Rested a bit and can form semi-coherent thoughts.
At the airport at Schiphol I encountered three blondes singing Motown greats (and, believe me, you haven’t seen surreal until you’ve heard three blondes singing ‘Hit the Road Jack’ in a Dutch accent). I lingered a bit, but there was a big crowd. A police man told me that Amsterdamers loved blondes to which I had no response.
It was an easy matter to buy tickets from the many self-service machines, descend the escalator to the train station and find my way to Amsterdam Central Station:
Which was quite good as such things go. Friendly staff, friendly taxi drivers who all seemed to be Turkish. There were some obscure local customs regarding taxi use. In London you get out of a station, you queue, you get a taxi in turn. Here that didn’t seem to apply (same thing with the self-service machines. ‘You snooze, you lose’ was in full effect) and it almost seemed like the drivers were selecting their fares instead of the other way around.
Like most capital cities, ‘Dam was expensive, but if you don’t expect that you have no business travelling to cities in the first place.
People look for different things when they travel. I like the conventional beauty of waterways along with the gritty graffiti beauty:
Sometimes it made you think of Venice. Other times, you think of any inner-city area:
Still, there was the palace at Dam Square:
If you’re in Amsterdam it’s probably best to orient yourself with the square. It made wandering about much easier. For example, if you stand facing the palace the main shopping thoroughfare would be to your left. Behind you would be the War Memorial, a tram stop and the red light district. To your right (sorta) would be a straight line to Amsterdam central station. These are approximate directions, but I found them quite useful.
This is a sleepy cat in the smoking area of a bar. You can’t see it clearly in the photo but it was dimming its eyes as if it were stoned. Which, given the smell of hash on the streets, can’t be difficult in Amsterdam.
Other bits of Dam square.
The phallic white construction is the war memorial. Even though you can’t see it Madame Tussauds is on the right, but I hate that kind of blatant touristic crap so I’m not gonna talk about it.
This alley shows hooks on projections from the roof of each building. I thought it would be easy for a Free Runner to jump from one to the other, or to lay a line and walk, swing or monkey-bar across.
Many buildings had beautiful sculptures like this.
I’m left with memories of narrow staircases and one hundred varieties of pancake for breakfast.
There’s more, but I’m tired and have to go to work tomorrow.