Arrived in Amsterdam! Beautiful city. Beautiful. Quite cold, with ever-changing conditions (rain, snow, sunshine, wind) that i had forgotten from my England days. Amsterdam is near the same latitude as Birmingham, England, so the weather is very similar.
Some advice for those traveling with more than one piece of luggage. Do not take the train during rush hour. Pay extra for a taxi. Negotiating the Centraal Station in morning rush was akin to being a stoned mouse in an experiment where all the other mice have been given crack. We stepped out of the way where possible, but getting out of the train and then buying tram tickets was a pain. BART and the GVB need to get together and solve the currency recognition situation in their ticketing machines. Both can be maddening, particularly when there are others waiting behind you.
Once we got the tram tickets, it was a bit of a hassle negotiating with the luggage onto the tram. We travelled with our computers, and this added one bag to the entourage. Given that I threw my back out a few days ago (Monday, Heather insisted I lay flat on my back all day long) and Heather’s back was giving her grief, the trains weren’t the adventurous cavalcade of fun that we had hoped. I think if we’d each have had one piece of luggage, smallish, no big whoop. But the two carry-ons and giant wheeled duffle kicked our asses. So yeah. Take the hit at the airport and take a taxi into the city if you have luggage. The RER from Charles de Gaulle seemed better suited to travelers than the line from Schiphol to Centraal Station. Not a huge deal, but given our methodology of over-packing and being grumpy and not 19 years old, the taxi would have only cost a little bit more and saved stress and time. Time we could have used to nap off the jet lag. In the words of Warren Oates in Stripes (and Danny Glover in every Lethal Weapon movie), “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
We’ll be taking a taxi to the airport upon our departure.
Upon arrival at Leidesplein, we discovered our hotel is fantastic. FANTASTIC. We have internet access and a great room with a very well-equipped bathroom. The room is gorgeous. The view. Stunning. We are right by the Vondelpark and the Rijksmuseum. Couldn’t have asked for a better location for our interests (both of us are very into art old and new).
We are not being asked to write about our experience, but as this kind of trip is something that we’d probably not do, it seems a waste to not share our experiences, particularly for the other writers who will follow later this month.
The reader is asked for forgiveness with spelling, grammatical and other errors. Lack of sleep will do unpredictable things to a person.
Definitely more to follow…