Biking Around the City

Trip Start Apr 20, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2009

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hey everyone! I know that I am not in Amsterdam for the typical reasons that most people my age come here... but I am enjoying my time! It reminds me of the canals of Venice, which I loved and there is just a vibe about this city that can't really be described. It's low-key and yet still full of life. I was told about a free bike tour and was pretty annoyed to find out that my information source was wrong and it ended up costing 15 euros... It was nice to have someone lead us all around the canals of the outer parts of the city and take some pictures for us, but other than that, I probably should have gone on a free walking tour of the more historical downtown area.
So I decided to rent the bike for an extra 3 hours to bike a bit out of town along the Amstel river, to see some countryside and windmills, since my tour was relaxing, but not very scenic. I headed off with two guys from Leeds that had been on the tour with me. Turns out that just following the river - like the guide had told us to do! - was not as straighforward as one might think. Aparently we missed some sidestreet to continue following the river and ended up biking around the huge Amstel Business Park. Which was not what we had in mind at all and was a huge waste of time! If I had known, I would not have even bothered renting the bike for the extra time. Oh well... I rode it around to catch a bit more of the city that I hadn't seen yet: the flower market and the quiet little Begijnhof area that has the oldest house in Amsterdam. Then it was time to bring it back, which was fine with me because I was starting to get a really sore rear-end from riding for 5 hours straight!
Now I am back at my hostel, which is a Christian hostel - in Amsterdam of all places! They actually have this one and another in the downtown redlight district... I am really enjoying it here, but am grateful to be headed to Belgium tomorrow night to save some money when I am visiting with my friend Toon and his girlfriend. But they are starting a Bible study in a few minutes and afterwards they are showing a movie about the life of C.S. Lewis, so I have to run!

Oh! I just have to say that the Anne Frank museum is fantastic! I'll have to come back and add the details for that... : )
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