Going Solo in Amsterdam


My friend and I arrived to Amsterdam‘s Central Train Station just before 9am on May 30th, following a not so comfortable overnight train ride from Munich.  I’ve taken overnight trains in Egypt and Portugal and I have to say this was the least comfortable.  I’m sure my friend, Richard, can’t get comfortable in many beds because he’s 6’7″ tall, but it was also quite noisy throughout the night and when I would wake, I was being tossed to and fro.  Enough complaining!

We bought our 72 hour transport card and followed the Google Map directions I had printed off leading us to the Metro line that would deposit us less than a half mile from the Airbnb I had rented for our 3 night stay in Amsterdam.  Upon arrival to the Apartment, we were shown around by the owner, and once she left we settled in.  It is situated on a canal and had everything we needed.  We were especially thankful for the washer and dryer, which we put to immediate use!

Richard’s twenty something year old Cousin, Tobias, from Germany was arriving by train a couple of hours later, so I went exploring by myself, while he went to meet him at the station.  This little car was parked on the Street in front of our Apartment.  I call it the half car…

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Having traveled in Southeast Asia, six countries in Africa, and other developing Countries, and experienced the organized chaos associated with a multitude of bicycles, I was surprised by this in Amsterdam, along with absent helmets on most children and adults, and the legality of motorcycles on bicycle lanes.  There’s nothing like biking along and suddenly feeling the air whoosh by from a large motorcycle within inches of your handlebars!

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Amsterdam was one of my favorite Cities of the ten that I visited during the month I was touring!

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I loved the energy, spirit, laid-back vibe and especially the beautiful canals, which I’ll be posting about tomorrow!

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The second day there while out sight-seeing by myself, I rented a bicycle for three hours and joined the fun!  I did fine on the bicycle, but was almost run over by someone else on a bicycle while crossing this street.  Having gone to the grocery for breakfast and lunch items, I packed a sandwich for lunch that day, and asked the waitress, who was taking my photo, permission to eat my sandwich at their sidewalk cafe if I bought a glass of wine.  She graciously said Yes!  I usually brought my water bottle also because many places, especially in Eastern/Central Europe charge for water.  To save even more money, I would occasionally pack my own wine or mixed drink!

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Tomorrow I have some beautiful canal photographs!

27 thoughts on “Going Solo in Amsterdam

  1. You look wonderful, Sherry. Obviously you are thriving while traveling. That photo of the very busy intersection of people made me smile. The guy in the red leather jacket riding a bike is checking out the dark haired girl in the short skirt and black heels. I wonder how he would pick her up for a date.

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  2. It’s quite refreshing to find a first-world country that’s so relaxed about things. Australia has such a parental attitude to things like cycling – so many rules and regulations. Love your photos – the half-car is very practical 🙂 (for parking, that is)

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  3. I hear you about the motorcycles zooming past, even in the bike lanes. Motorcycles in Taiwan are enough to drive one mad. I love so many things about Taiwan, but I will be so happy to get away from the seemingly endless parade of motorcycles. They are not as regulated as cars, and it shows. Now that my venting is over, I’d like to compliment you on the wonderful photos. It’s so much fun to read about your adventures and to see glimpses of what you’ve seen. Thanks! 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Water and Wine in Amsterdam | Fabulous 50's

  5. I love Amsterdam, which is only a short hop from our local airport, but I’m not so keen on the bikes, just like here in the UK the cyclists don’t stop for pedestrians at red lights and often chain their bilks up on pedestrain walkways forcing you to walk in the cycle lanes to get past them.grrr

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      • I saw your blog sitting in traffic but then read it when I got home. You certainly make the most interesting blogs. You inspire me to talk about my trips more. Did you know that the very tiny cars like you saw are given for FREE to handicapped people? Thats what I was told. Personally I loved the bikes and even all the near collisions. I had a hard time initially with no helmet as I have a great one in the US, but I have really gotten used to the wind in my hair. Happy trails!

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      • Thanks very much…I don’t write that much so I’m happy to hear you find me interesting! I’ve never heard that about the tiny cars. I don’t wear a helmet here, even on our motorcycle, so it was normal for me. But there were so many bicycles, that’s what was a bit unnerving.

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  6. Who is that beautiful girl with the bike in the last picture? You look great. The photo of the crowded street made me glad I wasn’t in that place with them. Like ants in an anthill! The street itself would be quite interesting, but to me, the presence of Burger King and the golden arches ruins the old-time look of the street. Good photo though.

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