|A LOOOOONG day!! Ben and I got up at 7:00AM on Wednesday and it is 4:00PM home time on Thursday (10:00PM here in Amsterdam). We slept very little on the flight over and arrived on time at 7:30AM. The time here is 6 hours ahead of Lexington. The airport in Amsterdam is the busiest in Europe and we had to walk about a mile to luggage claim, caught a taxi and arrived at our cute hotel on Vondelpark, The Parkview.
Of course since it was 9:00AM our room was not ready so we stored our luggage and took off to see Amsterdam. We got our Holland Pass and got on a hop off-hop in(SPLASH) boat tour on the canals. The weather was beautiful and 75 ---the first nice day of the year here--- so there were people every where. We hopped off, walked the cute streets near the city centre, and ate lunch of bangers and mash which was different but delicious. The most impressive thing about about this city is the number of bicycles. They are EVERYWHERE!! We saw a multi-level bicycle parking garage, bigger than most car parking garages in the states. and bikes were parked seat to seat in the whole garage. The sun was very hot and we were very happy to hop off the boat near our hotel. We discovered a beautiful shopping street with high end boutiques on our walk back but no buying today!! We came into our room as I was about to drop from exhaustion and took a long nap. As we left for dinner, we peeped into Vondelpark and people were everywhere, sitting on blankets chatting, riding bikes, playing games and enjoying the beautiful weather. So unlike the US, very few people were on cell phones but were talking, laughing and enjoying each other. The same was true during our sidewalk dinner which lasted 2 hours---no one on cell phones but lots of people smoking, Not sure which is worse. Back to the park, half of the hundreds of bikers were on their phones either talking or texting while riding. I wonder how many deaths occur from bike accidents while on their phones!
Day 1 is over and tomorrow we are off to see the tulips!!