[A view of Central Amsterdam]
The city of Amsterdam is simply beautiful. Super clean, stress free (or so it seems), and the quality of living is so admirable.
Although 4 of my mother’s siblings live in Amsterdam, we decided to stay at a hotel because we didn’t want to be a burden, as they all live with children and spouses. We’re Ghanaian, so of course her brothers and sisters were offended, but in the end they understood. We stayed at the Best Western Blue Square Hotel. While looking for affordable hotels with great ratings on Expedia , this one came up for about $70/ night. Initially looked creepy when we arrived, but upon entering the hotel we were totally impressed.
At $70/night, we definitely got a steal. Everything was perfect with the exception of 3 coffee pots that didn’t work. George wasn’t happy about that at all. I don’t usually drink coffee while on vacation so I didn’t mind. In any event, room service finally found one that worked and my mother was happy again.
If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel that’s a tram-ride away from both Schipol Airport and Central Amsterdam, definitely try out the Blue Square Hotel. We stayed there for 3 days and absolutely loved it!
Not exactly sure what the Kwaku Festival is, but Kwaku is a Ghanaian name for males born on Wednesday (which is my brother’s name). Pretty cool bulletin in Slotermeerlaan.
Our hotel is located in Slotermeer // Slotermeerlaan. And yes, I can say I love Slotermeer.
I only took pictures on Day 2 because the other days were used to spend time with family. I know it appeared I was on social media too much, but trust that I took the advantage of being present, especially with my loved ones. I have more family in Europe than I could count, and I love them all. It was so nice to meet for the first time my uncle, as well as reconnect with other aunts and uncles in Amsterdam.
And here we have a windmill. I’m not even going to pretend I know the history behind any of my photos. We were on a tour bus, and simply uninterested in the tour guide; but more so in the architecture of Amsterdam. Its so beautifully designed.
It’s also filled with canals between every alley. That’s my favorite part about Amsterdam: the canals. [Zara Dress – now on sale]
This was my second time visiting Amsterdam, so Red Light District wasn’t as shocking this time around. However, this was George’s first time, and being the conservative Ghanaian mother, lets just say she was mortified. Interestingly enough, there were actually many empty shops (no women inside) compared to 9 years ago during my first visit. I wonder if that’s due to the evangelists outside preaching for people to repent. [see live Porno show building to the right].
FYI its illegal to take pictures of the women in display windows, so I took one on the bridge.
To the right, you should see a building with the blue writing “Jesus loves you.” That brought a lot into perspective, considering you have to walk through that building to enter Red Light District where it seems anything goes. Prostitution, drugs, etc. Its all legal in this hood.
[Zara blazer, dress, and clutch.]
Quick flick inside the Gassan Diamond District. Oh. MY. God. I laid my eyes on real diamonds worth 55,000 euros plus. We learned about diamonds and how they are priced, etc. I literally wanted to cry after looking at one of the most pure yellow diamonds in the world. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the diamonds. But if you’re ever are in Amsterdam, please go to the diamond district.
Eating at Toetanchamon Restaurant. Honestly, It was meh. We had a nice convo with the owner, though.
Amsterdam is definitely a place to visit before you die. It can be a culture shock, but it’s totally worth it. Stay tuned for my Paris experience this week.
God Bless You!