The International Firework Festival we think you should see

The International Fireworks Festival in Scheveningen 2017 gives a new definition to firework. Eight different countries such as China, France, The Netherlands and last year’s winner Spain, compete with each other and throw everything in the battle to be the very best. But, only one can be the winner, chosen by an experienced jury and welcomed by a beach full of enthusiasts. 

The fireworks are lit from a floating platform, 275 meters from Scheveningen beach, so the view is magnificent from the entire boulevard and beach. 

This is why you should to go
Normally I have to wait for fireworks untill New Years Eve, while freezing to death and feeling nauseous from an oliebollen overdose. (Try this Dutch traditional snack if you get the chance but don’t have more than 3!) I still remember the days that I wasn’t even old enough to light my own firework and just stared astonished at the colours going op in flames, high in the black sky. Meanwhile, I have already seen fireworks a million times. Well… 25 New Years Eves to be exactly. Slight difference: I’m now usually more focused on the the sparkles in the champagne than the ones in the sky.

International Fireworks Festival

The art of the International Fireworks Festival has completely changed the way I feel about fireworks. I saw the opening show on Friday the 11th of August and I was truly stunned by the way this sky art is made with rockets, colours, fire and sparkling shapes. I had goosebumps all over my body while watching the show from the Kurhaus balcony. Yet, this time the goosebumps weren’t caused by the temperature. For 10 minutes I could shout out nothing but sounds of excitement. The festival set the sky on fire and seemed to stop the time. There is no way I could explain the way it looks, because the words just wouldn’t do it justice. You’ll just have to check this one out yourself.

boulevard-scheveningen-11-8-2017-richard-mulder

Tip: If you want to add a little bit more sparkle to the show, book the Fireworks Festival Waves Package at Kurhaus. The view from the luxurious balcony is stunning and enables you to enjoy the thrilling show while enjoying a three-course dinner. Food and fireworks, what’s not to like?

The International Fireworks Festival is held on August 18th with the final on the 19th. Watching this spectacle is free!

Check the website for more info.

Love,

Eva

The Wanderlust Barcelona Guide!

Barcelona is one of those cities that you keep coming back to. As much as we both love exploring new places, this Spanish delight keeps pulling us back every 2 years or so. It might has something to do with the fact that Barcelona has a wonderful beach combined with a vibrant nightlife that includes one of the best cuisines in Europe. We booked a weekend away with TravelBird and checked out the newest and best spots so you can relax and enjoy your citytrip. Here’s our Wanderlust Barcelona Guide!

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Why Choose TravelBird?
There are tons of travel agencies out there so we can imagine that it’s hard to pick an agency that really suit your needs. So why book with TravelBird? And why go with an travel agency at all? First of all, we noticed that the website of TraveBird is super easy to navigate on and looks fresh and modern. Secondly, once you’ve booked your trip, you will receive an inlog so you can quickly check all of your documents onto one page. You can find your boarding pass, hotel info, possible transfers and contact details. TIP: download the TraveBird App so you have everything on hand PLUS you can keep an eye on the latest travel deals! 

retrome-hotel
Hotel Retrome

But the one thing we really liked is the diversity of destinations and type of accommodations they put on offer. Our hotel was a retro style boutique hotel named Retrome in the lovely area Eixample, close to pretty much everything including the beach. Even though we arrived during high season, the area we stayed in was peaceful yet full of local cafe’s and restaurants. The reception knew our names which made it feel very personal. Something you don’t see everyday. But let’s be real, they already had us when they offered us a free glass of cava ;-). The whole trip was just so well organized. All we did was book and go. And that’s pretty much all you want to do when you’re enjoying a weekend away right?

wanderlust Barcelona Guide

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
It’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you arrive. Food. Food. And more food. Barcelona is a city with many “hotspots” and these are our favorite ones!

