Amsterdam to Toronto

 Amsterdam is a busy busy place.  Perhaps too much so.  It reminded me of London, although I am much better prepared for that high-energy, constant kind of activity, I wonder if it is the kind of place you need to spend more time in, so there is time to adjust and explore.  And as I came to the close of my EuroTrip 2016 I find that I am ready for some actual relaxing.  The kind where I don’t have to plan it or think about the other people in the room.  I will greatly enjoy my time in Ontario with Rebecca and kids.

Thursday (14) I arrived in the afternoon to the Hostel Van Gogh, which is actually part of the Hotel Van Gogh, so it’s not a traditional Hostel in the sense.  On the map I picked up at the front desk I noticed that Amsterdam has a Harley Davidson store, actually two.  And since I’d been thinking about brining something back for my dad, this was the perfect opportunity to find a shirt for his Harley collection.  A brief 1.6 km walk later I found it!  The staff was super helpful and I think he’ll like what I picked.  It’s classic Harley.

 Anywho, following that I found the nearest McDonalds and a grocery store so I don’t have to buy resturant meals until I leave on Saturday. I naturally took a wrong turn somewhere on my way back to the hostel so that took a bit longer than necessary.  I’m very good at getting somewhere just not so great at getting back from it.

I didn’t want to go out in the evening, that has never been my scene, I’m alone and those are good enough reasons to not to.  It unfortunately, I’m sharing accommodation with a rout of party people.  So while I relaxed and intended on turning in early they were preparing to go out and then trickled in from 1 a.m. onwards.  Also, they like to catch up late at night I suppose not thinking that anyone else can hear them?  Not true. Visiting Amsterdam doesn’t have to be about the nightlife.

Friday (15) morning, what I consider morning not the afternoon when much of the room got up. I prepared to go the Van Gogh museum.  It was raining again.  I don’t have an umbrella and at this point it’s a matter of pride that I didn’t have the need to obtain one even after visiting various countries known for their rainy nature.  Yet, as I waited outside in line for a ticket to the museum a lovely French woman, there with her family, shared her umbrella with me.


The museum was really good; pictures not allowed inside though. Very interesting how Vincent is mostly famous as a result of the dedication of his brother Theo’s wife Jo who after their deaths dedicated herself to dealing in Van Gogh and then her son continued the tradition and founded this museum. The letter and painting exhibits were really interesting.

A lot of people though! In contrast to the Picasso museum in Lucerne I didn’t have the opportunity to stand in front of any single painting and enjoy for any length of time.  I was there for opening at 9 a.m and the line was already long, when I left the line had only gotten longer.

It’s a popular place.  Great collection of his work, until you remember that the Americans have Starry Night in New York, ugh. Still it was a highlight of the trip.

I bought tumblers that I had to sort out a place in my bag for…they’re not a conducive shape to packing well.  I try to buy small and flat-ish so this doesn’t become an issue, but I knew going into it that I wanted something from here. Last time I weighed my bag it wasn’t even 15 lbs so I’m confident that as long as I continue to manage the weight it’ll be under carry-on requirements.

Friday afternoon was under construction well into its existence.  Still raining in Amsterdam and I was museumed-out. This is where the party-goers have an advantage, their day doesn’t even start until well after noon, if they just went to bed at a reasonable time thereafter the day wouldn’t require so much planning.  I ended up asking my way through the rain to the closest movie theatre and saw The Jungle Book.  It doesn’t at all compare to the animated Disney version but it was still a really well done film.  I like Jon Favreau (the director).  The weather was better when I left.  It had stopped raining; it spat a bit as I made my way back. But the sun was out, skies blue, clouds moving quickly.  Very picturesque, which is why I don’t have any pictures of it.

 I’m super bad at being a picture taking tourist here.  There’s just so many people!  And bicycles!  It’s dangerous to walk around.  This is a bit sad since it’s absolutely lovely but on the other hand the Internet exists for pictures.  I got a little bit better on Saturday (16) because I was up early and out for a walk to somewhere that I never ended up at so instead, when you’re out at 8 and there is no one around (no other tourists) I took some pictures.

This was before leaving for the airport to go back to Canada, which I am/was so ready for.  The first Icelandair flight wasn’t until 2 p.m., boarding at 1:15 and as is in my nature I wanted to be early.  Taking public transit to the airport, you just never know. So I was, like 2 hours early.  I always expect security to take much longer than it ever does.  I’m prepared should it ever not be fast I guess.  I get through without hassle too.  I’m old hat at getting my outerwear and shoes off and on in a line.

 Counting up my travel legs to get to Rebecca’s there are 5, four if I don’t count the part where she’s picking me up for the last bit to Dresden.  I’m currently waiting on the actual #4 in Toronto Airport, bussing to London (ON).  Really quite happy to be back in Canada (even if it is Toronto). 😀
So that’s the end of EuroTrip 2016.  Now it’s just tacked-on-the-end Ontario trip.

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