Sunday, November 06, 2005

Amsterdam - October 31

This is a tourist entry so don't anticipate much in significance, other than getting a little insight on a very cool city - Amsterdam.

I went to Amsterdam on Monday, October 31, to prepare for the International Leadership Association Conference. I was worried about getting to Amsterdam so I started off from Differdange at 8 a.m. I got to Luxembourg City before 9 a.m. so decided to jump right on the 9 a.m. to Brussels. That went well and I got to Brussels about noon. I had a chance to hop right on the Amsterdam train so I kept rolling.

I got to Amsterdam about 3 p.m. I was feeling so proud of myself that I decided to start walking to where I thought the hostel was. Well, that was pretty courageous but not so smart. I knew the general direction but wasn't sure of the details, especially since the streets are extremely irregular in Amsterdam. I walked for block upon block, drinking everything in along the way. I finally got in the neighborhoold (Voldenpark) but had to ask three times before I got useful guidance. Once I got to the hostel, I discovered they couldn't handle me so I asked for a referral. I was referred to a place a couple of blocks away - pretty funky but it worked. I was in a room five flights up (the steepest steps I've every seen in my life) but at least I had a clean room and some privacy. Actually, it was a pretty neat place for $50 Euros per night. The coolest thing about it was that it was right in the heart of the museum area - across the street from the Rijks Museum which is where all the Dutch Masters are held.

I surprised myself in the travel to Amsterdam. I struck out on my own, had to exercise a little flexibility, and made it work. Wow! What a difference a week can make.

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