» Lulu’s,  It’s a tiny cafe in El Born where you can eat healthy. There are a few tables outside and they serve Iced Matcha Latte’s!
» Nomads coffee, we passed this hipster coffee house by chance and grabbed a coffee to go. They take it serious, so expect a real tasty cup! nomadcoffee.es
» Brunch & Cake, Hotspot number one at the moment. They serve well known dishes in a very special way. Go for the Blue Acai Bowl, Green Bagel and try one of their juices! if you need to wait for a seat (chances are, you will) grab a lovely coffee at De La Crem right across the street. cupcakesbarcelona.com
» The Green Spot, brand new in Barcelona and already one of the best veggie spots in town. It doesn’t matter whether you are a vegetarian or not, the pretty dishes will make your mouth water. Prices are a bit higher than usual. encompaniadelobos.com
» Flax & Kale, not new but still hot, you need to check it out if you are around. Get your phones out, because this is Instagram worthy food! 80% of the food they serve is plant based and their slogan is Eat Better, Be Happier, Live Longer. Well, that never hurt anyone, right? teresacarles.com
» Tropico, for the best juices in Barcelona! Inspired by tropical destinations, this hotspot is something you cannot miss out on. tropicobcn.com
» The Surf House, next to the beach you can find this popular joint. The food is healthy, tasty and pretty. The vibe is just like you can imagine from a place like this. Book activities such as paddle surf , beach workouts and surfing of course. Also keep an eye out for their mobile food truck that you will find around Barcelona. surfhousebarcelona.com
» Blai Tonight It’s not big, it might be a bit too popular but we still think you should try it. Blai tonight is located in the Poble Sec area and has been voted as one of the top 10 places to go when it comes to your value for money. Their famous Pinchos only cost €1,50 and if you do it well, you can eat for only 10 euro per person including your drink! Facebook

food-in-barcelona-wander-lust
From left to right: Lulu’s, The Surf House, Brunch & Cake and Nomad Coffee

COCKTAILS & DANCE
Barcelona offers a great nightlife. As a first time visitor you may run to the Las Ramblas but we would advise you to avoid this tourist trap and visit some other places where the cocktails are also flowing and the atmosphere is great.

» Champagneria, the name might ring a bell, Cava galore! Facebook
» The Mint, They say some of the best Mojito’s are made here..That’s enough right?! Facebook
» Yurbban, this hotel has a cool rooftop with one of the best views in Barcelona. You can only use the pool if you are a guest but you are welcome to enjoy a few drinks during the day or night. yurbban.com
» Jamboree, if you like jazz, this is your club! masimas.com
» Zero KM, combine dinner with drinks and stay until they close. They serve tapas with a twist and the food can be described at high end.
» La Terazza, this club and bar is tucked away in the Olympic village, so you must know that it’s there. This outdoor club hosts parties and plays good music until the early hours. laterrrazza.com
» Elrow, If you feel like a real crazy party with confetti, attributes and costumes, you must visit an El Row party. Originated from Barcelona, this infamous techno club is now making waves all over the world with parties in Amsterdam, Dubai and New York. Some of the best DJ’s play at the club and during the summer months there are several events so keep an eye out on the website. elrow.es

Yurbban Hotel Rooftop, Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
The rooftop of the Yurbban hotel

EXTRA TIPS
» Rent a bicycle we can’t say this enough. Really, it’s the best way to see the city. We got ours for 15 euro per 24 hours bit there are many options throughout the city where you can rent one.
» Visit Bunkers del Carmel aka “Bunkers” for the best viewing point. A friend tipped us about this old bunker build on a hill back in the 30’s. Not everybody knows about this special place and it’s worth seeing the sunrise or sunset if you have the time.
» Talk to the locals, we always do this and this trip was no exception. It brought us to a cool graffiti skate park!

Cycling in Barcelona, Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
Cycling had to be a part of our wanderlust Barcelona guide

Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
Cycling through the Parc de les Tres Xemeneies

I don’t think we need to convince you to go to Barcelona but maybe we have convinced you to go back, yet again. To book our trip and stay in the same retro hotel, check  www.travelbird.nl! For more inspiration and to get a chance to get featured, follow @TravelBird on Instagram!

Love,

Wander-Lust

*We collaborated with TravelBird for this article

More tips about other Spanish destinations? Check our Spain section!

Meet the Willem Pie Healthy Bakery Amsterdam

Work, work, work. It’s such a huge part of our daily lives that almost everybody strives for a dream job. For the most of us it won’t be more than day dreamin’. Just a splinter group has the power and drive to make their dreams reality and create their own dream job. A few weeks ago I met girl boss Willemijn. She’s the proud owner of Willem Pie Healthy Bakery – thumbs up for her cool brand name. Because I was touched by her fascinating, sincere story – ánd of course because I’ve fallen in love with her pies as a test taster (life as a ‘foodie’ is heavenly I can assure you) – I had to share her inspiring story with you! Say hi to Willem-Pie Healthy Bakery Amsterdam!

