Our trip to Iceland – The Land of Ice & Fire

On Wednesday 18th March 2016, we set off early morning for our 07:35 flight from London Luton. Travelling from Birmingham meant a tiring start, but we were excited and ready to go!

Arriving into the beautiful city of Reykjavik, we jumped off the plane and headed into the airport. We stopped off for a quick snack at the Joe & Juice, I had a Tunacado sandwich & smoothie – delicious! Once we finished, we hopped onto our coach for our transfer to the Blue Lagoon!

After a quick and scenic transfer, we arrived at the popular Blue Lagoon Spa. We were welcomed with sparkly, diamond blue water and tall rock formations which lead the way to the spa. After a few pics we headed in, got our wrist bands and quickly changed.

I genuinely did not know what to expect from the lagoon, of course I had heard all about it, but being there was a completely different thing. The weather was freezing, but the sun was beaming… I began walking into the lagoon and instant relaxation hit me. The water, warmed naturally by lava flow, remained at a relaxing temperature of around 38 degrees – it was more than what I could ever have imagined. We spent most of the day here, trying out the different face masks on offer and enjoying a couple of drinks in the marvelous weather. Honestly, I could have stayed here until the night – it was just that breathtaking.

After a few hours spent in the lagoon, we took a transfer back to our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Cabin, which was conventionally located. The view from the room was incredible. We overlooked the beautiful ocean and could see the glaciers in the distant topped with snow. Of course, hunger was now calling so we took a short 5-minute walk to the restaurant, Hamborgarafabrikkan. We feasted on some yummy hot wings, nachos, burgers and chunky chips!

The next day we took part in the famous Golden Circle Tour. This was honestly one of the best tours I have ever experienced. Our first stop was the farm, we heard how the tomatoes were grown and we got to taste some of the delicious homemade tomato soup along with warm bread, it was delicious. After, we took a short walk to go and see the Icelandic horses – they were so cute!

Our second stop was to see the powerful Geysers. Here we were able to experience the incredible power of the Stokkur Geysir. With temperatures of up to 100 degrees, the water bubbled, spurted and pulsed in and out. At certain times, the Geysirs would shoot up spraying hot water and mist high into the air. The main Geysir, Stokkur, is the most active going off every 5 minutes. Aside from the strong smell of Sulphur, this visit was incredible to see.

Our third stop was to the Gulfoss Waterfall; this has to be one of the most surreal experiences for me. As we took a walk down the steep hill, the water fell hard against the rocks and caused mist to spray like rainfall. The beauty of the Gulfoss is truly indescribable, the only way to understand is to experience it yourself. The views were stunning and the sound was calming. We decided to take a seat on a nearby bench and listen to the water rush by.

Our fourth and final stop on the Golden Circle Tour was to the Þingvellir National Park. Here, we took a 20-minute stroll up the mountain and visited a nice little shop that sold many Icelandic hand crafted items. We then headed back to our hotel.

Day 3 we took part in the South Shore Tour. This consisted of 6 stops and lasted for 10 hours. Our first stop was to a small village for a pit stop, here there was a few shops, a post office and a petrol station. We took a short walk just to stretch our legs as the coach journey for this tour was pretty long!

The second stop was to see some incredible Glaciers. We took a short walk along a mountain and came to a river, across the river was a magnificent Glacier standing tall. The view was impressive and the area was so peaceful. We were unable to trek up the Glacier due to the conditions (and due to the fact we didn’t have the right gear!), but taking the view in was more than enough. The sun was shining again today and it just made the experience even more enjoyable.

Our third stop was to the charming Black Sand Beach. The wind was so powerful, but the sun was out in all of its glory today which created a tranquil atmosphere. The rock formation along the beach was amazing, it looked as though man had sculpted them as part of an art project! The beach had weird and wonderful black stones and pebbles throughout. The sea roared with power as the waves crashed against the shore and the sun reflected off the water which caused it to sparkle and glisten – so pretty!

On our fourth stop we visited the quiet village of Vik. The coastal town was very small, but had so much character. We took a walk up the steep hill towards the church. The views were lovely from here, we could see the whole town and the ocean. After this, we visited a shop and sat in the local café where they served hot homemade lamb and veg soup, delicious!

