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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Amsterdam? Is it the Red Light District, the canals, parties, or coffee shops? Seemingly known around the world for it’s liberal marijuana laws, Amsterdam is a haven for both pot-smokers and those who are curious about this green drug.

It’s actually quite impressive how this city is so well-run with weed as being a main attraction for many young travellers, just an example though for other countries to take it easy.

There are more than 150 coffee shops in Amsterdam alone, most of which are in the city centre near the Red Light District and Centraal Station. Many of them have a green and white flag outside of them, indicating that there is weed to be found and smoked inside, so wander on in and take a look. Atmosphere and style vary greatly but the basics are the same.

  • Ask to see the menu, since many shops are not allowed to openly advertise that they sell weed.
  • Weed is sold by the gram, price varies depending on quality, variety, falvour,e tc. You’ll find it anywhere from 7-12€.
  • There is a regulation concerting quantity, coffee shops can sell only 5g per person per day, so no bulk buying.
  • You can buy either a pre-rolled joint or roll it yourself, ask for some papers at the bar.
  • Order a coffee (either espresso or a cappuccino) and sit down.
  • If you need help rolling ,ask but make sure you leave a tip (one Euro is cool).
  • Light up and enjoy.

It isn’t hard to find a coffee shop, and very well part of the appeal is walking around exploring and wandering from one place to the next. Here are just a few addresses I’ve collected from other sites with recommendations and it’s a good place to start:

De Rokerij – Lange Leidsedwarstraat 41, near Leidseplein

Baba – Warmoesstraat 64, Red Light District

Hill Street Blues – Warmoesstraat 52a, Red Light District

Coffeeshop Tops – Prinsengracht 480, near Leiseplein

Hunter’s Café – Warmoesstraat 24

Café ‘t Arendsnest – Herengracht 90

DampKring – Handboogstraat 29

Amsterdam has a lot to be discovered, not just coffee shops but since it’s such a prominent attraction for young travellers, I thought I’d cover the topic a little before my own trip to Amsterdam at the end of the summer. I’m looking now to find a cheap flight to Amsterdam, hopefully for the end of the summer so I too can experience this part of Dutch culture for myself.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What was your coffee shop experience like?

FYI: Amsterdam recently passed a ban for smoking tobacco indoors, which put a damper on things but some places either have a designated tobacco area or have herbal tobacco substitutes you can smoke.

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From beach-front to mountain top, Gran Canaria is my first choice for a summer holiday destination. Long popular for its white sandy beaches, laid back lifestyle, rowdy night life, landscapes, blue waters and Spanish hospitality, the Canary Islands are packed when summer hits with Dutch, British and German tourists. Is this any reason to steer clear of the Canary Islands this summer? No way!

It’s the third largest out of the Canary islands  but definitely boasts the largest population. One of the most stunning parts of it can be found in the middle, far away from the sandy shores. You’ll find spectacular mountains, almost like from the Himalayas, unbelievable considering how small Gran Canaria actually is. it’s the perfect place to get the best of both worlds: hit the beach, get a tan and perfect their sand castle building skills but also have a chance to travel inland and explore the islands other natural beauties.

Las Palmas is the biggest city on the island and it attracts a mix of people from around Europe. It can get to be a bit much sometimes though and if you’ve had enough then head to the smaller villages along the coast. Arucas is the perfect solution. It’s completely laid back  and even has a few architectural sights worthy of a few pictures. Teror is also pretty and has great farmer’s markets.

The beach front resorts and hotels are what Gran Canaria is famous for (I’m not sure whether I love it or hate it) but if it’s not your scene there is plenty of horse back riding, hiking, trekking and other activities to do while on holiday. There are dozens of quaint towns with beautiful churches and especially historical old towns.

More than this, Gran Canaria is very easy to get to from the UK. There are cheap flights from Bristol to Las Palmas with both low cost and regular airlines. Once you arrive, hire a car and see the island at your own pace. You can take the bus around, but it’s time consuming and costly. Have any more ideas of things to do in Gran Canaria?

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T0 many Brits the case is closed, the Isle of Man is full of strange folk and is the place where weird things happen. It is however a whole lot more than this. The Isle of Man may be the secluded summer destination of many wealthy Brits but it is far from strange. The island itself is a natural paradise: rolling hills, lush and green valleys, rugged rocks along the coast. What could be so strange about that?

Sitting in between Ireland and England, the Isle of Man is a rare mix of Norse and Gaelic traditions, both having settled there between 400 AD and 800 AD. Today it is still heralded for its culture, heritage, landscapes and most of all its legends.

The island is ruled by Manannan mac Lir, the god of the sea, who protects the island by hiding it under his cloak when invaders are coming. Fairies are said to make their home here, so when you’re passing over Fairy Bridge make sure you wish them a ‘Good Morning!’ or ‘Good Afternoon!’ in order to ensure good luck for the near future.

It’s true that many visit the island for the TT Races every year, but if you ask me, it’s hardly a reason to go to the Isle of Man. Why watch some motorcycles when you can hike through the hills, explore the coastline and enjoy a steaming dish of spuds and herring, the local favourite?

You’re bound to wind up in a pub at some point during your trip to Mann, so pull up a stool and ask the bar tended to tell you some stories about the island. There is a reason why many refer to this place as the Isle of Strange, but it’s up to you whether you are going to believe it.

How to get there?

There are cheap flights from Liverpool to Isle of Man for £45 round trip. Both flybe and easyJet fly there on a daily basis.

You can also take the ferry from Liverpool or Heysham to the island’s capital, Douglas. During the summer there is also service from Dublin.

Don’t give into the legends of strange on the Isle of Man, travel there and discover it for yourself!

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Dublin, the capital of Ireland is a perfect place for autumn holidays. The City of Dublin is both the capital and the largest city in Ireland – an important cultural centre, with wonderful mingling of ancient and modern Gaelic art.

lighthouse ireland

It has a maritime climate with mild winters and moderate summers, with raining almost all the year round. Among the best deal hotels I had found on a price-comparing website, there is Dublin IMI Residence, a prestigious 3 star hotel located right in the heart of the city, offering 50 spacious and tastefully decorated rooms, available from 57 euros per night. I’d rather opt for a cheap hotel in Dublin, mainly because of financial reasons, and also to stay near the National Museum of Ireland or the National Gallery, but also within walking distance of the Temple Bar district and its famous nightlife… J Bewleys Hotel Ballsbridge is another 3 star hotel from the list that has excellent brewery and a renowned gourmet restaurant. To spend an extraordinary day outside the city, why not go to Shelbourne Park or Leopardstown to bet on a horse race or greyhound? You could enjoy the last moments of your stay walking along the banks of the Liffey, where you can see many wonders, like the Christ Church Cathedral or the Ha’penny Bridge. If you stay in the IMI Residence, the luxury hotel in Sandyford Road, you’ll be closer to these monuments but you will be to pay 60 euros per night to enjoy the impeccable services and the beautifully decorated rooms. For further information visit: http://www.gov.ie/en/

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