The story behind Willem-Pie Healthy Bakery Amsterdam
Willemijn has been a lover of baking since she was a little kid. Especially inventing her own baking’s made her enthusiastic and happy. Up from a year ago baking was just a hobby for the fun. But wat started as a fanatic hobby next to her full-time job at the HR department at accountancy giant PwC, grew out into a 24/7 job as a sweet treat maker, so cool!

Willem-Pie Healthy Bakery
Willemijn at work

Please, please follow your heart and make yourself intensely happy day in, day out.

If we really want something, we always postpone it, crazy right? Sometimes something really has to happen before you’ll follow your heart. A few years ago the well-paid job at PwC came on Willemijn her way. But whether this was her dream job…? She continued and continued, because everyone was in the 6th gear and didn’t seem to stop. Until she was abruptly stopped by a serious burnout. That moment, that has changed everything! She was done by being an ‘office slave’ instead of doing what makes her really happy. Baking, that’s her daily fuel she needs. Bye bye PwC, Hello Willem Pie Healthy Bakery Amsterdam! Her message for you: please, please follow your heart and make yourself intensely happy day in day out.

Cheesecake Willem-pie Healthy Bakery
THE guilty free Cheesecake

Guilt-free guilty pleasures
Two years ago Willemijn met the healthy girls of the popular Green Happiness. From that moment she has changed her food lifestyle and became a happy vegan. Not because it’s such a trend right now through documentaries like ‘What the Health’ and so on. No, Willemijn is convinced by the impact of animal products, gluten and refined sugars on her mental and physical condition. Because she’s conscious of her diet, she also wanted to make guilt-free sweets, it’s closest to herself. For example, think of cakes and other sweets without lactose, gluten and chemical food additives.

bananenbrood-willem-pie-amsterdam
Banana bread

OK, in case you’re very hungry at the moment – sorry to make things even worse for you. All the sweet stuff of Willem-Pie is simply too delicious for your eyes, let alone your taste buds. Personally I really love to have a cheat day (or two), resulting in a sugar rush, and that’s too bad. But the more I find out that my belly and skin don’t like dairy and processed products, the more open I become to healthier alternatives. As a sweet tooth I really love cakes and the sweeter, the better. But as a test taster of Willem-Pie I tasted the best sweet creations without even noticing that there’s no shitty stuff in it, seriously. Cheating guilt-free, how awesome is that! So last weekend, I served my sister and boyfriend a Snickers cake and cheesecake (see header photo). Guess what? Both didn’t perceive they ate pretty healthy sweets, so Willem-Pie’s mission has been accomplished! Still prefer a cake with gluten, lactose et cetera? Of course, that isn’t a problem either for the baking mistress but it’s great that the option is there at least.

My birthday is in two weeks – hip hip hooray – so I know where to shop my cakes! In case your favourite sweet treat is not on the menu, Willemijn becomes very fanatic when you challenge her to make a guilt-free custom made guilty pleasure. What stops you? Go for it and experience the finger lickin’ good stuff of Willem-Pie.

Love,

Sharmaine

Willem-Pie
Website
Facebook

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on @sharriefromsandmountains!

The Northern (high)lights of Vietnam

Vietnam is hot. And i’m not only talking about the weather. This long stretched south-east Asian country is on the rise for backpackers and travelers alike. Not so strange when you come to think of the perfectly spiced and easy-to-digest food goodies, bright rice paddies, staggering karst mountains and sandy beaches. Vietnam is the place to be if you want to take in as much different scenery as possible. If you start of in the North of the country, there are a number of hotspots you simply cannot miss.

Happy in Hanoi
Sweat is dripping of your face, not to mention the rest of your body. Around you it’s a hot mess of honking motorbikes, waving salesladies and strange smells. This is Hanoi. One of the two big cities of Vietnam and for many travelers the kick-off of their journey. It’s also the gateway to many of the highlights in the North of the country. Many people use this city in exactly that way, a travel-through kind of city to get to more beautiful places. But Hanoi should not be overlooked. It’s a bustling city with lots to see, feel and do. For all you foodies out there, your mouth will water with the endless options of amazing dishes. From sitting on little plastic chairs on the street to high-class dining it’s all there. My advise: opt for the plastic chairs for intense flavors and a true local experience. Think rice pancakes, filled with shrimp, beansprouts and pork. Fresh springrolls, rice noodles with beef and amazing broth, it’s all heaven. Order a glass of fresh draft beer (starting at 20ct’s a glass!) look around you and enjoy! Besides eating, Hanoi offers enough sightseeing. Go to the Hanoi Hilton Prison to experience what it was like being captured by the French, to the Ho Chi Minh Masoleum to see the body of Vietnam’s great leader (check opening hours carefully to avoid closed doors) and stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake where Vietnamese kids will try to learn some English by starting a conversation (and taking some selfies). Budget wise, Hanoi won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Hotels and hostels are cheap and fine. My advise: the Bluebell Hotel. In the middle of the backpacker district, offering large and clean double rooms with a funny and friendly manager and price tag.


