Europe – Day 2 – January 26th, 2018: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Not in America, You Don’t! – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Not This Either!

As you can see, Amsterdam is quite a forward-thinking progressive place. It’s a young, vibrant, accepting and awesome place. It’s got a laid-back energy and relaxing vibe that is quite pleasant.

After a good night of sleep it’s off to explore some more. Between our schedule and the time changes it caught up with us last night with a vengeance. I had an alarm set to get up this morning so we would not sleep the day away.

We walked over to a stop and took a train back to Centraal Station and walked around the area. This picture only shows about half of the building.

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Centraal Station – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

There are bikes literally everywhere and there are these tiny cars that use the bike lane. There was a huge bike parking lot/covered garage we saw that had thousands of bikes.

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One of the Tiny Cars That Drive on the Sidewalk/Bike Lane – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The bike lane looks like a part of the sidewalk instead of the street and you’ll get your ass ran over fast if you don’t pull your head out of it. The crosswalks are in segments so you don’t cross the street all at once unless you get a green light to do so.

We went in to see the inside of The Basilica of St. Nicholas. I love the details and grandeur of the old architecture. It was the first time I had been in a cathedral and it didn’t disappoint.

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Basilica of St. Nicholas – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Basilica of St. Nicholas – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Basilica of St. Nicholas – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The public transit is amazing. It’s just amazing. It is so convenient to use and it definitely gets used. You do see private vehicles but public transportation is so prevalent and handy I would not own a car here. Street parking at our hotel is €36… a DAY!

Seeing American cars is strange here, but even stranger I have seen two 1990s Jeep Cherokees, a brand new Grand Cherokee, and a few Teslas.

It’s quite easy to walk most anyplace and find nearly anything you need. We have walked past hardware stores, grocers and countless restaurants and coffeeshops. Coffeeshops sell cannabis, smart shops sell psychedelic mushrooms and mushroom growing kits, herbal non-cannabis recreational drugs, and paraphernalia for everything imaginable. Some souvenir/grocery shops sell cannabis edibles. There are even “seed banks” that sell cannabis seeds. They apparently have very few drug issues from what we have read and heard, and we have not seen any Reefer Madness-like situations – murders, rapes or the dreaded piano-playing hysteria. The main issues sound like it stems from mostly Americans who can’t handle their intoxicants.

Many of the restaurants open in the afternoon and stay open until 1:00 AM. They are usually the local eating places and not that shitty American fast food that is starting to invade everywhere. It’s horrible to walk around this beautiful city with so much great food available and see signs for Domino’s, the King, the Clown and the Colonel here.

After a warmup we went out for a quick walk to find food. I ended up finally getting to try a shoarma (shawarma). It was all I dreamed of and more. The taste was so delicious I wish I had gotten two. We also stopped by a bakery where we picked up a few things. I got a frosted waffle for breakfast and some macarons.

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Macarons in Amsterdam

This is two of the four I bought. I got a red velvet (which was better than the cake!), a cherry one, strawberry is on the right, and I don’t remember the one on the left but they were all very tasty. I guess we’ll see if the waffle makes it through the night!

We have to get up early (3 AM) tomorrow to catch a bus for our next destination so it will probably be a short evening tonight. We will be getting some groceries to eat later tonight plus breakfast tomorrow at the local Lidl store. This is the chain hitting US shores now and is supposedly going to disrupt the U.S. grocery industry in a major way.

That’s all for now; 3 AM comes mighty early. Will update tomorrow from our next destination!

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