June 10, Amsterdam

We were up at 6:00 and away for the Gare du Nord by 6:50. The metro was not busy and our reconnaissance of the station paid off, we easily found our platform and waited in the Thalys lounge with coffee and pastries until boarding time. Travelling at an astonishing 290 kmph, the ride was smooth with only a little sway, but the views were often blocked by railings, fences, or trees and photo ops were limited. We were still a little apprehensive because our hosts would not be there to meet us and had not yet told us how to get the key. Fortunately, as we crossed the Belgian border, we got a text message telling us where to pick up the key. To our surprise, the metro vending machines would accept neither our credit cards, nor paper currency, and we were fortunate to find a Metro employee with a portable credit card reader to sell us a pass. We caught the metro to near our apartment, picked up the keys at a restaurant and wrestled our luggage up an incredibly steep, narrow stairway to find a bright, clean, modern, well equipped, almost austere, but pleasant 1 bedroom apartment, a block off the River Amstel. The information package was excellent, and we headed off to shop for groceries. On our return we were ready for an early wine o’clock and overindulged. Sleeping for nearly two hours we woke to pouring rain, had dinner, and did some travel chores, by which time the rain had ceased. The anticipation of exploring a new city was upon us, and we headed off, rain coats and umbrella at the ready, to explore the neighbourhood. We strolled to the Amstel, crossed the Nieuwe Amstelbrug bridge with views of the city, cruise boats, and rowers on the river. As we followed the west bank to the Singelgracht canal, we found that much if not most of the route was taken up by road, parking, or bicycle lane, leaving little if any room for pedestrians. Our route along the canal, west to Vanwoostraat, before crossing and returning to the Amstel before following the river north to Sarphatitraat was uninteresting. Recrossing the river, we stopped at the posh Intercontinental Amstel Hotel where the staff were more than eager to show us the lounge, restaurants, and foyer. Thinking this the only venue we had seen on the trip that seemed appropriate to Sheila’s new dress, we considered returning for drinks one evening, just to give her a chance to wear the dress. Back to the apartment and bed.
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© David E. Moon, 2019 All rights reserved

June 10, Amsterdam

We were up at 6:00 and away for the Gare du Nord by 6:50. The metro was not busy and our reconnaissance of the station paid off, we easily found our platform and waited in the Thalys lounge with coffee and pastries until boarding time. Travelling at an astonishing 290 kmph, the ride was smooth with only a little sway, but the views were often blocked by railings, fences, or trees and photo ops were limited. We were still a little apprehensive because our hosts would not be there to meet us and had not yet told us how to get the key. Fortunately, as we crossed the Belgian border, we got a text message telling us where to pick up the key. To our surprise, the metro vending machines would accept neither our credit cards, nor paper currency, and we were fortunate to find a Metro employee with a portable credit card reader to sell us a pass. We caught the metro to near our apartment, picked up the keys at a restaurant and wrestled our luggage up an incredibly steep, narrow stairway to find a bright, clean, modern, well equipped, almost austere, but pleasant 1 bedroom apartment, a block off the River Amstel. The information package was excellent, and we headed off to shop for groceries. On our return we were ready for an early wine o’clock and overindulged. Sleeping for nearly two hours we woke to pouring rain, had dinner, and did some travel chores, by which time the rain had ceased. The anticipation of exploring a new city was upon us, and we headed off, rain coats and umbrella at the ready, to explore the neighbourhood. We strolled to the Amstel, crossed the Nieuwe Amstelbrug bridge with views of the city, cruise boats, and rowers on the river. As we followed the west bank to the Singelgracht canal, we found that much if not most of the route was taken up by road, parking, or bicycle lane, leaving little if any room for pedestrians. Our route along the canal, west to Vanwoostraat, before crossing and returning to the Amstel before following the river north to Sarphatitraat was uninteresting. Recrossing the river, we stopped at the posh Intercontinental Amstel Hotel where the staff were more than eager to show us the lounge, restaurants, and foyer. Thinking this the only venue we had seen on the trip that seemed appropriate to Sheila’s new dress, we considered returning for drinks one evening, just to give her a chance to wear the dress. Back to the apartment and bed.
Tap/Click to begin slide show
© David E. Moon, 2014 All rights reserved