For the fifth stop we visited the Skogar museum, here we learned about the history of the Vikings and got to see some of the tools, weapons and clothing they used. The tour guide told a story of how the Vikings would fish and make a living – it was very interesting stuff!

After our visit to the museum we had two more stops to make on the way back to Reykjavik. The two wonderful waterfalls; Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. This is what I was most excited about for the whole tour.

The first waterfall we visited was the Seljalandfoss. It stood at an incredible height and the power of the water was immense. The water crashed into the rocks and sprayed mist continuously – it was quite hard to keep my eyes open! After taking photos, we decided to be brave and take a walk up to the top of the waterfall – which can I say did not look as steep or as high as it actually was! To get to the top if took about 10 minutes and a lot of effort – it was all worth it once we stood over the waterfall. We looked out onto the city and the view was inspiring.

The second waterfall and last stop of the tour was the Skogafoss. This was a true beauty, we climbed some stairs and over a few rocks to walk behind the waterfall. This was such an amazing experience; I will never be tired of listening to water gush down and falling onto rocks.

On our fourth day in Reykjavik, we decided to take the opportunity and visit the centre.  The weather was great yet again – we were so lucky! We took a relaxed walk along the coast and took in the views of the ocean and glaciers. Once we reached the centre, which was about a 20-minute walk, we were met with tons of fascinating art work which coloured the town – it was outstanding! We also visited the church Hallgrímskirkja, here you can climb stairs to the top and enjoy 360 views of the city.

My visit to Iceland was one to remember. I never really knew what to expect because I had never heard much about Iceland in the past, but I can see why it is becoming one of the most talked about and visited places in Europe. The wonders of this country are endless and the trip was inspiring and beautiful. The people are welcoming and kind, the food is delicious and the views are breath taking. I will be back Iceland – see you soon!

 

Check out my new photography Instagram – @summorandrea_photography

 

xxx

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How I tackled my green hair

So, if you read my blog you would know that recently I dyed my hair a purple colour. If you’d like to read the post click here:-https://summorandrea.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/my-purple-hair-journey/ 

Little did I know that the Crazy Colour dye’s I had used to get my ‘perfect purple’ would turn against me and turn my hair, eventually, GREEN! I had come across ‘green hair problems’ on YouTube before, but I never really understood the challenge until I got stuck with it myself.

So, to give you a little background. I had dyed my hair purple and I was so happy with it – it was what I wanted and matched the Pinterest picture very well. I had it for a few days, the colour was vibrant, bright and beautiful and I couldn’t believe how well the dye worked (considering they were only £2.99 each!). Then I washed it. Don’t get me wrong, after the first wash my hair was still purple… but it was very very faded. The vibrancy was no longer there and the colour underneath the purple (the grey which was put in by the hairdresser), started to show through… which I wasn’t a huge fan of. I googled the Crazy Colour dyes because I was intrigued to see if this was happening to anyone else. Now, I know what your thinking, they are semi-permanent dyes Summor so OF COURSE they will fade… I know this but the amount it faded with one quick wash was just ridiculous.

So anywho, I googled the brand and the ratings were not good at all. On Amazon, there were people complaining mainly about how the purple dye came out blue and no where near ‘violet or lavender’. When I was reading these reviews, I was kind of like… well mine did turn out purple but it’s washing away very quickly.

Well, I was in for a shock. The next time I washed my hair, it came out like mermaid hair. Honestly, it was blue, turqoise, purple, silver, pinkish, green… I was like okay…………………….to be honest it wasn’t too bad. I could work with it, and Troy liked it so it was fine for a few days. The problem I had was the colour was no longer vibrant. It was just washed out and it made my hair look very dull – considering I just had it bleached I wanted my hair to be colourful and pretty not boring and bland.

I did some reasearch online and found that colour can be removed quite easily with the Vitamin C method. If you are not sure of this method I’ve done a little explanation below:

VITAMIN C METHODhelps to remove semi permanent hair colour:

What you will need:

  • Vitamin C Tablets
  • Head & Shoulders Shampoo (or any brand like this)
  • Bleach powder (OPTIONAL – I’ll talk about this below)
  • Plastic Bowl and tinting brush

First Step – Get your vitamin C tablets and crush them up. You may want to put them in a plastic bag and bash them so they don’t go everywhere. Once they are in a powder (no lumps), put this into your plastic bowl. You want a good amount of powder, maybe around a good 3 or 4 teaspoons.