The streets (and rails) of Hanoi

Halong Bay Beauty
Probably the most famous landmark of Vietnam, Halong Bay lies a 3,5 hours drive east of Hanoi. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is full of amazing vista’s, high-rising karst mountains and deep green waters. It’s not an option to go to Vietnam and not see this epic landscape. There are several ways to see the bay. Cheap and less touristy is arranging a bus to Cat Ba and board a tour from there. However, this does take up a lot of travel time that you could have spend on the water. Feeling lazy? Book a tour in Hanoi and everything will be arranged. Some pointers: never book a one day trip, as you will spend most of your day in the bus traveling towards Halong Bay. 2 or 3 days is perfect (also on days 2 and 3 you will enter the less touristy part of the bay). If you want to have a relaxed and clean stay, always go for those that are a bit more expensive. Sailing 3 days for 80 dollars will most likely mean you share your cabin with cockroaches and a fishy smell. The tours that come with a price between 130 to 160 dollar (for 3 days) are worth the splurge. Always ask what you get for the price and what kind of luxury (or not) you can expect. Now all you need to do is chill on one of the loungers on deck and take in the view!

Halong Bay, Northern Vietnam
H
along Bay

Scenic Sapa
Rice fields as far as your eyes reach, in stunning shades of green. A local ‘mama’ guiding you around on steep paths and into their homes. Sapa, close to the Chinese border, is not to be missed. Unfortunately I did miss it and still regret it deeply. Everyone who has been there, mentions it is one of their Vietnam favorites. You can take a bus or a train there, and local guides will be waiting to take you at the station. This is a cheap way to see Sapa (most of the times this includes two days of hiking and one night in a traditional homestay). If you feel more comfortable knowing who you are going with upfront, book a tour. Do expect lots of begging little children and people trying to sell you stuff, the tourist industry is booming here (not in a good way). You can avoid this a bit by booking a tour that takes you to another part of Sapa and usually only costs a few dollars extra.

Imagine lush green mountains and valleys full of rices fields

Biking Mai Chau
A lot less touristy and still very beautiful is Mai Chau. Those who have limited time, will often skip this area since it is not on the standard route. But that is a mistake. Mai Chau feels more authentic than most of the other places in the north. Imagine lush green mountains and valleys full of rices fields. Add the occasional herd of cows crossing the road and local markets (not advisable for those with sensitive noses and stomachs) and you have a pretty good picture of what to expect. Cycling through the valleys is the way to move forward and to learn about the traditional Thai and Hmong people living here. During your bike ride, you might encounter the 1000 steps stairway, leading to a cave and a great viewpoint. Be aware that these stairs are not for those who are in a bad shape. The steps can be slippery and are quite uneven. Oh right, and there are a thousand of them! The perfect place to spend the night is Mai Chau Sunrise resort.

Tam Coc Adventures
They call it Halong Bay on land and the latest King Kong movie (Skull Island) was shot here. For a reason I might add. The Tam Coc mountains are stunning. To gaze at the mountains you can book a boat ride, but this is expensive and a lot of travelers mention it’s unpleasant due to the demands for a big tip by the ladies rowing the boat. So, why not grab a (motor)bike and see the area on your own terms? It’s the perfect way to explore and enjoy. Climb the stairs at Hang Mua (only 500 this time, and way easier) for an Instagram worthy shot of the karst mountains and the river. If you have the time, make your way to the temple complex of Bai Dinh (about 20 KM from Tam Coc). Even if you are not a temple lover, this place will impress you.

Northern Vietnam, Tam coc - viewpoint
The stunning viewpoint at Tam coc 

Booking A Tour
‘Book a tour’ is mentioned a number of times above. But in Hanoi, there are almost more tour agencies than there are motorbikes (okay, not sure if that is possible, but still) and not all of them are honest with what they sell. But there is one local angel that will make your trip (and life) a little easier and fun. Lily’s Travel Agency truly is number one. They offer fair prices, but above all: honest advise (they actually listen to what you want and what you don’t want) and the best service I’ve have ever had from a tour operator (including free water and fruit while waiting and a free beer when we stepped back into her office to give some feedback).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there are some rice pancakes calling out my name.

