Around Amsterdam

Trip Start Aug 14, 2011
Trip End Aug 30, 2011

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Monday, August 29, 2011

The morning dawned cloudy and rainy. We boarded our bus for a tour of the city and a visit to the Rijksmuseum.  Amsterdam is a city of bicycles.  There is a pinkish path through the city that is designated for bicycles only.  It is more dangerous crossing the bicycle lane than it is crossing the street.  It appears that more people ride bicycles than drive cars and they do not stop for you.  They carry children on the bikes, ride with umbrellas in the rain, and talk on cell phones while riding.  There are even special garages for bicycles.

Many of the houses are built in old warehouses and have hoists on the gables that were used for hoisting items into the warehouse.  They are now used to hoist household goods into apartments. 

Amsterdam has many canals and these canals are used to provide additional housing in houseboats that line the canals

We crossed numerous canals as we traveled to the museum.  The Rijksmuseum houses many paintings by the Dutch Masters of the 1600's.  From there we walked to the Diamond Workshop where we observed the diamond cutting process and were shown many beautiful diamonds which they were hoping we would purchase.  Lovely to look at but we couldn’t afford to buy.

On the way back to the boat we hopped off the bus and tried to go to the Anne Frank House, but the line was too long.We had to get back in time to take a canal boat tour.  So instead we wended our way back to the boat on foot, rain and all.  We traveled through the shopping district and found a Burger King to eat lunch.  We thought about a coffee shop, but there is a big difference between a "Coffee Shop" and a “Koffie Shop”.  In a Coffee Shop you may get a bit more than coffee as soft drugs are legal in Amsterdam.  After finishing lunch we continued on through the “red light district”.  This activity is also legal in Amsterdam, and although it was afternoon there were a number of “ladies” selling their wares.  They were very shy, however, about photos.

We safely returned to the boat and later in the afternoon took a tour along the canals of the city. 

Then it was time to pack our suitcases for tomorrow we board our plane for home.
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