Second Step – You now need to put your shampoo in the bowl with the powder. Put an equal amount in the bowl, or a little more. You then stir these together.

Third Step (OPTIONAL) – If you like, you can add a bleach powder to the mix. I used BBlonde’s High Lift powder bleach. The reason I used this was because I knew the colour’s in my hair were going to turn a green (due to everyone else’s experience and because it was doing this already in parts). As you are probably aware, green and blue is the hardest colour to get out of your hair due to staining. This is why I opted for bleach powder.

Fourth Step – Once everything is mixed, wet your hair so it is damp and shampoo as normal. I have a balayage/ombre so I only wet the parts necessary. You want to scrub your hair for as long as possible, I did this for around 5 minutes on each section (I section my hair into two parts). Squeeze the hair as you do this, you should see the foam turning your hair colour (this shows it’s working). After this I put my hair into a bun and wrapped it in a plastic bag. I left the product in my hair for around 1 hour. Please keep checking the hair to see how its going.

Last Step – Wash the hair out with warm to hot water. The warmer the water the better as this helps to force the colour out.

After I did this, it washed out all of the blue and purple completely. My hair was now blonde, but had a horrible green tinge to it. I have a some pics, but it just looks browny blonde – the true colour was much worse. Very green and horrible:

I did more research on how to get rid of this, the only other options people were talking about was bleaching the hair. I didn’t like this idea because my hair was already super dry from the vitamin C method and I hate using bleach anyway.

I looked at the colour wheel and did some thinking, red tones cancel out green so I thought of what I could do to help. I didn’t want to risk putting a red dye over my hair and I didn’t think the red shampoo would get rid of it quick enough. After LOTS of research, I came across ‘The Big Pink’ dye on Bleach London’s website. They had an FAQ section where they answered a question regarding green hair. They advised using The Big Pink to neutralise the green tones, apparently when this dye fades it turns hair a nice golden colour – which is what I wanted. It made sense since the Big Pink dye is such a dark pink and had red tones through it.

So, I did one more Vitman C wash (without bleach powder), the outcome was nothing basically. I knew it wouldn’t as I thought it had stained – thought I’d try it anyway! After this, I used The Big Pink and mixed this with lots of conditioner. I didn’t use much pink at all because I wasn’t really going for a the full on pink look. I left this on my hair as a deep conditioner treatment for around 30 minutes. I loved the way it turned out! It dyed a lot of my hair a nice pastel pink and the parts it didn’t dye pink it turned a nice golden blonde colour:

 

I know that for some people this really is not a solution – maybe you don’t want pink hair. For me, it was the best way to get rid of the green – I managed to keep my hair soft and shiny and bring the brightness back. If you don’t want the pink hair, just know it washes out quick and turns a lovely blonde colour so it may be worth having it just for a few washes – if you really want that green hair gone!

I hope you enjoyed this post 🙂

*if anyone else has any methods they would like to share please let me know – I love learning new tricks when it comes to hair colour.

 

 

x

 

My purple hair journey…

Anyone that knows me will say I’m always changing my hair, and that I should probably stop. I’ve heard it all from, “your hair is gonna fall out” “you are gonna ruin your hair” “you’ll be bald soon” and “but your hair is perfect the way it is!”. Each and every time I just smile and say “I’ll be fine”…

I’ve literally been so many different colours, and I do think dying my hair is a borderline obsession. It’s not that I don’t love my hair, because I do. I really really do, but I just have a constant want to change it. I’ve been black, blue black, red black, plumb, cherry brown, dark brown, vibrant red, henna red, blonde (all over!), ombre blonde, ombre turquoise, balayage (lovely golden blonde), balayage  light brown, balayage pink and now recently balyage PURPLE!

That’s what I’m gonna focus my blog on today, my purple hair journey.

