Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 – Amsterdam – 87F

The room was quiet even though we did have neighbors on our floor. I was so tired, I slept about 8-9 hours straight. Even so, I was still a little jet lagged. Breakfast at the hotel started at 8:30 AM. and again involved a treacherous descent and, even worse, ascent on those stairs.  Not a spectacular breakfast – corn flakes and milk, cheese, homemade dark bread (the best part of breakfast), and apple strudel of some sort – the coffee was weak and not very hot.  For what we are paying for this hotel, my expectations were higher.  We were the only people having breakfast at this hour.  

Yesterday, we just wandered around the city but today, we would be more organized. I had done some checking on line so we had a walking route planned. We would once again catch the sites and also look for the area of town sporting all of the spas (by taking Vizjelstraat, which turns into Rokin street, which leads to Dam Square.

IMG_20180724_Dam Square

Dam Square, Amsterdam

We were able to find our way via the directions but it was still so hot that walking was difficult. That was a shame because that area of the city is teaming with activity and shops.  We did, however, find enough shade to get good views (and pics) of the Royal Palace and the Nieue Kerke.

IMG_20180724_Royal Palace

Royal Palace

IMG_20180724_Royal Palace and Nieue Kerke

Nieue Kerke across Dam Square

This seemed like a good vantage point to take a panoramic shot of iconic Dam Square.

IMG_20180724_Dam Square Panorama

The centerpiece of Dam Square is the National Monument, a 72 foot high marble tower, which commemorates the casualties (both military and civilian in WWII and since).  The monument is replete with symbolic figures and urns (containing soil from killing grounds).  The structure was completed in 1956 and, in our previous visits to the city, had been draped for repairs.  Today, it is pretty much totally viewable.

IMG_20180724_Dam Square Monument

National Monument

To get away from the heat, we went inside Magna Plaza, the huge mall behind the Royal Palace. We went to a little food place called “Sissy Boys” in the lower level.  The AC was working nicely, the couches were comfortable, and the place was relatively quiet. The store was manned by two young Dutch girls who spoke perfect English. We nursed a Blueberry Smoothie and Decaf Chai Latte for over an house while using their WIFI and munching on snacks we brought with us. As is the European Way, no one bothered us and encouraged us to move along.  Not only, that but we got the code for the washrooms, which really was important.  We stayed until our batteries were running low and then made our way back out into the heat.

We did find spas (and there were a number of them in the area) but they all looked too warm inside so we passed. We walked down to a marina and could see the Central Station across the way.

IMG_20180724_Amstel and Central Station

Central Station in the Distance

Retracing our journey home, we had an early dinner at an Italian restaurant – “Bella Regina”.  Unlike the pasta place yesterday, this restaurant was open to the street so it was noisy and adorned with flies.  And it was hot.  We ordered salmon and fettuccine again (this time with alfredo sauce) along with a mixed salad and a beer. The food was only marginal and the local beers are served in mini bottles.

We headed back home to our hot room and fan.

We asked the owner to call us a cab for 11:30 AM.

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