Under the influence of Amsterdam, we welcome you!!
Right away I noticed the friendly embrace of the Netherlands. While Germany is beautiful, the Christmas markets amazing, the food yummy,,,the vibe in most of the areas we were in, were not so energized. While most everyone was helpful and nice, stoic and subdued are the adjectives I would use to describe most of the locals we encountered. Some were overtly friendly, and effusive. But that was not the norm.
Arriving at our unique hotel – Fletcher Hotel…we settled in…..
Next we drove into town to take a walk around. Getting there was intense as we entered in a road system that included trams and bicycles.
Our first stop was something to eat at The Old Bell pub. We discovered that parking was not free (as I had incorrectly assumed) and with the guidance of the wonderful server at the pub, Michael left to move the car to a proper parking space and pay. How it works is that you can find a parking space…then you find a computerized parking booth to enter the car’s license, then choose your time to park, and pay with credit card/bank machine. Then when the traffic police enter your license plate into their computer, they see it is in the system because you’ve paid for parking time.
Then we started to walk around…..we didn’t make it the Red Light District….yet….that’s tomorrow….
We ABSOLUTELY love the vibe, the people……I feel like I am in a county where I could totally be myself and no one would even notice. Be as loud, as crazy, as goofy as I am and that unusual is the norm. The server at the pub told us that there is a man who – most days of the year – wears nothing but a yellow speedo – as he drives his bicycle around town, as well as an afternoon where about 70 seniors gathered -naked – in the square across the road!!!
I LOVE AMSTERDAM!!!!!!!!!!
Driving – what we think so far – bicycles give way to cars, cars give way to people, and people give way to bicycles……. trams give way to cars…..we think……but then where do we do drive on the road?? 😉
Back at our bizarre hotel!!!
We can’t wait for tomorrow!!!!
Merry Christmas from Amsterdam!!!!