Last night we had had the opportunity to meet others in our group, 52 of us in all! It looks like a nice group of people and I know we will enjoy getting to know them.
A wonderful ice breaker was our dinner last night. The group traveled into town in Amsterdam, our hotel is in Amsterdam but not near the center of town but is on a canal and in a wonderful residential area with many different small shops. We ate in a restaurant called Humphreys and the food was very good and we had our first sample of French fries with mayonnaise. I didn’t do the mayonnaise but others said it was very good.
The highlight of our night was a canal cruise through different areas of town. It was very interesting to see the houseboats on the canals from large and beautiful to let’s say, in need of repair! The old homes and warehouses along the way were fun to see, you could see inside some of them and may still had the very old wooden beamed ceilings and gorgeous chandeliers. Later we will have time to walk around the canals and see things from a closer point of view.
My first impressions of Amsterdam isn’t that it is a beautiful city in the classic sense, but it is an extremely interesting and unique place. There are many areas to explore and learn about. My biggest impression is of all the bikes, they are everywhere! They are are chained to virtually every pole in town, there are bike riders everywhere, and we even saw a huge bike garage! You have to admire people that bicycle everywhere, especially in this climate. Our guide said that they bicycle everywhere all year in all types of weather.
Today is a busy day starting with a visit to the Rijks Museum that jus opened last weekend after being closed for 15 years, then we go to Keukenhof Gardens, and then to Anne Frank’s House. We are also hoping to have time to explore the city later in the day.
I’ve added some pictures below of our room at the Hilton (overlooking a canal), some of the buildings near here, and images from our canal cruise. Please let me know if they don’t show.