Posted by: Scotty | September 9, 2009

first stop… Amsterdam! (Bike City)

Waahhoooooo! My Euro trip kicks off with a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam and let me tell you, it was a ton of fun! My fears about not being able to communicate went out the door after seeing signage in Dutch and English; when speaking to the locals, many spoke English. Also, being surrounded by other tourists from countries all around the world put me at ease. There’s a lot of cognates, or similar sounding words in Dutch I was able to pick up from conversations going on around us. However, the WC is something I never heard of before, it’s European for “Water Closet,” or the restroom!

“Bike city” is the nickname I give for Amsterdam, there is just a ton of bicycles everywhere, thousands of them-and bike racks for each bike-everywhere you look. Many of the bikes weren’t locked up either. There are even beverage carts operated by bike peddlers. The people were very kind, but watch out for any motor vehicles, we almost got hit a few times because the sidewalks are shared by motor scooters, bikes and pedestrians. I didn’t see one truck, (other than the city busses, and semi’s for commercial purposes) all the vehicles were either smart cars or compact BMW’s.

My parent’s and I started out by taking the bus from the airport to the city center and explored around. We stumbled upon this great city park, Vondel Park, and took a sip at my first Dutch coffee, it was the smallest cup of Coffee I have ever had, but the strongest, hottest and best I have ever had. Next, we decided to take a canal tour, (check out the video and pics!) what a beautiful city, “quaint” as my dad put it.

Amsterdam is a fishing village connected by hundreds of canals, very cool. The canals date back to the early 17th century, first starting out for residential development in the height of their immigration and then for water diversion, transport, and defense systems. You really start to appreciate a city–a country, after you start to learn about its history, people and experience the vibrancy for yourself.

Until next time…

-Scotty out!

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