This sort of breaks up the chronology I was going for in my European travel journal. I hadn’t yet finished my chronicles of Christmas vacation with the parents, mainly because there are still 7 million photos of that adventure I need to review and organize. However, my birthday present from my partner this year was a weekend in Amsterdam, and it is pretty damn amazing here. So I had to go ahead and write something.
Here is another shot out our apartment window.
There will be a longer entry with a lot more photos down the road, but my initial impression is one of awe. From the mundane joy of riding a train through a foreign country that looks oddly similar to my native Oklahoma (until you get to the water, anyway)…
… to the incredibly odd but exhilarating streets and canals of this city, this is like a dream. And not just a “dream” in the cliched sense of being exciting/magical, but in the sense of being bizarre. The streets are filled with the smells of great food, the sight of swans swimming in packs along the canals, the sounds of happy drunk people, and then you turn a corner and you’re in a back alley lined with glass windows with hookers in them.
Bizarre, but wonderful.
We ate at one of the myriad Argentinian restaurants around here (which seem to occupy every other store front), then came back for an early night in. This is not because we are old (though I just hit 38), but because we had a night of dinner and drinks with friends in Luxembourg last night without thinking it might be a bad idea to do that and then get up at 6AM to catch a train. So, with my sleeping issues, going to bed at 9 meant waking up at 3. No complaints, though.
There was a tough start to the journey. We were exhausted and hungover for our pending five hour train trip and our connecting train in Brussels got cancelled, leaving us stranded at the train station for three hours waiting on the next train. But all was worth it. We arrived at the hotel to learn we got a free upgrade to a full apartment overlooking the canal, so that was a huge bonus. Now I am relaxing waiting for what I call “normal people waking hours” so we can head out and get breakfast.
Today’s agenda: Anne Frank house, Van Gogh museum, canal cruise, dinner out, and a drag show with someone named Sharon Needles (allegedly a contestant on a drag queen reality show Josh watches). That should be a blast.