Saturday, June 20, 2009

Notes from Damrak

Hi y'all from Amsterdam

Our first impressions are very favourable. What a laid-back city! There don't appear to be any Beautiful People in Amsterdam but there are a LOT of people having a good time. A large serve of Patates Frites seem to be de rigeur at 4pm. And shouting as one returns drunkenly to the hotel, or rolling one's suitcase loudly on the cobblestones is the go at 4am. Take it from me.

We are staying at a budget hotel on a very busy street and we have a front room with a street view, which also means street noise. The room is comfortable in itself, and we have trams right outside the door that take us in all directions. We are quite jet-lagged and will be hoping to sleep properly tonight without waking at 3 am, or having too much of a nap and sleeping through until 8pm, which is still in bright light. Earplugs are a distinct advantage. Say no more.

So far we have seen the flower market, been on a canal cruise, wandered around the Dam, booked tickets to Delft for Sunday, eaten cherries and grapes, smoked eel, been to the Rijkmuseum, the Van Gogh museum, eaten lunch in the park, wandered the sidestreets and seen the coffeeshops, and after our sleep-in nap had a very nice Thai meal on the edge of the red-light district. We wandered home through the area, a bit underwhelmed and noting that there were a lot of men in Amsterdam everywhere. It was curious

Today we have been to the AlbertCuyper Markts. It was very long, it went for blocks and blocks, but we only bought fruit and chocolate. The trams are very easy to navigate, and everyone speaks English which is extremely handy. We kid ourselves that we're pronouncing the names of places properly, and every now and then locals will butt in and tell us we're heading in the wrong direction! They've saved our bacon heaps of times! Luckily all the trams come so frequently that we don't have to wait too long for the new one in the other direction.

We are also acclimatising slowly to the traffic direction and the bike lanes - I have nearly been squished a few times stepping onto tram tracks and looking in the wrong direction!

Overall it is an immensely pretty place, interesting and old, easy to get around, with good inexpensive food and friendly people. We are suffering slightly from the affliction known as "Museum Feet" but otherwise having a marvellous time. Naturally, photos of interesting places and sights are being taken...but I forgot the USB cable for the camera so you will have to wait. Sorry. It really is very picturesque. Ooh, but we could try this link and see the video e-card we sent to the kids. Its pretty lame but...authentic.

Whats new in your world?


Frogdancer said...

The way you've phrased your sentence, it sounds like you two have been smoking eels. I hope they were dead before you lit them.

Scott's Abode said...

Sounds like fun! Have a great time.

InfoMidwife said...

oh I hope I am not too late but if you have the chance go to Anne Franks house!

Alby Mangroves said...

Perhaps the women were 'busy' indoors ? Well, it was the red light disctrict! LOL So glad you are enjoying yourselves :))