I'm exhausted tonight, having tried to cover so much of this beautiful city over the first two days of our stay here.
Yesterday after we arrived from Maastricht about 2:00 pm, we strolled through the Jordann (yor-DAHN) neighbourhood where we're staying, and hooked up with my neice Kimberly who we overlapped with here for one day.
Later we took a boat tour with the owner of the accommodation business we booked our room with. Frederic has just a small boat that we tooled around in, while chatting and sipping our first Dutch beer of the day. Everything is so pretty! Tour boats are on the canals, sure, but lots of locals take to the water, too. I'd love to live on a houseboat. At least I think I would, until some loud folks came by on a party boat...
We had cheese and beer at our room - well outside the door so we could see the canal. We then went out to an Italian restaurant that was recommended to us in Jordaan.
After we walked Kimberly back to her hotel, we decided that as we were so close, we'd stroll through the Red Light district. Yes, there were some women in glass doorways selling sex (literally lit up with red lights). It's a little confronting, but we didn't see that many. Porn and condom shops too, but mostly lots of Irish pubs filled with students going back to Uni. (It's orientation week....)
We tried today's morning coffee at a 'Coffee Shop' which in Amsterdam means that it sells dope too. I don't know what bong etiquette is, and while the coffee was OK, the pot smell stayed with me all day. Then we started a huge walking tour. We stopped at the Museum of Amsterdam, which was good for a history of the city, but its weird floor plan left us lost in the place for the last 20 minutes. So much for contemporary design. We eventually walked down to where the big museums are and Vondell Park. We bought passes to the Van Gough museum and the Rijks museum for later in the week.
We took a tram back to our neighbourhood and being bone tired, we didn't get off close to our stop, so we stayed on an rode the thing out into the suburubs knowing it would eventually return. It turned out to be a good way to see non-touristy parts of the city. Still very neat and tidy - and more canals - everywhere we went.
Pancakes for dinner and an early night. This holiday caper is quite tiring!