Amsterdang

If Las Vegas and Venice got married and had a baby it would look like Amsterdam. It is full of beautiful canals and old cathedrals and has a party vibe full of young people. On Saturday Patty and I caught the AM train to Amsterdam, followed walking directions to our hostel, on a houseboat! Cool wooden boat, had 12 rooms, did summer cruises up and down the Rhine but in the winter serves as a hostel on the water in Amsterdam very near the center of town. Boat managers (Hank and …Hank’s wife) were very nice.  Took out multiple maps and showed us the ins and outs of Amsterdam, where to rent bikes, where to eat, etc. Hank also told us to beware of the difference between coffee shops and coffee house (the former is code name for “sells pot”, the latter is a place to get a regular cup of joe)

The weather was unseasonably warm, in the mid 60’s (locals were talking about it non-stop). Walked across the town to the Anne Frank house but the line was really long. Ended up just walking around a bit and getting the feel for the city, which is very busy. Clean but busy. Lots of bikes, holy crap lots of bikes.  Seriously… there were a lot. Ate dinner at the top of the library. This library is cool. It’s enormous, 6 stories, the top floor is a cafeteria.

On Sunday we rented bikes and rode them to the museum section. Bike rental in Amsterdam is the way to go. Can cover a ton of ground quickly. But have to keep your eyes peeled, cars and and the metro are fast and aggressive. We watched a lady almost walk right in front of a moving train. Visited Reiksmuseum which held many famous works of art. We did the ipod guided tour. Had lunch outside in a square right next to the Hard Rock Café – Amsterdam

Visited the Van Gogh museum. This was my favorite. They did a good job explaining why Van Gogh is a genius in his field of impressionism and of course they had many of his paintings. I left a big fan of Van Gogh.

Visited the Ann Frank house. I have not read the book. Somehow I never was assigned to read it in school. Read about the secret annex where her and her family lived for so long and saw the tiny rooms they called their home and were never allowed outside. I couldn’t imagine. Went out to dinner at a cute little restaurant.  We sat outside because Patty wanted to, but by the end we were a little chilly.  We had cheese fondue (Scott’s first fondue!) and mussels.  Delicious!

Below are some select pictures from the weekend Amsterdam excursion. For the entire album, click here.

Our houseboat in Amsterdam the Angeline

This car played no role in our trip but it is the coolest car i have ever seen.

The beautiful canals of Amsterdam

And their crooked buildings (I swear they were all crooked!)

Carefully listening to our “guided” tour in the Reiks Museum

This is an interesting painting. During this time the artists decided to break social norms and instead o painting a typical scene, the painter decided to have the characters look “out” at the viewer as if to say, What, you’re disturbing us! This was very risque at the time!

I know this guy, Van Helsing? Van Wilder? Vanagain?…

Subtle is not a word that would describe Amsterdam. The smell of weed was, not constant but regular.

I want to ride my bicycle!

I want to ride by bike!

What better way to end a day than to watch a movie backpacker style.

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