the city and I still have to use Google Maps nearly everywhere I go.

I go back to Liverpool a lot. Not so much over the past six months, but with a flight that takes just under an hour on a good day, I've got no excuses not to go back and see my Mama and Papa.

FlyBe recently opened up a flight route from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol and to celebrate this, along with the airline, airport and TravelEx they flew five bloggers over from the North West on a cute lil purple jet and I hopped on my cute lil red racer bike to meet them all at the Park Hotel.

When I arrived, I met with five other Bloggers/Vloggers and we were split into groups of two and set city-themed challenges to do within 24 hours.

Our challenge was to visit five bars and restaurants in the city and eat five meals or snacks which consisted of cheese. That's a lotta cheese.

The first place we visited was Omelegg in De Pijp. Delicious omelettes with all kinds of fillings and ingredients. Definitely a good place to hit up first. I'd never been before but often seen queues of hip guys with nice facial hair waiting to get a table inside.
Next we took a stroll up towards Albert Cuyp Markt, and found the "Say Cheese" stall, which is right near the entrance of the market if you're coming from Van Woustraat. We picked up some recommendations from the owner and also some chili cheese which was surprisingly delicious. 
Next we made our way up to the Ice Bar near Rembrantplein. We had to bend the rules a little bit and order a strawberry cheesecake cocktail. If it has cheese in the name, it still counts right? 

Here I am, getting my clog on next door to the Ice Bar.
On Monday afternoon, we all rendezvous'd at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum nearby to Anne Frank house and we were all taught about the wonderful history of cheese making and got to try some amazing Cheese samples. Who knew there was lavender cheese, or pesto cheese? I didn't. 
Day two called for more modes of transport and we hopped on one of the canal cruises which took us all the way from the Park Hotel/Rijksmuseum area to Centraal station. It's easy to miss when you're usually cycling along busy roads but when you stop a minute and take a look at the amazing houses along the canals, they really are what property dreams are made of. 

The penultimate stop was the Hilton Sky Lounge, right next to Centraal Station. I introduced the guys to fried cheese sticks and bitterballen, which I think they were surprised by. This is one of the best ways to see a great view of the city and they also have a map which plots out all the buildings you can see in the skyline. 
Our final task was to get a pancake and we hit up a traditional pancake huis on Leidseplein and I got the classic ham and cheese with plenty of syrup. Sounds like a weird combo? Trust me, it works.

Now I just have to say a huge thanks to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, FlyBe and of course the wonderful Travelex UK for the whole adventure. I had a great time meeting new bloggers and seeing old faces I hadn't seen in years. I had so much fun - thank you guys! 


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