Saturday May 3 -- off the barge in Amsterdam
It was somewhat ironic given that the past week on the cycle tour we had mainly cloudy and dull mornings, and here we were docked in Amsterdam waking up to a bright blue sky.
We had our final breakfast with the group and said our farewells to the other fifteen cyclists and to the four crew members. Although our hotel was on the other side of the city centre and we had lots of time before check in, we decided to take a walk through the city, stopping half way for a morning coffee in the sunshine.
Being a few hours early for checking in, we left our luggage at the hotel in a special room. We caught the local tram to the Central Station and bought tickets for the one hour canal tour. While waiting in line for the tour we met two young Canadians from Ottawa who had just arrived that morning in the city. We chatted for about half an hour while waiting to get on our tour boat. The canal tour was interesting and we were glad to be off our feet and sitting. After the tour we slowly made our way back to the hotel where we checked in and headed to our room to put our feet up.
Late afternoon was time for another trip to the laundry. We now know the routine at the local laundromat and are 'old hands' with the automation. It took us not quite two hours to wash and dry a huge load of cycling clothes that can now be put away at the bottom of a suitcase.
Since it was quite late by the time we finished the laundry chore, we decided to have an early dinner at a restaurant a few doors down from the laundromat. The restaurant was a small Italian restaurant called Restaurant De Sneeker Pan, and was just what we needed -- a glass or two of red wine, an appetizer each and a pasta dish. We enjoyed a nice meal of penne cooked with Gorgonzola cheese (Heather) and pasta al forno (Gary) following which we walked slowly back to the hotel, window shopping and watching the world go by.
We spent some time reading brochures and planning our next two days in Amsterdam. There is a lot to see and do and not much time!