Love from Vietnam,

Jill

Amsterdam Event Calendar for August 2017

Pretty August, you have been quite unpredictable so far. You give us rain, sunshine and thunderstorms. But we don’t mind, as long as you have some cool events for us this month! And August has good news because there are plenty! Enjoy our Amsterdam Event Calendar for August.

Andy Warhol Expo, Beurs van Berlage
When? From the 2nd of July until the 30st of Sept
What? Portret, soup cans and coke bottles from the famous artist

Summer Nights in Artis (Zomeravonden)
When? June – July – Aug, Artis Zoo
What? Saturday evenings in the Zoo until the sun goes down.
Artis Zoo let’s people enjoy Saturday evening until the sun goes down by opening up their doors to the public. There will be performances, music, storytellers and you can learn about the animals and their nightly activities. Check the website for more info

Zoomeravonden
Zoo nights in Artis

Vondelpark Open Air Theater
When? from the 5th of May throughout summer
What? Concerts, performances and fun for children
This open air theater in the middle of the famous Vondelpark has been organizing music performances since 1974. For the next 5 months you can enjoy performances and concerts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For all the dates check www.openluchttheater.nl

Amsterdam Pride
When? 4th – 6th of August 
What? Amsterdam is turning pink
Unicorns, glitter and rainbows will color the city this weekend when the Pride comes to Amsterdam. There are too many parties and events to mention so we’ve made a separate Pride Guide for you so you don’t miss out on the action!

Amsterdam Pride Guide, Wander-Lust

Sunday Market
When? 6th of August, Westerpark
What? Our favorite market at the beginning of each month!
It’s the first Sunday of a new month, so this means that the famous Sunday Market is here! It’s great to bring your kids too! www.sundaymarket.nl

Urban Camp Site, Science Park
When? Until the 31st of August
What? Sleep in a work of art
If you’re into camping, you’re going to love this camping site! Sleep in various works of art that all have their own unique little secret or function. All objects are transformed in a little hotelroom. Be quick as bookings go fast! For more info and our review check Eva’s article!

NDSM Food Festival
When? 4th – 6th of August, NDSM 

What? A brand new foodtruck festival in Amsterdam North
We can’t get enough of food festivals and we think this new kid on the block will cure your hunger! For opening times and more info check www.ndsmfoodfestival.nl

ndsm-food-festival

Pride Plastic Fishing
When? 6th of August at NEMO
What? Cleaning up the canals after the Amsterdam Canal Pride
Parties like Koningsdag and the Amsterdam Pride are nice, but they also leave a lot of plastic and trash into our canals. Every year the organisation Plastic Whale organizes a day where you can help cleaning up the canals by “fishing” plastic. If you have your own boat you can join but they also have (recycled) boats available. Just send us an email at join@plasticwhale.org. Facebook

24Kitchen Festival
When? 12th + 13th of August at The Hallen

What? The food TV Channel is hosting a tasty event
Tickets cost €12,50 but for this you will get access to the event, cook workshops, tastings, meet & greets with TV chefs and two 24Kitchen meals. More info here.

24-kitchen-festival

On The Roof 
When? Until the 15th of August
What? Music with a view
Enjoy jazz sounds and world music on top of the Op Zeezand with a fantastic view over ‘T IJ. Ticket are available from €14,-. The capacity is limited with only 100 seats per show, so make sure to book your tickets in time. www.on-the-roof.com

Pluk De Nacht
When? 16th until the 26th of August, Stenen Hoofd
What? Open Air Cinema
Movie lovers get enjoy summer nights in front of a big screen around the corner of Amsterdam Central station. National and international movies will be played and there will be some foodtrucks. Entrance is free. Facebook

pluk-de-nacht-festival

Uitmarkt
When? 25th – 27th of August, various locations
What? Cultural festival in Amsterdam
It will be the 4oth edition of the Uitmarkt this year where you can enjoy theater, music and art. It will be the kick off of the cultural season and is hosted at a new location this year, the Oosterdok. Check the website for all the info. www.uitmarkt.nl

Grachten Festival
When? 11h – 20th of August, around the canals
What? Classical music around the canals of Amsterdam
If you love the canals of Amsterdam combined with classical music, this is your festival! Music on the water always sounds good but add beautiful lights and decor and you have the Amsterdam Grachten Festival. www.grachtenfestival.nl

grachtenfestival 2017

Icarus Festival
When? 29th of August, Cafe Ceuvel

What? Inspiring festival
The pressure to perform at work or in our private lives is huge nowadays. This festival is all about embracing your failures and laughing it. There will be music, peptalks, theater and workshops. Get ready to be inspired! Tickets are available from €15,-

Enjoy August!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Everybody in Amsterdam is drinking this Summer Cocktail

What time is it? Cocktail o’clock you say? We have a new favorite summer drink and it’s created with a local brandy named JAJEM.

