Amsterdam Travelogue 1

After alighting from the ferry, we boarded a comfortable Trafalgar coach and continued by road through the Belgian and Dutch countryside, towards Amsterdam. Lunched at La Place, which operates like Marche…

Its self service for the salad; priced by the size of the bowl: small, medium or large. Our tour director told us to try to fill it up as best as we can because that’s what the local people do anyways. The salad was very fresh and the grilled zucchini was so yummy. I looked out for grilled zucchini at every meal but unfortunately only managed to find it only one more time over the next 18 days, sobs!Hubby decided to splurge on a shrimp sandwich. It was delicious; the shrimp was a tad salty but was balanced by the bland bread.

Some pictures taken on the coach along the Belgian and Dutch countryside….One of the very few remaining traditional Dutch windmill…a beautiful picture taken by Hubby 🙂

Arrived in Amsterdam! There are A LOT of bicycles in Amsterdam.  Driving a car is discouraged as many streets are closed to cars or are one-way and parking is expensive. There are about 600,000 bicycles in Amsterdam, most locals own more than 1 bicycle. According to our tour guide, bicycle theft is common; most bicycles are sold again 2nd hand bicycle shops and if a local can prove the bike belonged to him, he can buy it again at a discounted price?O_O?.

Some observations of the cyclists and bicycles:

Locals have little patience for tourists who get in their paths. It does not matter whether a tourist is standing on a cycling path of any stretch of pedestrian path. We experienced a local who shouted at us “Bloody tourists” while we were standing around in the red light district (maybe because we were a huge group of about 30+ pax and totally blocked his way). So remember to stay out of their way!

None of them wear helmets and such maneuvers are not considered dangerous…

Bicycles are made for more than 1 person. Locals put anything and everything and on their bicycle baskets from groceries, to dogs and babies…

Age is not a consideration; young children to elderly people cycle…

Egggcited to start the canal cruise tour!

Our Canal bus with detailed and informative commentary…and glass ceilingIn the past, the locals lived in houseboats because land was scarce and houseboats were cheaper. But these days, houseboats are expensive because of limited moorings. I noticed that some houseboats designs are quite modern and stylish…

Everyone here look so happy and relaxed….

Townhouses along the canal are prime property…

Notice the arches of these old bridges are all aligned neatly? During my trip in Europe, I am always amazed how well structures were built in the past…Stay tune next week for more pictures taken during the canal cruise and Amsterdam Part 2 🙂

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