July 5, 6, 7 2012
I’m going to do Amsterdam in two sections: G-Rated and Red-Light District Rated.
This one is the G-rated one!
First, let’s discuss dropping off the M.
From Menen, it took us a bit longer than we thought to make it to Amsterdam. We did stop on the road (Burger King, actually) and gassed up a little, where we met some v cool guys who admired Greg’s M and wanted to discuss their own cars.
Finding the drop-off place was totally confusing, trying to understand the different address systemà even the locals we asked couldn’t understand the address. Nevertheless, with 15 minutes to spare, we found the Amsterdam drop and ended our European Journey with 1,803 miles on the odometer. Whew!
Now, you’ve heard the rumors of driving in the old European cities. Whatever you do: plan to NOT drive in Amsterdam. By far, this must be the most challenging place here.
People. Cars. Bikes. Bikes. Bikes. Buses. Trolleys. And stoners to top it off. So, I’m glad we did not have the M.
Around the town
Amsterdam is big. It was really hard to get away from the tourists, so at some point I just let it go and tried to embrace in the city from a big picture. Honestly, the bike culture is totally unique. I love watching the women with skirts and heals, riding on bikes, while talking on cell phones, carrying their purses and fresh bread.
Canals are absolutely everywhere so I couldn’t even use the waterways as markers. Frankly, I was totally lost and turned around for the 2 days we were there.
Yes, we did do the tourist thing and we took one of these boats.
The Heineken tour was far-better than I thought it’d be. Pretty interesting on the history of an entrepreneur and four generations of family. The tour included a little “ride” of sorts and some samples too!
Look at how this Bimmer is parked…supposedly at least 1 car a week ends up in the water in Amsterdam.
We did try our share of the Dutch beer, but honestly I will say I preferred Belgium. The Bitterballen snacks we had were pretty good.
Breakfast—50/50 chance of a good one…
(1) “pancake” with cheese and bacon – greasy
(2) fried eggs with ham and cheese on brown bread
I really did like this dish, supposed traditional North Holland dish called, Oer Hollandse Stamppot..
I think the purple stuff is mashed potatoes maybe with beets for color?
And we had breakfast here…we shared a savory bread pudding …. Really good.
Fun! We found a Nielsen J …. We must be in Holland. We were thinking of Greg’s mom!
Our final night in this crazy town came to an end, quietly in our hotel pub.
Loved the Amsterdam experience. But, I probably wouldn’t stay so long next time. After all, the one thing that came across pretty clearly in this trip, is that both of us prefer less tourists, better food and better beer. J