If there is anything that fuels my hair colour obsession, it’s Pinterest. I’m sure anyone who is on this agree that it’s addictive. I can sit there pinning ‘inspo’ all day, and this is where I always get the majority of my ideas from (and also Instagram and YouTube).

So to give you an idea, here is what I wanted my hair to look like:

I R I D E S C E N T ~ using all @Schwarzkopfusa! Blends of Mauve and Blush tones with a deep Indigo Brown base. Cut✂ & Color by me . #brazilianbondbuilder #b3 added to my #blondme during my balayage. #BESCENE:

From everything I pinned on my ‘Lilac Hair Inspo’ board, this is the one that really inspired me. So, I went to the hairdressers and booked in my appointment.

My hair was already balayaged so it was just a case of lifting the colour lighter and placing the right tones onto my hair, in order to create the above pic. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. My hair after going to the hairdressers, was nice and I was happy with it however it wasn’t 100% what I wanted. A couple of pics below:

So on the left you have the result without camera flash, and on the right you can see results with camera flash.

As you can see, there was still quite a lot of blonde/brown colour in there and there was also a lot of grey (which had been put through generously). It’s not anywhere near my inspo pic. So… I went out and bought Bleach London’s Blullini hair dye, I thought this would help neutralise and blend the colours a little better, and maybe add a more purple/lilac feel to it. My friend Kayleigh applied it for me, and the results were below:

As you can see the colour is much more lilac and the dye helped lift the grey a lot more and create a shiney silvery colour (if that makes any sense). I still wasn’t 100% happy with it as it wasn’t the look I was going for, and in parts the dye was still quite stripey and the hair which was not bleached previously and was only recently bleached on my visit to the hairdressers was still visibly orange! Anyways, I had a night out on this night so I left it how it was for a couple of days.

On Tuesday, I nipped to the shops on my lunch break and bought three different dyes:

  • Crazy Colour in Violete
  • Crazy Colour in Lavender
  • Bleach London in Violet Skies

I also bought some gloves, two sets of tinting brushes and bowls.

I washed my hair with head and shoulders, as this is quite a harsh shampoo and helps to get rid of/ fade colours which have been put on the hair. I lathered my hair up for around 5 minutes making sure I was squeezing as much as the colour out as possible. Once I had done this I then rinsed with warm water and towel dried my hair (no conditioner added!). I then brushed it out carefully with a comb (which was horrible because my hair felt like straw!!!). Whilst my hair towel dried a little more, I mixed the colours. For the Violet one (which was pretty dark), I mixed in some Herbal Essence conditioner and some of the violet skies dye and lavender dye. I still wanted this purple to be pretty dark – but not too dark. In another bowl I put in the lavender, and added a tiny bit of the violet (Crazy Colour) and some of the violet skies colour. I also added conditioner as I wanted the lavender to be a bright colour and not dark.

I began to add the dye on my hair section by section (which was a messy process). What I did with each strand was apply the darker violet at the top and then the lighter lavender on the ends. Due to there being a lot of grey colour through my hair, I was hopeful that the colour would come out as I wanted as there was a blank canvas (in some ways) for it to cover well. I left it in for around 35-40 minutes and then washed it off in the shower. Applied a purple conditioner (no shampoo used), washed this out after 5 minutes and I was done!

I didn’t really want to blow dry my hair because I didn’t want to put it through anymore stress, so I dried a section. The purple come out quite dark, but it was actually really pretty. I wasn’t 100% happy with it (omg I never am) haha BUT, I thought just wait for it to fully dry and see it in the morning. Anyways, I’m such a fidget and couldn’t wait so after around 20 minutes I decided to speed up the drying process and blow dried it gently (after applying Moroccan oil). I then curled my hair and FINITO.

I absolutely LOVED the outcome:

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YAY

As you can see, there are still the bits at the top which haven’t taken much of the colour BUT it looks 10 times better than what it did. I think the purple dyes worked hard to get rid of the brassiness, which I’m so thankful for!

What I love the most is that my hair feels so soft and healthy, and I’m so  happy to finally have the colour I’ve wanted for a few months now. I’m even excited for the process of fading because I know it will turn much more of a lilac shade (due to be having yellow bleached hair underneath). I think then it will look much more like the inspo pic. WOOP!

