The trouble with Instagram is that it makes you want to travel. I can barely open the app without spotting photos of my friends flying to far-flung destinations, skiing down a picturesque mountainside or swimming in a turquoise blue sea. And it can’t just be me that’s seeing daily updates like this, can it? Okay, Instagram isn’t exactly a holiday brochure, but it pretty-much has the same effect on me. A photo of a glittering nighttime cityscape? It’s my blogging buddy enjoying a week away in New York. A steaming hot lagoon? That’s my friend’s new year’s trip to Iceland. And the northern lights? My brother’s mate lives in Finland. So forgive me for wanting to research exotic trips every time I try to put another photo of my sewing projects on Instagram (@Cassiefairy if you’re interested!).
Budget aside I’d love to visit all of these destinations, but home-buying tends to be an expensive business and I’d like to prioritise that this year. However, I’m sure that there are some nearer-to-home trips that I can take that will be just as Instagram-worthy as my friends’ holidays. So I’ve already been on the CitizenM website this morning, daydreaming of a trip to Amsterdam.
As the capital of the Netherlands, it’s a city that I’ve always wanted to visit but have never found a reason to go. My husband has been there recently, and really I should have gone on that work trip with him but I was too busy to take a break at the time. When he returned home with photos of canals and giant waffles I realised that I’d made a mistake. I vowed to go with him ‘next time’ and I’m already drawing up a list of places I want to visit while I’m there.
I’ve been recently writing artist profiles so one of the first destinations on my ‘to do’ list is the Van Gogh Museum. I’ve read a lot about the artist and have recently been researching his work, but I’ve never seen his paintings ‘in real life’. When the Sunflowers exhibition was on at the National Gallery in London, the queue was a couple of hours long to see the exhibition, and tickets were rather expensive too. So hubby and I wandered around the gallery instead and, as we were passing a large door, it opened and we could see right into the Sunflowers exhibition. We weren’t more than a few feet away from the painting so technically I have seen it, but only for the few seconds that the door swung open and then closed again. Just that little taste of Van Gogh was enough to make me want to visit the museum in Amsterdam.
I’d have to time my visit to Amsterdam carefully because I’d love to visit the Unseen Photo Fair, a week-long festival in the city centre in September. Countless galleries and venues are involved in this photography fair and exhibitions, talks and workshops are going on all around the city during this week. The book market for the Unseen Photo Fair seems like a winner for me – I imagine that I’d need to take an extra suitcase for all the books I’d want to bring home.
Another essential stop off would be Canvas on the 7th – a bar and restaurant that’s open all day (even for breakfast) as well as in the evenings. It in the Volkshotel and offers a spectacular 360 degree view of Amsterdam from this rooftop venue. I think that it would be great to visit at sunset to see the golden glow over the city, and then the twinkling lights as night falls. But then again, I bet everyone goes to Canvas on the 7th at sunset, so I expect it would be busy at this time of day. Still, it’ll be a must-visit destination for me and my photographer husband so we’ll definitely incorporate it into our trip.
So that’s me sorted for a weekend away in Amsterdam – I just need to figure out the travel arrangements and where to stay now! Where would you dash off to this year if you could visit any city in the world? Let me know your holiday plans and dream destinations in the comments below or tweet me @cassiefairy.
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