Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

We arrived in Amsterdam yesterday morning at 8am. The 9 hour flight from Houston to Amsterdam was not as bad as I thought, although, I was unable to sleep form more than (maybe) 4 hours--all in about 30 minute increments. Being located in an aisle seat close to the restroom, I found my seat being used as a "sling-shot"as people exiting the restroom pulled on the headrest of my seat to spring themselves forward down the aisle as they made their way back to their seat. Great fun!

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful! Sunny and 75!

From central station we took a canal ride to our hotel.

We had several hours to kill before we could check in, so we walked to a market just a few blocks from our hotel. It was a massive market with fresh fruit, veggies and clothing, etc. Once we were able to check in to the hotel, we settled in for a much needed nap! Our hotel room (pics to follow) wins my brother, Dave's, "Smallest Room Award." There is room for bunkbeds and not much else. The bathroom is also quite small, but everything is clean and comfy. All we need.

FYI...after carrying my backpack for much of the day, I determined that I STILL packed too much...I was very ready to have that thing off my back by the time we made it to our hotel room.

After our nap, we freshened-up and jumped on the canal bus (we purchased a 24 hour pass; it's a great deal, but we would have gotten more use out of it if we had purchased it for today) and made our way to the Anne Frankhuis. The tour was quite surreal. Most have read the book and watched the movie, so have a grasp of the story. However, it becomes more real, or maybe it's hard not to really internalize the dynamics and sympathize more when you're actually there. Not just seeing the artifacts and accompanying discriptions, but walking along the same floorboards where the Franks stayed in hiding; brushing against the same walls that they might have brushed against. Very sad indeed.

Once we finished the Anne Frank tour, we made our way to the Red Light district. What an experience. The energy in that area is wild. What's interesting to me is the overall laid back attitude. Sex, sex, sex everywhere, and no one bats an eye.

There's a bar right beside our hotel. After a few hours checking out downtown, we had dinner and the coldest, most delicious draft heineken I've ever had. The bartender, Aturo, was from Spain. We've met several people here; most are not locals. It seems that this is sort of a melting pot for parts of Europe, but my view is from a very small slot of time...Everyone here is so friendly and TALL. I'm pretty average height here. Wild. Oh, another oddity that I noticed is that toilets are taller here than in the states...I suppose because the average height is so much taller.

It's a "Seattle"day here today. We went to Dam Square to meet with a walking tour and must have just missed them. We are taking our own walking tour (from one of my guidebooks) now...just stopped by the OBA (open biblioteque amsterdam) to check get a break from the rain; check email, etc. Hopefully, we won't get too lost on our tour. Amsterdam is relatively small and public transport is pretty easy to figure out though. Later we head to the Rijksmuseum then off to Paris tomorrow!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I blew the Seattle weather your way. You're welcome!