Now, to a city that I had never visited before- Amsterdam! I had high hopes (pun not intended. or was it?)
I had a beer with lunch before I left Munich, since I got to the airport SUPER early (wasn’t expecting the Germans to be so efficient) and I didn’t want to be rushed and lose my phone again. I had been in the Munich airport before, but not with time to walk around. My gate was near a large glass room that was apparently a smoking box. If you wanted to smoke, you went into this huge glass box. I didn’t get a whiff of smoke from several yards away, so they were doing a great job of filtering out the smell before it got away from the box. It was a small plane since it was a relatively quick flight, so we had to take a bus and walk out on the tarmac to climb stairs (in the rain) to get to the plain. The flight was great until we got closer to Amsterdam- then, I was glad I had the beer and was able to nap. Remember the huge wind storms that were rolling across Europe? Yea- landing was a little dicey.
The airport ended up closing for a few hours the next day, because airplanes were having issues landing. Trees were uprooted and falling into canals.
Enough about the travel- now to the city! I knew to expect a lot of bikes. But what I didn’t know was how VICIOUS the riders were. They take no prisoners. I saw tourists get knocked down, and I saw other cyclists get knocked down.
My hotel here was about half of the size of the Munich room, and more expensive. Everything was more expensive here. See below- meal was over 30 euro (1 sushi roll, a cocktail, and shrimp tempura) It was a VERY nice hotel, though- would recommend the location.The one issue- there was that blue light above my bed that I couldn’t figure out how to turn off for the first 2 nights.
The office was a little drab. It’s a small branch, but has people from all over Europe. Only one female that is normally in the office. This is something that I see in most of the Citrix offices: a large proportion of men compared to women. It is in a managed building called “Spaces,” which essentially rents out spots to companies. There was a communal cafeteria, and the food was subpar. Not bad, but the Dutch aren’t necessarily known for their outstanding contributions to the culinary world. There were large windows in the office, so we could see people getting blown over by the wind storms- provided some amusement!
The weather here was dreary most of the time. Rain, wind, dark early- but I loved the feel of the city. I didn’t understand the trams, but I liked how the city looks like it radiates out from the center because of the canals. I need to go back with someone, because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to go out later in the evenings. I walked around and picked up dinner, but once the club and coffee shop crowds starting milling about I figured it was time to get back to the hotel.
On the Saturday that I was there, I went to the Anne Frank museum. This is something that I have always wanted to do. 2 hours in a line (in the rain) later, it was worth it. The house is much bigger than I anticipated. I don’t see how they stayed hidden so long, because of the space that the rooms took up. The only drawback is that people just file in and out all day long, so you can’t get a room to yourself and use your imagination. I wasn’t hurried, though. Once I was finished there, I walked around all of Amsterdam (it felt like.) See below for pictures.
Some things that surprised me- my coworkers were obsessed with this hibachi place, and took me there for dinner one night. I told them that we had this everywhere in the US, and they were jealous. I also told them that it was half the price and more than double the food… Oh America, you are great.
They don’t really celebrate Halloween. There had been a costume party the weekend before I got to Amsterdam, but on Halloween Night there didn’t seem to be anything going on. Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays (I never feel creative enough with my costumes) but there was something lacking this year by not getting to have any Halloween candy or see people in costume!
And- there was a line out the door for Abercrombie and Fitch. Velvet ropes, bouncer, the whole lot. I could smell the cologne before I could even see the store.
From Amsterdam, I jetted to London- one of my favorite cities in the world!