After a nice train ride/tram trip to get to our flat in Amsterdam my brother and I set out on a town I once visited back when i was 22. Just about his age actually, seeing that he turns 23 on Saturday. When we first walked out of Amsterdam central station I was eager to see the main square I remember walking out on. Flanked with massive multiple-level bike lots and little tram and bus stations, I remember looking out at huge government buildings, the hotel Victoria, heieneken and amstel signs everywhere, about to set out to find our hostel at approx 8am. This time, things were a little different. There was a massive construction zone directly in front of the station, which definitely changed the aesthetics considerably. When I travel, I am constantly moving. Something I've come to not about myself more this trip than any other. I suppose part of that is due to the fact that I'm traveling this time with someone who can't keep up (nameless).
Note to self: always travel with able bodies.
Once unpacked at our flat, the brosef and I set out to check out the sights and sounds of this crazy city, hitting my former first stop, The Bulldog, for some good coffee, a bite to eat, and some Dutch condiments:)
We then walked around town for probably about an hour or so, just walking for the sake of being in a foreign land and relishing in it. Also, maybe because of the potency of these said Dutch condiments and the fact that I haven't been putting too much on my sandwiches anymore (still with me?). We finally dragged our wanderings back to the flat and crashed.
This morning we strolled down and got some coffee in the midst of the morning commute of bicycles and cars alike. This cat was hanging out in the coffee shop too, so we made friends and decided we could inhabit the place together for a bit.
Later we went to the Rijksmuseum which was nothing short of epic. I got chills on several occasions when you pass by a partition and turn to look at what's hanging on the reverse side only to find yourself looking Rembrandt's "Jan Six" dead in the eyes. Or you stumble onto Vermeer's Amsterdam street corner. The Night Watch? Really? And all this before the Van Gogh museum? And lunch? Jesus age Christ, I still have a couple dueling giants in Paris to deal with (the big L, d'orsay).
Oh yeah, I think somewhere in this whirlwind the heineken brewery tour was thrown into the mix.
Needless to say, already it's been a long day of walking, drinking in art, drinking in beers, sights, sounds, bike bells, chirping walk signals, Dutch, French, German, Italian. I still have to go out tonight with little brother so he can see the red light district and so we can hit up the grasshopper and broadway (comes highly recommended). Im chomping down for a second wind right about now.
Tomorrow we're back to Germany and then to Paris for a birthday dinner and another day filled with art walking, good thing Amsterdam doesn't have an eiffel tower, I'd be fucked.