London and Amsterdam – for 4 days
Having learned that the budget airline EasyJet is now flying to London, we decided to arrange a budget weekend in London and extend it somewhere in the neighborhood. Our choice fell on Amsterdam. Last time, the ships were again back and forth between these largest European ports and financial centers, today you can easily get all the same EasyJet.
The only obstacle to the ideal journey was a British visa that almost a month. Waiting for news from the visa center, we have been pretermanding, afraid that the trip will break. Everything went out, but we recommend to get acquainted with a visa strongly in advance.
Easy Jet arrives at Gatwick Airport – a half hours drive from London, but Taxi take pointless – it will cost as a Moscow-London ticket. It is better to take advantage of the train station to Victoria – he goes all half an hour.
London is not the most budget city in the world, but if you think everything in advance, you can see everything from pain your sights on school textbooks and at the same time do not go.
For us, this was the second visit to the capital of Great Britain. For the first time we dreamed of sailing as the British and removed the room in "cozy" a house with a garden and a cat in the British, who had to feed us with breakfast in "Pink" living room. As a result, our stay there turned into a nightmare. To the cat and the garden did not let us. The primary Englishwoman tended us in every way and rotten fruits and carved oil for breakfast with sour mine. At night she was noisy with friends of hours to two, not letting us sleep. At home she was terribly dirty.
We decided not to repeat the mistake, and search inexpensive, but a good hotel that meets all quality standards. As a result, we chose Holiday Inn Express Earls Court – just in several metro stations from the center of London. Holiday Inn Express is different from the more expensive Holiday Inn by the fact that it offers a good basic service without unnecessary modern tourists of luxury. There is no fitness center or restaurant, there are no rooms of different categories and no minibars in the rooms, but there are good beds, clean bathtubs with a powerful shower and hairdryer, a kettle in the room – the dream of a Russian tourist, a complimentary breakfast, free internet and parking – all What is needed to a budget traveler. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and a lobby and ironing board with an iron will be part of a travel friendly, which you need to look good and come to business meetings. Employees at the reception, and there are people with knowledge of various languages, specially teach them to be ready to answer any questions about tourists about the city. They will also help if the hotel has forgotten something, for example, a toothbrush, and bring to the number the newspaper if you ask.
After the raw English breakfast Full Breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausages, beans and toasts, we went to inspect the sights that did not have enough time last time. Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum are near.
We started from the Victoria Museum and Albert, where the exhibition is held now "Wedding Dresses". Unfortunately, it is impossible to take pictures. Maybe the organizers are afraid that someone copies the wedding dress Kate Moss? The most remarkable in the exhibition is that behind each exhibit – gloves, handbags, shoes, dress, hat – standing history. We will find out who I put it on the wedding, where there was a wedding and even how marriage was. Surprisingly, the British for centuries carefully collected and stored this information.
In the Museum of Natural History, we found that they do not push around there. On that day, the teachers, and, apparently, the parents from all over the city took the children to this interesting and interactive museum, where everything you can touch. Having looked at the skeleton of the dinosaur and Poland Children’s Book "Amazing world of taxidermist" In a luxurious shop at the museum, we went on.
It should be noted that I can save on the hotel and flight, it is quite possible to afford such joys of life as delicious food and shopping. Shopping in England, especially during the discount season, is very good. But we were more interested in restaurants.
We are accustomed to think that the English food is the worst in the world. But despite this, there are several dozen in London "Mishlenovsky" restaurants, not to mention the fact that you can find the kitchen of all countries of the world. The British themselves love asian. In addition to ordinary pubs with "Fish and chips", There are gastropabs offering a high kitchen based on traditional English dishes, for example, Harwood Arms – not far from the hotel. And even Fast Food amazes with its diversity. Where else in the world in the supermarket you will see a hundred varieties of sandwiches, of which half – a variety of sandwich with an egg.
We decided to combine the inspection of London with dinner and booked a table on the fortieted floor of a city skyscraper. Duck and Waffle Restaurant Opened a view of the entire London. It looks particularly well from there Tower, the Tower Bridge and the neighboring skyscraper, which the British called Gherkin (from German "cucumber") – They love to give nicknames to the alights ("Splinter", "Radio" and T.D.). Interestingly to come there in the evening and admire the sunset, sipping pink wine. Order, Of course, you need a DUCK and WAFFLE corporate dish – a delicate combination of ducks, waffles, eggs and sweet sauce.
