May 01, 2010
Landed in Amsterdam early this morning without incident. I got a little bit of sleep but now I will be staying up much more than usual for me. There is a 6 hour difference here so it is about 7 AM now according to my body. Amazingly enough I am not crashing yet, despite over an hour of sleep in the form of a nap.
After arriving at the airport, I got my bag and got through customs. Note to self: No beef jerky for a snack when traveling overseas, meat and milk products cannot be brought into the EU. Of course I should have checked on the rules on that.
We took the train to Amsterdam Centraal and after stashing our bags in a luggage locker, myself, RP, and RS set out to explore the city. We saw the Dam, the flower market, and a number of historic buildings, along with going through the red light district. Of course, at 8-9 in the morning, there isn't anything going on there :-P We also found where their Chinatown section was. Amazingly enough we ended up running into KB (my bosses boss who is running the meeting) on the streets. She had an extra map of Amsterdam which she lent to us, and that made exploring the city easier for the rest of the morning.
Some things to note about Amsterdam, it is very dedicated to bicycling. There are bike lanes everywhere and tons of people get around by bike. In fact, when you cross the street, you often cross a bike lane, then the car traffic lanes, then a bike lane on the other side before reaching the sidewalk. Be sure to look both ways for all the lanes. Restrooms are pay restrooms so have some Euro coins on hand. Meals at cafes are a laid back affair. A luggage locker is handy if you have time to kill in Amsterdam before heading to your destination.
So I have tons of pictures already, and I know there will be more as time goes on. Maybe I should work on them now before I get to Heerlen.