I’d 100% recommend the Crazy Colour dyes, the pigment is amazing and the colour is super shiny which helps to create the look I wanted.

 

YAY.

 

Photographs – My Faves

For anyone that knows me, they know that I LOVE photography. It is one of my major passions and I’m always taking pictures of everything. I definitely need to invest in a serious camera so that I can really get into photography and editing.

Thought I’d showcase some photos I’ve took over the years, which I really love. Some of the picture quality is poor as they were took awhile ago with an iPhone, but my recent phone (LG G3) has a much better camera, so the quality differs!:

IMG_20160227_142922IMG_20160227_133628IMG_20160227_14414915213_10202825282972851_2376101622213933886_n10007535_10201915241862392_255591592_n10345565_10202267346064777_8525277813122577706_n10525679_10202699604230961_6416076434696035635_n10955377_10204065434015852_7146553005124131134_n11008084_10204014515782928_5798883446040876261_n12642635_10206315124976720_2874101863459828550_n12718322_10206136581153236_5517826944415286016_n1[1]10442365_353463068181812_1502647586245185305_nIMG_20150730_141901IMG_20150906_161118IMG_20151004_163717IMG_20151005_192931IMG_20151031_185624IMG_20160117_145808IMG_20160118_102959IMG_20160118_112401IMG_20160119_114719IMG_20160223_174414IMG_20160224_165705IMG_20160312_230612IMG_20160322_160239

 

 

x

Annual trip to Paris

Paris, the famous French capital, has to be one of the most beautiful cities I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting. Everything from the intricately designed architecture, to the fabulous tasting good and the fashionably elegant style – Paris is a must see destination in Europe.

Luckily, each year I get to travel down to Paris for Adaptable Travel’s annual hair and beauty event. Student groups from all over the UK spend 3 days in the inspiring city of Paris to expand their ever growing knowledge in the hair and beauty industry. They receive talks off some of the most popular and experienced brands in the world. The event is always a great success and I am proud to be a part of it each year.

The first day of the trip is usually filled with travelling down to France. I travelled down by Eurostar (from London St Pancras), which is always an enjoyable experience. The check-in is always simple, and security is pleasant. There are lots of places to grab something to eat and drink plus plenty of seats. The only thing I would say is that seating in the waiting area can fill up quickly, but trains are very punctual so nothing to worry about. The Eurostar trains, in my opinion are spacious and comfortable. They offer Wi-Fi on board, along with a snack bar. The journey is nice and quick, it’s definitely my preferred mode of transport to get to Paris.

I arrived in Paris around 3pm with my colleague, the weather was dry and sunny with icy winds blowing frequently. Although it was a little chilly, I was happy to be in Paris ready to get started on the event. 2016 was the 13th year for the Wella event and the first year we welcomed the incredible Make-Up-Forever brand (which took the place of Lancome).

We took a taxi to the Hotel Bedford where the beauty seminar took place, we had a quick meeting to run through a few things.

We then walked through Place de la Madelaine to the Wella studios. I always love the walk from the two venues, you get to see such pretty shops and fashionable people. My favourite part of the area is the L’eglise de la Madeleine. This church stands tall and wide; it is simply magnificent.

Once everything was organised we took another taxi to get to our hotel. Driving in Paris is a little hectic to say the least, there is always plenty of bibbing and people driving into the tiniest spaces down the winding backstreets of the city.  The journey was the perfect opportunity to take a few snaps. The ivory buildings stood tall, some of them had bright green floral décor hanging from the windows which looked incredible. As I was taking photos, the famous Eiffel Tower began to grow taller and taller over the buildings. It finally appeared full, in all of its beauty. We decided to cut our taxi journey short and take a walk under the Eiffel Tower, on the way to our hotel. As we walked underneath, I couldn’t believe this was created by man. It is truly inspiring.

On the evening, we ate at the Bistro Saint Dominique. The restaurant was petite and true to the Parisian style. The food was amazing, I had a medium-rare, rib eye steak with hand cut baked chips. For dessert the classic chocolate Fondant.

