Day 2 in Amsterdam
21.12.2015 - 21.12.2015 11 °C
Today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
CitizenM Hotels are a chain of hotels throughout Europe. This one at the Schiphol Airport was the first one to be built. It is a minimalist hotel designed by a fashion designer who used to travel all the time in the fashion business and was tired of staying in sub standard hotels because the posh ones were much too expensive. He designed the CitizenM Hotels to be functional and modern and provide a very comfortable bed and bathroom facilities because people only stay one or two nights.
The breakfast this morning was fresh and appetising and adequate. Juices, yoghurt, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and bacon. Lovely fresh crusty bread, butter and jam, tea and coffee. It is all self serve but there are very friendly staff at every turn to help "first timers". The tables and chairs are long tables, and everyone just sits everywhere.
After breakfast we headed to the railway station in Schiphol Airport, bought a couple of tickets and headed into town.
I found him! It only took 29 hours from Cook to Amsterdam, but I found him!!
Amsterdam has some beautiful buildings. We had forgotten how lovely they are. The railway station isn't very far away from Dam Square, the main square, so we headed for there and reacquainted ourselves with the area. We were here in July 2011, the middle of summer and nearly froze. It was cold and windy and wet. It was cold and windy and slightly wet today, but at least we had the right clothes on. Of course 2011 was the year that Europe missed out on summer.
In 2011 we walked a couple of blocks to Anne Frank house but when we got there the queue was a mile long so we decided to give it a miss. We headed for Anne Frank house today and were amazed at the length of the queue again. It went right along the road and around the corner! I stood in line and Phil walked up to the head of the queue. The lady at the head of the queue told Phil she had been in the queue for 3 hours! We decided not to wait again, as standing in a queue all that time in 11 degrees and a very strong, cold wind was not our idea of fun. Will I ever get to see Anne Frank house? At least I have read the book.
Cannabis icecream, anyone? Or would you prefer to grow your own? This time in Amsterdam, we couldn't smell any marijuana smoke. Last time the air reeked with it and most of the people we passed were off their faces but this time the crowds seem like normal people going about their last minute Christmas shopping.
This guy saw an elephant in Thailand with one leg missing, so he had a prosthesis made for it. He then opened this shop in Amsterdam that sells the most beautiful ceramic elephants. You can also buy your own kit and paint your own elephant and all the proceeds go to the care of elephants in Thailand.
We took our time wandering through the lanes and streets of Amsterdam, taking photos of the lovely old buildings until we arrived back at the railway station,
and then caught the train back to Schiphol Airport where we had some lunch at the same place as yesterday and then came back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. The weather has turned very overcast, bleak and windy.
This guy was singing at Amsterdam Centraal Railway Station. He was very good.
Phil could not possibly lose me in Amsterdam. I am the only person in a red overcoat. Everyone else is in brown or black. They all look so drab!
After a relaxing afternoon, we rugged up and walked to Schiphol Mall to have a pizza for dinner. The wind is absolutely howling outside our window and when we stepped outside, we saw it was raining. There is a covered walkway to the Mall, but the wind is so strong, the rain is hitting us sideways. The pizza was okay - had worse but it wasn't as good as my favourite pizza at Le Rendezvous in Manuka.
On the way back to the hotel, we were walking into the wind. OMG! It was so strong, it was an effort to walk in a straight line. And the rain was coming at us from both sides. Just as well we didn't have very far to go.
Back in our warm, snuggly room and the noise of the wind roaring outside our building is incredible. Time for a shower and hopping into bed under our lovely fluffy doona.