Jajem is locally distilled brandy from Amsterdam and has ingredients like elderflower, lemongrass and hibiscus plus it’s vegan, so cocktails for everyone! You may have seen or drank this cocktail at a festival or several bars but if you haven’t heard of the Red Light Mule, here is the recipe for the Amsterdam summer cocktail of the year:

Red Light Mule Ingredients:

  • 50 ml Jajem
  • Ginger Beer
  • 2 parts of lime
  • Mint leaves
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Ice

Amsterdam summer cocktail
This year’s summer cocktail

Serve it in a American redcup (for the full affect) or a pretty glass and tadaaaa! Here’s your summer drink for this summer. For more info about Amsterdam JAJEM, check this link.

*We did not collaborate with JAJEM for this article, we genuinely love it!

More recipes? Check them here!

 

The Amsterdam Pride Guide

The Pride Amsterdam is happening this weekend and because we support equality and love anything hysterical, we’ve made a separate Amsterdam Pride Guide for you so you know where to be to find the rainbow!

Levi’s Pride DAA Talk Event
When & where? Levi’s Kalverstraat
What? This season Levi’s has teamed up with DAA, a non profit organization that seeks to raise awareness and to educate people about HIV/AIDS.
Levi’s 
and DAA will co-host a lecture in the Levi’s Kalverstraat Store 167-179 on the 4th of August to discuss topics ranging from how hiv/aids is affecting the youth of today to how we can fight stigma with Ayke Gubbels (a trained psychologist)! It’s for free with drinks & food!
Sign up here
Besides the lecture you can also shop for the limited edition Pride collection! More info on Facebook.

levis-pride

Bo Nam X The Aiscream Karaoke Show Pride Edition
When & where? 3rd of August, Bo Nam
What? Karaoke, pride style!

Bo Nam, Amsterdam Pride Guide

Open Air Cinema at Nieuwemarkt
When & where? 2nd – 3rd of August, at Nieuwemarkt from 9pm
What? Inspiring movies in this open air cinema
Watch the movie The World Unseen, a film about identity, racial differences and desires on a big screen at the famous Nieuwemarkt square. Entrance is free!

Pride High Tea at The Duchess 
When & where? Until the 6th of August, at The Duchess
What? High Tea, Pride style
Especially for the Pride, restaurant The Duchess have prepared a colorful high tea for you. Expect unicorn cakes, sprinkles and tasty pink! Who’s joining between the 31st of July and the 6th of  August? www.the-duchess.com

the-duchess-amsterdam-pride-guide

COCKTAIL – Amsterdam Gay Pride 2017
When & where? Friday the 4th of August, Sofitel Legend The Grand
What? Pride cocktails in style
Wanna go a bit fancy? Than this is your party! Tickets cost €42.50 p.p. but include a free welcome cocktail, four drinks and a goody bag. Info

19983355_1314807481950570_4206927166179421429_o

Team Unicorn: Pride Pop-Up
When & where? 4th & 5th of August, The Hoxton
What? Pink, sparkles and UNICORNS
Think sparkles, blowing bubbles, rainbows, glitter, lemonade, dances, balloons and laughs with some very special deals on some great unicorn tees. You’ll be all ready to hit the streets and dance for Pride with the whole team backing you up.

La Suite Pride Amsterdam
When & where? 4th of August, at 5&33
What? A fabulous pink indoor party
Amsterdam is world famous for its open minded culture and the yearly Gay Parade. To celebrate this special occasion we organize a La Suite Special the 4th of August. The line up includes; Ewout Colijn, Diva Mayday and one of our favorite DJ’s, DJ Sunny!

la-suit-amsterdam-pride-guide

PRIK Pride Street Parties – Gay Pride 2017 Amsterdam
When & where? 4 – 6 August, Spuistraat 109

What? A pride street party
After last year’s huge success the Prik pride street party is back in the Spuistraat. They say it will be even bigger than last year and one of the biggest street parties in Amsterdam! (also because the Reguliersdwarsstreet isn’t hosting a party this year) For 2 days the Spuistraat will be closed off for traffic to celebrate our pride and freedom in Amsterdam. A line up of Amsterdam’s best DJ’s will be on the outdoor stage opposite PRIK. Together with the outdoor bars, food trucks and happy crowd all the ingredients are there for a wonderful party.

