Friday, July 30, 2004

July 14 - 17. Paris - Amsterdam

To make things more interesting, we decided to take a train to Amsterdam. We got to the train station with plenty of time to spare, so we decided to wait near our terminal for the train to come. About an hour before the train came, we suddenly saw many cops. They started to close a section of the station, and obviously this section included the one we were seating in. After a while a during the commotion, I asked a cop what was going on and he told me there was a "suspect" on a train and they were clearing the station just in case something hapened. Like in the movies.
Finally our train came and we boarded (I had to carry all the bags, ja ja!) before the "suspect" got out of the other train, so we didn't get to see the ending of the drama.
The train ride to Amsterdam took about 3 hours. I had never ridden on a train before (not counting the trains at Disney World and Disneyland), so I really enjoyed it. We rode first class, so we were pampered all the way to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a great city. Full on canals, its ambiance reminded me very much of Quebec. We took the classic boat tour, visited the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (Rembrant's museums), the Anne Frank Museum (took a tour inside the house), visited the Red Light District (the girls charge 50 euros for 15 minutes! More than what I make!). We also visited Delft (where they make the famous blue ceramics), Rotterdam (a very modern city), The Hague (saw the International Court), and Madurodam (where Holland is reproduced in miniature), and the Flower Market (the Wall Street of flowers).
While in Amsterdam, check the streets twice before you cross them. Not because of the cars, but because of the bikes. Oh my God! I had never seen so many bikes in a city! And so ugly!
Funny story in Amsterdam. When we were at the train station on the first day, dady and I went to look for some infor about trains to Copenhagen and left mom and Mariu to look out for the bags. When we got back, there was a group of about 5 girls talking to them. When we got closer, we noticed they were dominicans. Ja ja! We always bump into dominicans in the weirdest places around the world. The sad part is that dominicans are famous in Amsterdam because most of them travel there to get a job at the Red Light District (got it?).

French Flag Conductor Dutch Flag
Windmills Dutch Canal Tulips Wooden Shoes