Well here we are in Amsterdam – home of bridges (over 1000), canals, beautiful buildings and, of course, sex. We’ll get to the sex in a minute, but first a look at our apartment. Well, not our apartment exactly. The apartment itself, booked on AirBnB is okay, although the review we will submit won’t give it any more than two stars out of five. We are on the third, which is really the fourth floor, and I think our view is typical of what one sees in Amsterdam.
It is the entrance and exit to our place which is challenging, particularly to two guys who have had heart issues and still have stair issues. There is a vertical drop of a total of 42 stairs over a horizontal space of less than 5 feet. They are no wider than 8 inches. When we mentioned this to the woman who rented it to us, she just laughed and said there were even narrower and steeper ones in central Amsterdam. I think she wanted to make us feel better but it was irrelevant to us, as I lay splayed out huffing and puffing in the armchair .
When we checked the frying pans in the drawer, this is what we found.
Let’s just say that I will post our full, unabridged review of the place when we have left town.
We arrived on Wednesday and Scott and Ria had arranged to meet Ria’s sister and brother-in-law – Ann and Larry – from Ontario who were in town for a day waiting to go on a river cruise. They had been here a few times before and Larry wanted to give us a tour of the red light district and off we went. Now at 3:30 there aren’t a great many – ok, any, women sitting in the windows to entice one. (We are going back tonight to see the “sights”.) There are however, many shops in the area to provide aid to those in need.
We saw some great looking buildings
The homes in Amsterdam are quite narrow – there’s an understatement and in order to get their furniture into their homes they employ hooks and pulleys.
Centraal Station (not a spelling mistake) is magnificently huge. This is approximately a quarter to a third of the length. It is the home to the trains which flow in and out of Amsterdam
It is impossible to get a sense from photos of the station. First, check out the bikes in the bottom of the top – I haven’t even mentioned how prevalent bikes are. There are three of these semi-circled covers over the tracks – see the middle photo. You can’t get the entire length in a photo even from a distance on the water.
I think the captain of our little tour boat was quite impressed with the Silhouette – even she was taking photos of it.
The Sea Palace restaurant is a miniature copy of the Jumbo Restaurant in Hong Kong. The Sea Palace holds 700 for dinner – the Jumbo – 5000. I can’t imagine the noise of 5000 Chinese diners since we often were drowned out in restaurants in China with only a hundred – or Starbucks with no more than 50.
On the way home from downtown we were on a tram which was packed with standees and it had just discharged about 10 standees at the previous stop when the driver jammed on the brakes – HARD – and we saw this girl lying on the ground. By the time I got my phone out, she had gotten up, clearly shaken. She had cut in front of him and was totally at fault. The driver got out and took a strip off her and wanted her id. It was quite the experience. If those people had not just gotten off, I am sure there would have been injuries on the tram.
Now for a little entertainment. We spent about a half hour watching a five man dancing troupe. They had their schtick down really well. Not only was their dancing pretty cool, so was their patter and their money collection. This guy was the finale.
The Shoe Blog
I originally thought of using this shoe as the featured one, but decided against it. You’ll see why in a minute.
But this is today’s shoe. We were walking in Dam Square when I spotted this woman and her boyfriend. She was clearly in some difficulty. They walked to the side and I unobtrusively sidle over just to get a photo while they stood there. I was rewarded, however, with this conversation:
He: “Why are you taking them off?”
She: “Because they hurt.”
He: “But you just bought them three minutes ago”
She: “So what? They hurt.”