We took the metro back to the hotel, which is always eventful. We realised that we could catch the Eiffel Tower lights if we waited a few moments, they are so pretty and sparkle so bright. It’s something I could sit and watch for a while and it never gets old. After a few pictures, we headed back to the hotel.

The event took place on the second day, so after a quick breakfast we set off to the Place de la Madeline on the tube and the day began!

This year Wella introduced their new Ecaille collection, where they explored the natural mutli tonal hair colour trends. Along with two live cut demonstrations (on both male and female) and massage training. Wella also held a question and answer time where groups got to talk with the hairdressers about the demonstrations. At the end of the seminar groups were handed their Wella diplomas and had free time in Paris.

At the Make-Up-Forever seminar students were welcomed with a free gift bag containing an eyeshadow pallet and lip-gloss. The students were given live demonstrations on a few different make-up looks; Day Make-Up, Night Make-Up and French Fashion Cat Walk Make-Up. I sat through the Make-Up-Forever seminar and learnt a lot of different techniques and technical information about the application of make-up. The make-up artist Mathieu was truly inspiring as he effortlessly transformed the models. Throughout the seminar groups were given the opportunity to take photographs with the models.

Once the seminar was completed, the groups were handed their diplomas and had time for a question and answer session. Students then had the option to head off to the Make-Up-Forever boutique where they were given a private shopping experience, along with a discount of 40% on all make-up. I took a trip to the boutique myself, which was a quick walk from the venue. The layout of the shop was amazing and everyone was really excited. The atmosphere was great and there were lots of assistants on hand to help. I had a lovely experience there.

Overall, it was another successful year for the hair and beauty event. I left Paris feeling inspired by both the seminar and the city itself. The experience is always unforgettable and a true must visit for any students/teachers searching to further their knowledge and experience in the industry. It is certainly a city I will visit again and again.

Until next time Paris. Au Revoir!

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x

Lola the Rabbit

The day before my birthday I came home after work and walked into my bedroom, in my living room was a huge rectangular shaped object hidden by a cover. My boyfriend asked me to close my eyes, he wanted to give me my present early.

Now, being the person I am I was quite persistent I didn’t want to open anything early but he insisted that I needed to. I went over to the object and started trying to guess in my mind what it was. I thought he had bought me a wardrobe or something, so when I pulled down the cover and saw the fluffiest, smallest and cutest little bunny I’ve ever seen… my heart sank.  I literally dropped to my knees and cried a little! It was so overwhelming.

She was sitting there, twitching her nose away. She looked quite scared so I reached in and gave her a big snuggle. I was in love.

After making up her hutch, and buying her some cute little toys to play with I thought the next step would be to introduce her to Duke. I was a little apprehensive because I  know how jealous Duke can be but I knew he would never hurt her… he would just be curious.

I asked Troy to bring Duke in the room whilst I held her, and he was an angel. He gently sniffed her, and kept staring at her like “who are you?”. After a few days I started to let her down so she could play with him, and now they are like best friends. It’s crazy to see a tiny bunny rabbit and a huge German Shepherd playing chase and lying together, but it’s also the cutest thing ever!

Lola does have some annoying habits to say the least… she likes to nibble everything, wee on everything, poo on whatever she can (she isn’t as bad anymore but still) and she also likes to throw her toys, hay and food out the hutch (which is great – *sigh*). I think the worst thing she has ever done was bite straight through Troys £169 Dre Beats (sorry Troy).

She is much better with everything now, and I know that it’s just a matter of being persistent and giving her lots of attention and love… which I do.

Due to the weather being cold, as we got her in the winter, I keep her inside my flat and she stays in my bedroom now. I redecorated her hutch so that it was more fitting to my room, and it does look cute! I wish I’d been blogging months ago so I could have done a DIY tutorial.

Lola has a beautiful personality and always puts a smile on my face. She is always hopping to me pressing her head against my hand so I will snuggle her. What melts my heart is that her and Duke get on so well, that’s probably the most important thing for me. She is a bundle of joy; she jumps, hops and skips all over the place and never fails to bring a smile to my face. She has bought a lot of happiness to my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Lola, I love you all the world – my special friend.

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Weekend away to Amsterdam

For my boyfriends birthday I decided to treat him to a weekend away to Amsterdam. I booked the flights and accommodation and before you knew it we were at London Luton airport waiting for our flight to depart to the unique city of Amsterdam.

