Amsterdam - Day 1, Bike Capital of the World

After a bit of a restless night (I woke up at 3am and could not get back to sleep for 3 hrs, Natasha woke up around 4.30am screeching - I think she was disoriented and confused) we had a late breakfast and decided to explore Amsterdam.

My first impressions of Amsterdam yesterday as we walked through the streets were just how many bicycles there were! It's crazy! I would guess that bicycles outnumber cars almost. They certainly run the roads here, unlike back in Calgary where a driver would sooner hit a cyclist then let them take up space on the roadway. The "bike way" is even wider then some of the sidewalks we walked on.

The other thing that strikes me about Amsterdam is the cobblestone streets and the canel. It's so different to be walking down a paved street with a canel(s) running beside it or in some cases a street, canel and another street. It all seems so peaceful and serene in some places.

Even though The Anne Frank House and Rikjsmuseum were both recommended to us, we decided to spend our first day in Amsterdam 'getting lost'. So after breakfast, we headed out without any particular destination in mind. Natasha seemed content to sit while we pushed her in her stroller (which I have to mention it was definitely worth bringing the Bugaboo vs the small maclaren which would not have manuevered well at all on the cobblestone) while I took photos of the canel and various buildings.

We did end up walking by The Anne Frank House, however, the line up to get it was down the street and around the block. I'd estimate about 100+ ppl. We both decided it was not worth the wait and that we'd get up early the next day to beat the line up.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, so we spent most of it walking around after we had a bite to eat. We headed back to the B&B for Tash's nap (surprisingly even with the time change she's still crabby and in need of a nap at 1pm Amsterdam time, which is early morning back home). All of ended up napping before we left again.

Our first stop was food. Unlike Owen who fills up on breakfast, I require my 3 meals a day when travelling. The prices here are a bit steep (exchange at the bank when we left was 1.4856) - €12.50 for a cheeseburger/fries, €9.95 for tortellini in red sauce, €2 for a soda, €2.25 for a glass of wine. Some seem on par while others, like the fries and burger are crazy.

After having supper we went to the red light district. You can't really come to Amsterdam without going there or visiting a cafe. Since I can't visit the cafes, we only had the choice of the Red Light District. I had envisioned something a lot louder and rowdier but it was actually fairly quiet. Our sweet daughter waved to all the "ladies" as we walked down the street. :p They all waved back and smiled which made me laugh.

We spent the rest of the night just walking around. It's actually really nice there. It feels like late summer. When we left home it was starting to get cold. I hope the weather holds up in Paris as well.
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