After an epic tour around Rotterdam and beyond on Day 2, we decided to sleep in past 10 am and just made it to the communal breakfast at NH Jan Tabak Hotel.
It was a lovely sunny morning, and we decided to do the 20 minute walk to the Bussum train station.
A little disoriented with a lack of sleep, we struggled to dig out the correct change for the train to Amsterdam Central from Bussum.
The train from Bussum to Amsterdam requires a switch of trains, and we unwittingly took the train that took us back to where we started!
We had quick bites of lunch from the little tuck-shop at the train station. I had a pot of deliciously creamy Dutch yogurt that came with a pot of dried berries including Goji and mulberry.
With all this train drama, we finally got to Amsterdam Central post 1 pm, and a fine drizzle took over the city.
We took shelter in a quaint little souvenir shop, and satiated the tourist need for Dutch mementos.
Being the last day in the Netherlands, we walked about the streets of Amsterdam absorbing the sights and sounds, and the fresh, cool air at 18 degrees.
My friend Anne Christien was generous enough to get us passes for both Madame Tussauds and the Amsterdam Dungeons.
We couldn’t make it to Tussauds, but the Amsterdam Dungeons proved to be an entertaining experience!
The Amsterdam Dungeon is a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam.
The Dungeon is an eerie theater with connecting chambers where groups are hosted by creepy yet hilarious acts by talented actors.
The acts are all in English, and are based on tales of soul trapping and pirates, treason for witchery, and even Jack the Ripper.
Watch where you are going, they are out to spook you. “Trust nobody” they say!
Pity we were not allowed cameras into the Dungeon. Perhaps its a good thing, because with all that running around, I’m sure I would have ended up with a cracked camera lens!
An Italian Feast
By the time we were out of the dungeon, we were literally starving!
We found this gorgeous little Italian restaurant called La Piccola Trattoria Da Tonino.
The medieval architecture of the building housing La Piccola looked so inviting with its tricolor signage and amber lighting within.
We sat by the window watching the Amsterdam skies turn a vibrant admiral blue. The city takes on a different persona at night.
To start off, we shared a thin-crust pizza loaded with Parmesan, olives, peppers and roasted tomato. The pizza disappeared in record time!
We also had a side order of bruschetta featuring stringy, warm mozzarella #omnomnom
Heena and I were craving risotto. Our lovely host for the evening said it was not on the menu that night, but kindly obliged the chef to custom make a plate for us.
We went for Mushroom Risotto with Truffle. It may not be very photogenic, but this blob of brown al dente rice has to be one of the most flavorful Italian dishes I’ve had to date. If only licking up the plate was acceptable!
When ordering Italian, ofcourse we have to end the meal with Tiramisu! The one at La Piccola was a light, airy cloud of mocha goodness.
Here is a click of Amarpreet with our host for the night. We didn’t catch his name, but loved how exotic each dish sounded in his yummy Italian accent!
Before we knew it, the lovely meal at Al Picco came to an end and we found ourselves heading back into the Amsterdam night for the last time.
The next morning was a mad rush getting our packing sorted. Ticket? Check. Passport? Check. Off to Schipol airport to catch a flight back to the UAE.
I am ever grateful to Suno 1024 and AFC Holidays Dubai for organizing this surprise trip to Amsterdam. I came back dreamy-eyed and refreshed with fond, exciting memories of a 3-day whirlwind tour of Amsterdam and beyond.
The Netherlands is a beautiful country, and I hope to revisit it again soon and do more exploring. A journey is double the fun with great company, and the highlight of this trip has been friendships; both old and new.
Meeting Anne Christien after nearly 2 decades was the biggest treat ever! Good friends can catch up right from where they left off, and I feel so blessed to have her for a friend.
And then there’s the three crazy-happy girls I met on the trip; my companions Heena, Neha and Amarpreet. Without their humor and zest for walking about, this trip would be far from epic.
Dankjewel Amsterdam! I hope we cross paths again soon.