This is my Pride Weekend – Dam square
When & where? 4 – 6 of August, Dam Square
What? Celebrate diversity on the most famous square of Amsterdam
A full party program from Friday until Sunday with a cool line up such as Boney M Revue, Lady Bee, New Amsterdam Orchestra live met Trijntje Oosterhuis, Candy Dulfer & friends and entrance is completely free! On Friday and Saturday the party starts at 4pm and on Sunday at 2pm.

Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade
Where & when? Saturday the 5th of August
What? Last but certainly not least is of course the best party of the whole pride. The canal parade.
From 10am till 10pm you can feast your eyes on colorful boats with half naked men and women dancing to loud music and pink confetti. 

Amsterdam Pride Guide 2017

Enjoy this year’s pride!

Love,

Wander-Lust

The diversity of Basque Country, Spain

Perhaps Basque Country has never come to mind when thinking of a Spanish holiday but this green part of Spain will pleasantly surprise you.

Basque Country is situated near the border of France and has a landscape that includes mountains, green valleys and coastlines. You can find different scenery all into one region and that’s what makes this place so amazing. It’s a region that is often overlooked in favor of more conventional destinations in Spain. If you decide to visit Basque Country after reading this article (chances are, you will), we have a few tips lined up so you can enjoy everything in just a couple of days.

There are 5 Guggenheim Museums located in Europe. Guess where you can find one of them?

The 3 Cities and their Culture
Basque Country is full of culture. Every year, especially during summer, you can enjoy several exhibitions, activities and events. This year, the capital of Bilbao celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum, where you can find high quality exhibitions that are well worth the visit. The famous landmark is covering a wide variety of artists and themes in both contemporary and modern art. The Guggenheim Museum is housed in Bilbao, Surrounded by mountains and sea, from its origins as
an industrial hub, it has evolved into an international reference point for urban design and has set the standard as a model of urban regeneration. Internationally renowned architects showcase the model regeneration of Bilbao. A city that has managed to find a different way to express itself with design firmly at its heart.. Tip » buy the Bilbao Card to get free access to several museums and attractions. With this card you can travel with Bilbao’s public transport.

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The Guggenheim Museum

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Puppy & Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao

San Sebastián, also locally named Donostia, is a beautiful coastal city close to France. It has even won the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture back in 2016. Surrounded by mountains and located next to the sea, it’s a popular place for tourists. Did you know San Sebastián has one of the most beautiful bays in the world with 3 city beaches? Close to San Sebastian, you will find the Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa. This museum is a homage to one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century and you can see selected pieces of his collection. This year, the fashion brand exist a staggering 100 years! 

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A perfect viewing point over San Sebastians bay

Once voted the “European Green Capital”, Vitoria-Casteiz is surrounded by stunning nature

The third city we need to mention is Vitoria-Gasteiz, once voted the “Green Capital” of Europe. This city is surrounded by nature and is also the most important centre for logistics in Northern Spain. To do’s here are; taking a stroll through the “Green Belt” which is full of flora and fauna and includes wetlands and lakes. There are also some great Jazz festivals and events happening in Victoria, with the best ones in April and August. Another popular attraction is the old quarter they call the “Medieval Almond” where you can find the Cathedral of Santa Maria and a unique project called “open for work” inspired Ken Follet in his novel “World Without End”. To find out more about these 3 amazing cities, check here.

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The streets of Vitoria

849.00 KM. 7 stages. 109 landscapes.
Another popular thing to do, is to take a roadtrip through the beautiful landscape of Basque Country. On this route you will find beaches, quaint little villages, vineyards and forests. We can imagine that it’s hard to choose between the many options, but you can easily find the route that suits your needs. There are also 3 pilgrim trails that will take you to the more offbeat corners of the Basque Country; The St. James’ Way Coastal Route, which takes you around the countryside and ever changing landscapes. The St. James’ Way Inland Route where you will pass coastal landscapes, greenery, farms and even industrialized localities. You can also opt for the Ignatian Way, a trail that covers 675 km. To find more info about all these routes, check this link. Another highlight is San Juan Gaztelugatxe, a small island connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. 

