A day in town
I awoke this morning to a lovely day, but by the time we headed to the city centre it was raining, not hard and not cold, so nothing to complain about. We only had to buy an umbrella to solve any issues.
We decided to purchase our train tickets for our trip to Germany on Friday so we made the train station our first stop. It is a really large building the train station. We were able to book our tickets to Osnabruck, where we will stay with Ralph and Christiane. We also got our tickets from Berlin to Crimmitschau. Very good service as usual.
With the paperwork out of the way we could spend the day sightseeing. I brought a new hat; seem to buy a new hat every holiday.
And, I also had a shave as I forget my electric trimmer and De doesn’t want me to be to bushy. It will grow back but I haven’t been clean shaved since 2012, hopefully I can get through immigration.
The city is a real maze of streets and canals, it is hard to know where you are but it is fun just wandering about and seeing what you find.
The number of places selling marijuana products is really high (excuse the pun).
I don’t think I have ever been anywhere with as many eating options. We always prefer to eat local food so we had lunch at a cafe with Dutch food.
We topped off lunch with a nice piece of Dutch apple cake. They do apple cake very well and it was a nice finish to a traditional meal.
The diversity of the population means that the options are wide and varied. There is a lot of Asian options, Italian and plenty of sweet options including pancakes, pastries and gelatos. Dutch is definitely in the minority however. We seem to find this a lot on our travels, it is a pity that tourist destinations cater for economics rather than tradition.
The canals are fun and give a sense of space. You could travel around the city by canal in a small boat which would be interesting. The architecture is mostly reflective of the past and there is not many building over the 5 story range. I like that about European cities as the historic buildings are not crowded out.
It was not that busy today, there are still plenty of people but we weren’t fighting our way around. The number of tourists is an issue here, and people feel it is making it hard to enjoy the city. This seems to be a theme around all the worlds tourist hotspots.
I felt people were well spread as there are many places to visit. We didn’t go to any museums or galleries and I’m sure they get really busy. We were happy to just explore the street scene, and gently weave through the many streets and alleyways.
We have really become used to the slower pace of life and now happily enjoy being in smaller places when we travel. Where we are staying is a nice area and it is only 30 minutes by tram to the city centre.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer. The services are excellent and you are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating and shopping. Most people speak English and are happy to converse and help when required. I’m pleased to have seen it and enjoyed how pleasant it is to be here. It is easy to see why so many people have immigrated here.
If you are a kiwi who loathes cycle lanes and think cyclists are a pain then you will not want to visit Amsterdam. Cycles are king and everyone seems to have a bike and they prefer to use them over driving. There is no need for helmets and everyone seems to be courteous. I haven’t observed any incidents between pedestrians, cars, trucks, bikes, taxis or trams. It is amazing what a little patience can achieve.
Add holland to your European holiday for sure, great place to start as we work our way across the continent.