Feeling the taste of London, we went to Amsterdam. The hotel decided quickly – all the same Holiday Inn Express near Schiphol Airport. Airport every half hour walks free shuttle. From there by train to the city center – 20 minutes. Supporters of a healthy lifestyle can rent bicycles right at the hotel.
Amsterdam Center on Canals – Historical Heritage, Places there is not enough, so all modern hotels are building outside the city. And especially popular area near the airport. Noise does not interfere, because the glass is very thick and solid, and at night the aircraft are forbidden to fly.
Arriving at our Holiday Inn Express Schiphol, we immediately felt that we "on continent" – So the British call everything that on the other side of the strait of La Mans. Even croissants in Holland were much more gentle and tastier British. But, however, the scrambled eggs were not – only boiled eggs. Apparently, breakfasts in this network are adapted to the tastes of local residents. And no free newspapers we suggested. But, however, we could not read in Dutch. But suggested booking tickets to museums so that you can go without a queue than we did not fail to take advantage.
We visited the Van Gogh Museum, happily bypassing a two-hour queue, and Rexmiseum – the State Museum recently opened after restoration.
Visiting a Reyxmüseum, you understand what rich and powerful was before Holland and what underlies its modern high standard of living. Dutch Merzdili Oceans and founded colonies, from where they brought gold, precious stones, silk, spices, porcelain in Amsterdam. The museum has a lot of exhibits from the overseas colonies of Holland, including unique pictures written by travelers. Dutch engineers were invited to work in other European countries. About their skills are indicated, for example, ships layouts presented in the museum. The museum itself is very comfortable, modern. Pictures complement furniture and life objects that create the atmosphere of the past era.
Having completed the review of museums, we have moved the restaurant George, famous for its lobster and grilled dishes.
Before traveling, friends gave us advice – not to order traditional Dutch dishes, except, except, sausage and frost-fries with mayonnaise and we strictly followed him. So we don’t know if the Dutch food is so bad, as they talk about her. But restaurants in Amsterdam are just excellent. And at every step you can eat tasty sugar waffles with different additives and Italian ice cream.
The next morning we were tasty challenged in the hotel Croissans with jam and butter and delicious Dutch cheese and went to the city. We have been planned for an hour walk through the Canals of Amsterdam.
With the help of an audio guide in Russian, we met the history of the city and its most curious buildings. We were amazed at how many bargaining houses moored in the canals and thought that next time you need to try to stay on such a barge. On the channels there, the boats are blown here, clearly taken by tourists. Picnics are arranged on the decks with drinking alcoholic beverages. For all this luxury, tourists are discredited from the shores, faithful to eat mandatory frills with mayonnaise. Strikes Amsterdam and abundance of greenery, which is so lacking Venice and St. Petersburg, also built on water.
Unnoticed dinner time. We have already booked a table in the ENVY cafe. Cooks in this restaurant prepare usual European dishes with fantasy from seasonal ingredients. It is worth paying attention to a large selection of cheeses.
After lunch, we walked around the city, watched the quarter of the red lights, in which, in addition to the houses of the night butterflies, there are still a church, kindergarten and a park, where hippies are resting under each bush from all over Europe. You also need to add that you need to walk around the city: you threaten the bike at any moment. The city is on the canals, there are few roads, so everything is moving mainly on bicycles. But for some reason, with a mad speed.
Tired of the city rhythm, we decided to dinner in the area of the hotel so that you did not need to go home by train. At the reception, we recommended a restaurant with European cuisine L’Hirondlele five minutes walk from the hotel. It turned out that in the area, in addition to modern glass office buildings and hotels, there are also whole villages with small houses and farms. On the shore of the pond in a separate white French-style house with a veranda and is located Restaurant L’Hirondelle. We ordered delicious risotto and salmon with tartar sauce.
From the hotel staff we learned that the Holiday Inn Express network comes to Russia. At the end of August, the first hotel in Voronezh opens. We will keep in mind when we decide next time to arrange a long weekend in Russia.
Our long weekend came to an end. Fake-seeking with soft pillows in the cozy Holiday Inn Express, which has become for this journey to the second home, we went to the airport to take on the aircraft to Moscow.