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San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Wine & Dine
If you’re a real foodie like us, you’re at the right place. The food and drinks are very affordable and locally produced, so you can really taste the different regions. Because the gastronomy, from the most traditional to the most innovative, is one of the hallmarks of the Basque Country and is deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people, linked to its history, customs and leisure activities. The secret? The excellence and diversity of the raw materials that the sea and land of the Basque Country provide and the expertise of the great Basque cooks.

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There is an unmistakable joie de vivre in Basque Country

Whether you are looking for a lazy beach holiday, a culture trip or an adventurous trail through nature, Basque Country has it all. Maybe it’s time to opt for a different kind of Spain when you book your holiday next time?

Wander-Lust
www.wander-lust.nl

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Road Trip Essentials

We’ve all been on holiday across Europe. Exploring beautiful destinations, enjoying the sunshine and simply enjoying life. But what better way to really discover the continent than by car? A road trip with your family or best friends is easily described as the journey of a lifetime. Visit stunning cities and historical heritage, climb the steepest mountain passes or just keep on driving on the coastal highways beside the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Are you ready to make unforgettable memories? We have lined up some road trip essentials you should check out before you hit the road!

Life is meant to be explored
Start with carefully mapping out your desired route. Do you want to visit the posh and sunny coastline of Marbella in the south of Spain or are you looking for a challenge by conquering the mighty Stelvio Pass in Northern Italy? How about a quick peak in Monaco before heading out to the picturesque landscapes under a perfect blue French sky? Online you can find loads of excellent examples of different road trips that will take you from the sunny shores of Portugal to the goldy beaches and ancient highways in Greece.

Road trip essentials

Road Trip Essentials
Before you hit the road there are some essentials you have to check and pack. First and foremost: make sure your car or van is in tiptop shape before you take off. Keep yourself and your family or friends safe on the road and let a specialist put your mind to rest. While a technician is doing the final check-up, you might as well get some shopping done. Always make sure that you have enough to drink during your trip, preferably cooled. Getting stuck in traffic under the scorning French sun is always a possibility, some extra water will make sure that you literally don’t have to worry. Stay hydrated and don’t forget to bring your favorite snacks and a good playlist!

When traveling, be ready for everything. Besides stocking your car with emergency supplies, don’t forget to bring an emergency kit. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Ending a road trip because of a car breakdown, that’s just harsh. But there’s a simple yet indispensable solution. Your road trips are a lot safer with a suitable car insurance. To protect you, your passengers, your road trip and your car. Determine which conditions are important to you and choose from a wide range of optional extras, like breakdown cover, legal cover or a replacement vehicle no matter where you are in Europe to complete your insurance. All set with these road trip essentials? You are now ready to live life to the fullest and conquer the continent through your car window!

Best,

Wander-Lust

*We collaborated with HEMA for this article

5 beach clubs in The Netherlands you should visit this summer

The Netherlands is famous for it’s long stretch beaches and endless amounts of beach clubs. So many that sometimes is a bit hard to make the right choice. Where will the food be the best? Where do they have the best ice-coffee or ambiance? We’ve listed our 5 favorite beach clubs of the season.

Bries, Noordwijk
This beach club is situated in Noordwijk. You can enjoy a Mediterranean menu with Asian influences where you can taste several fresh fish dishes. If you like meat you can go here for the steak market on Sundays. On other selected days you can even enjoy yoga classes or massages! Not sure if the weather is good enough? Check their live webcam to see if the sun is shining! 
Koningin Astrid Boulevard 102, Noordwijk 
www.briesnoordwijk.nl

Bries
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Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee
When we visited this beach bar a couple of years ago, it felt like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order the famous Dutch Croquette on bread to keep you grounded. A big plus is that parking is free at Wijk aan Zee, so if you get there early, you can get a great spot near the beach!
Reyndersweg 1, Wijk aan Zee
www.timboektoe.org

timboektoe-beachclub

Unbuntu Beach, Zandvoort
It’s Sarah’s favorite beach club, and even though this one has been around for ages, it never get’s old. So why do we love it? The food is good, the service is great and they have swings (I mean, hellooo). Time to visit this all time favorite.
Boulevard Paulus Loot 1, Zandvoort
www.ubuntubeach.nl

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Blooming Beach, Bergen aan Zee
6km from the lovely Blooming hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So last year they opened beach club Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. 
Parkweg 37, Bergen aan Zee
www.blooming-hotels.com

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Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande
If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach.

This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers or close your eyes and pretend you in Bali..
Slag Vlugtenburg 5, ‘s-Gravenzande
www.elementsbeach.nl

 

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Love,

Elke