Monday, February 25, 2013

I AMsterdam - Fell in love with this city

Feb 2, Saturday:
Spent the day in Amsterdam during a long layover on my way to Asia.  Started the pre-sunrise morning walking along the canals of the Jordaan neighborhood, in the snow.  Toured Anne Frank's house.  Amsterdam is a really cool city, when it comes to city history and layout.  I love that.  It's below sea level, and they have a series of canals for transport and defense purposes.  I had lunch at the place pictured below, the Waag, or old weigh house where goods being brought into the city were weighed.  Walked through the Red Light District.  Did a canal boat ride.  Strolled past the museums and Vondel Park.  A packed day, soaking in as much of the city as I could.  Even the airport at Amsterdam is awesome, with its own mini-museum (an extension of the Rijksmuseum), multi-lingual library, lounge areas, impressive cafeteria, and cocktail education area.

Next, it was off to a certain Asian country, although I didn't make it past immigration because we found out that my visa was expired once I got there... so it was back to Amsterdam.  Worked Asian hours, but on a couple of evenings, I went out to take in more of the city.

Monday - did 6.8 mi in 57:39, 8:28/mi on ave. 
Wed - did 9.3 mi in 1:23:54, 9:00/mi on ave.

Heinekin Museum, where I poured my first beer from the tap. 



Also went to the Amsterdam Historical Museum, which was really cool and had lots of everything.

Saw the Van Gough exhibition at the Hermitage Museum, went to Rembrandt's house, did another boat tour...


Visited a windmill, and helped to turn it to face the wind (I didn't know those things could turn - ingeneous!).


Visited one of the canal houses owned by an aristocrat from the 1800s, visited the Canal House museum that told you the history of the city with really cool show-exhibits.  Went onto one of the boats, which was turned into a museum to show you how people live in it.

There are interesting bridges spanning the canals, with nice photo ops everywhere.  If you ever go, I recommend getting the I AMsterdam card, which gives you free access to most public transport options, plus free entrance to many museums.  The savings you get on the public transport alone is huge.  However, the cost vs. the benefit may be kind of even if you get the 24-hr version.  I got the 3-day version, and that definitely made it worth it.

People bike all over the city, which is really cool.  In all kinds of weather, they bike.  Eco-friendly and active... my kind of thing.  I fell in love with Amsterdam.  London and Amsterdam are my favorite cities so far.  I like how easy it is to get around on public transport.  I like how there's so much culture and history there, too.

Saturday - 5.6 mi.  Deleted the time before I could record it.

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