I booked our accommodation through Air B&B, we stayed at a lovely apartment just a 10 minute walk from the city centre. The staircase to our apartment was ridiculously narrow, something which is very common in Amsterdam. It was fun trying to get up after a night out, in the dark lol!

On our first day in Amsterdam we explored the beautiful city centre. It was a few days before Christmas when we travelled so the city was dressed up in lights and festive decorations. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was so happy and relaxed. It was quite busy but it didn’t seem to bother me much, there was so much to see around us. There was one guy who was blowing bubbles next to the huge Christmas tree, now I know that doesn’t sound interesting but they were beautiful. He had lots of different shapes and sizes and they were sparkling because they were reflecting off the thousands of lights surrounding the square.

After walking around for a little while we decided to look for a coffee shop so we could sit, relax and enjoy the culture of Amsterdam. We found a lovely little shop named Abraxas, when I say little I mean tiny… it was amazing here. I’ve put a link below if you’d like to have a look:

http://abraxas.tv/gallery/ 

After this, we went over to Dominos for some munch. We had a slice of pizza and some Dutch pancakes, which were delicious!

The next day in Amsterdam we did some more exploring, there is just so much to see. We walked through the narrow streets and along the canals. The weather was nice, it wasn’t too cold or too warm and there was no rain! We walked to Anne Frank’s House to have a look at buying ticket however the queue was huge so we decided not to go in (when will I learn my lesson about pre booking visits ARGH). Anne Frank’s House is somewhere I want to visit, and I will be going back very soon for this reason.

We had built up a little bit of an appetite so we grabbed a couple of hot dogs and then sat in a pub for a little while with a pint. We decided to sit outside and we people watched. I felt so happy and relaxed.

In the evening Troy wanted to watch a football game, we did a little research on where was best to watch sports and we came across the Smoking Bull. It’s in the Red Light District (if I remember correctly)… we didn’t actually realise this until we turned a corner and had a few women dancing in the windows at us. That was a very strange experience, all to their own I suppose!

The Smoking Bull was actually really cool. The music was good and the atmosphere was really laid back. I’d definitely recommend this place if you are going to Amsterdam, they don’t have a website but they are on Facebook. Check them out.

Our third day in Amsterdam was much busier. We first went to the Sex Museum, this place was crazy funny. There was a lot of weird stuff, but it was an experience after all. For lunch we headed to a pub called St George I believe and had enjoyed a ham & cheese toastie (which was SO tasty).

After that we bought some tickets for a river cruise, you can buy tickets which last 24 hours and they are quite handy for getting around. When you first board you get some headphones, you can plug them into the side and listen to a tour guide – it was really interesting!

We stopped off at the Amsterdam Ice Bar. I loved this experience. You get three tokens for three drinks, I had a Strawberry Cheesecake cocktail before heading into the Ice Bar and then a beer and Sambuca shot whilst in there. We took lots of pics and stayed in for a bit. We then decided to leave because it was so COLD!!!

We walked back into the centre and decided to visit the Amsterdam Dungeon. If I’m completely honest I thought this was incredibly over priced and the whole experience felt rushed… there was so many people and it was really hot and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t do it again, or recommend it to be honest!!!

On the night we went back to our favourite place, The Smoking Bull. This was probably our best night out so far, we had a really good time. Before heading back to the apartment we stopped off for… A LOT of food. We first went to an Italian restaurant where we enjoyed pasta, pizza and garlic bread (and some more things which I can’t remember lol)… we then went to grab a crepe AND then we went to Dominos bought a whole pizza and 24 dutch pancakes. Yes we ate everything.

On our last day in Amsterdam we had a lie in and then took a slow walk to Vondelpark. The weather was a little colder on this day so once we reached the park (after about 30 minutes), we took a short walk round and headed off for something to eat. We found a lovely little Italian place (if we hadn’t eaten enough pizza already). I had a lovely spinach filled pasta while Troy had some lasagne (I think)!

So, Amsterdam was amazing. I loved every moment of it. Me & Troy experienced some interesting and weird things, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I’ll be visiting again soon this year!

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