The Netherlands
5:30 a.m.


But we were excited to see Amsterdam.

After a hearty Egyptian breakfast, we all walked to the train station and departed for Amsterdam. After arriving, I saw the biggest bike parking lot I have ever seen. We took the tram to Westermarkt, where we saw the church where Rembrant is buried. The Anne Frank House already had a line of patrons winding around the block. We grabbed a coffee and went on a walking tour.


IT TOOK mE A WHILE TO GET INTO THE rhythm of the walking tour.

We stopped at the Torensluis bridge, saw one of the smallest houses in Amsterdam, and then hit Dam Square. After learning about the palace, church and gatherings on the square, we were off again. We found a hidden Catholic church that was decked out in bird motifs. We finished our walking tour to start a canal cruise. It was nice to sit back and take in the sights. We stopped for lunch and took a crack at trying to translate the Dutch menu. And then there was the female washroom attendant… thankfully, we read about that prior to experiencing that first hand.

Off to the Rijksmuseum

the only museum with bike lanes runing through IT.

We met two local guides there and we went with Anna’s group. We went from one masterpiece to another. Ah, the Rembrandts and Vermeers! It was by far the most incredible art museum I had ever seen.



We checked out the museum park and the I Amsterdam sign after the museum. The group headed off for a tour of the Red Light district. We walked past a street with the ladies on display along with plenty of men gawking. There was a mother with a baby in a stroller going down the same street. Our guide told us this is part of life in the Netherlands. Kids see it at a young age. It’s not that the people of the Netherlands condone prostitution or the coffeshops, but that they accept it’s going to happen whether they like it or not. They regulate and tax it while providing a safe place for the workers and users.

FRee time

I thought it was time for a spot of liquid refreshment. We found a waffle shop with ice cream which sounded fine by me. The sugar and caffeine helped after a long day. I seemed to inherit this shopping bug from my mother. During the tour, I was in search of Christmas ornaments from each country and charms to make charm bracelets. Neither was an easy find, but we eventually found something that would work. I wanted to take sunset photos in Amsterdam, but we were pretty weary at the time. So time to head back.

Spring is in bloom over at