Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18th - Amsterdam!

Beautiful here!

We leave tomorrow for Belgium. :)

But first, let me tell you a few things about our time here in Amsterdam.

Yesterday when we arrived we took a bit of a break at our hotel and then headed out to see Anne Frank's house. And we headed pretty much straight across the city from where we were. And you know where that took us? Straight through the red light district! :D Exciting! Or not.... at the very least, it was definitely different.

We made it through mostly unscathed...lots of scantily clad women behind glass...not really my thing...

As in every European city we've been in, this one is also full of smokers, but as most of you know are familiar with Amsterdam, you'll be unsurprised to hear that they're not smoking tobacco here!

Let's see...we took the longer way home last night to avoid the red light district.

Don't get me wrong. Amsterdam really is beautiful. Beautiful canals everywhere. The Dutch people really built this land. Literally in many ways. And the town has lots of fun details. The houses tend to be crooked because the wooden foundations are rotting and between that and when they replace them, they're not always straight.

Anne Franks' House was really cool. Very emotionally moving. It's hard to understand how people could have been (and in many places still continue to be) so incredibly racist.

Pancakes, waffles, and frits have all been consumed! More to come in Belgium!

Today we went on a three to four hour bike tour of the countryside around Amsterdam. We'd originally planned on a different bike tour, but that one ended up being full and we switched to another company. Very fun. Not as informative as some of our other bike tours, but a lot more biking. I should note, however, that the ride was still pretty easy. In that time slot we only went about 15 miles. We had a nice stop at a farm that made cheese and wooden shoes. And we definitely came away with some delicious cheese!

I'm not sure how we managed it, but we arrived in Amsterdam just in time for their warmest days. We'd sort of been looking forward to cooler weather, but I think we'll have to wait for that...

Ice cream and other random snacks and we pretty much collapsed upon returning to our hotel rather early-ish. Good times!

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