We were stood in the car park at work, it must have been about 5:45pm on Friday when Holly looked at me and said “I’m game if you are”… From that moment i knew the next 4 days would be pretty crazy. We both had Monday and Tuesday booked off with no plans so anything was possible.
I love the moments in life that make you feel alive, 3 hours later and we’d booked a trip. It was unplanned, it was last minute, it was adventurous and it was exciting. I’d always wanted to explore the city of Amsterdam, we had such a cool time in Barcelona, i knew this wouldn’t be any different. If you’re thinking about going to Amsterdam then don’t wait any longer, it’s an amazing place. We flew out of Southampton which is perfect, the airport is pretty small and you’re checked in and on the plane in no time. We didn’t have much time to research and book a hotel so just plotted a few on a map and chose one that we both liked. Anywhere within the inner canal belt and no further out than the Rijksmuseum is a pretty good location and makes getting around very easy. We stayed at The Albus which was pretty easy to get to from Amsterdam Centraal station.
One of the best ways to see the main sights of Amsterdam is on a canal cruise, we went on one of the Canal Hopper tours based on the Damrak, the boat had no more than a dozen people onboard which was perfect, our guide was really good and super enthusiastic. We had to wait about half an hour for the boat to depart which gave me time to grab the below shot of some traditional looking buildings across the water, i used my 10-24mm lens and zoomed to 14mm to help compose the image.
I wanted to grab a sly shot of our guide as we went through a tunnel, this lens is so wide, it probably looked to him as if i was taking a photo over his shoulder. It was really dark in the tunnel so the shutter speed was pretty slow at 1/15th of a second, this created a cool motion blur on the walls and his animated hands.
I was excited for the canal cruise to go through the red light district, there are so many amazing photo opportunities here but as far as i could tell it would be very difficult to achieve on foot, so being on a boat was ideal, there are constant reminders that photos are prohibited and i didn’t fancy making any new enemies, especially in this part of town. As we entered the district i changed over lenses to my 60mm macro, i really wanted to get at least one shot and i figured if we’re on a boat then i’m less likely to be confronted. I spotted some doors ahead and to my left, i waited until the boat passed and managed to grab a quick photo before sitting back down again.
The canal cruise was also an excellent chance to see some of the architecture up close, its so interesting looking at all the unique buildings that the city has to offer.
We headed out for a walk on Tuesday morning and the weather was pretty bad, we had ponchos from the hotel and spent a lot of time running for cover to keep dry but it was still really good fun and definitely better than being at work, so i was more than happy! My camera got pretty wet but was more than up to the challenge.
This one here is probably my favourite from the trip, i saw this side street as we wandered past and just had to take a few pictures, this was with my 10-24mm lens at a focal length of 24mm, i also bent down a little to give the image a slightly different perspective which i think worked great, after our walk we headed to a burger bar called Lombardo’s which was absolutely amazing. I might have to go back for that alone.
I had such a good time and really want to head back soon so i can tick off some of the things we didn’t get a chance to do on this occasion, fingers crossed the weather will be a little better. Next time you want to do something, don’t hesitate, it’s fun.