We spent a few days in Amsterdam while awaiting our flight to Tanzania (it turns out it’s [relatively] cheap to fly to Kilimanjaro Airport from Amsterdam on Swiss Airlines. Go figure!). We then returned for a few more days after 6 weeks in Africa, left for a week in the Canary Islands, and then returned for 3 more nights. You can read our posts about the Netherlands here:

http://www.travelingbones.com/?cat=255

We kinda used Amsterdam as a hub for our European/African travels. Here’s a map w/ a bunch of lines that illustrates our trips in and out of this great city:

Our route through the Netherlands

We used Amsterdam as a hub for our travels. Can you tell?

As for our best pics, here they are. We really didn’t capture that much of Amsterdam’s beauty because it rained a lot while we were there. Oh, and we often forgot to bring our cameras… Anyhow, the pics below are the best we could do:

Tulip bulbs for sale in the Flower Market

Tulip bulbs for sale in the Flower Market.

Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam Canal.

Windmill (Part of Brouwerij 't Ij)

Windmill (Part of Brouwerij 't Ij).

Another Amsterdam Canal

Another Amsterdam canal and the funky houses lining it.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Bikes have the right of way in the Netherlands, and that seems to apply in all situations. In other words, if you’re walking around and a bike is coming at you, you should stop. The bike won’t.
  • There are bike lanes everywhere, and they’re made out of reddish asphalt or paving stones. When crossing a street as a pedestrian, you will have to cross at least 4 lanes: bike lane + car lane + car lane on opposite side + bike lane on opposite side. Only then are you safe! Keep your eyes open!
  • Get yourself an “anonymous OV-chipkaart” for all public transit. It’s very convenient and it’ll save you a lot of money (some fares end up being 50% less expensive than paying cash!)
  • Go to an Indonesian restaurant while you’re in Amsterdam. Delicious!
  • If you’re a serious runner, check out the Asics Flagship Store in Amsterdam. You can get your feet and gait analyzed for 20€ and they’ll recommend a great pair of shoes for you (fee waived if you buy shoes). The shoes are pricey, though, by North American standards.

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Netherlands (7/8-10; 8/22-26; 9/2-5)

  • Europe