Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back to Amsterdam...the New Orleans of Europe

As we were riding the tram from the train station to the hotel last night, we decided Amsterdam was to Europe what New Orleans is to the United States.  By far Brussels was the highlight of our trip if you haven't guessed by now...not to sound like a broken record but the people were so friendly, the city had a very cosmopolitian feel to it but still felt small and welcoming.

With my travel buddy taking a flight out today and the weather forecast a bit grim, I decided to forego my original plan of a countryside bike tour and opted for the city's hop-on/hop-off tour...a good thing as the rain definitely came and went throughout the day.

After the initial loop of the tour, I hopped off at the flower market and wandered around eventually making my way back to the hotel to enjoy a little lunch I picked up at the local market (definitely needed a respite from the weather).

After lunch, I hopped back on the bus and made my way to Central Station and headed over to St. Nicolaas Church.  We were told on our boat ride earlier in the week that St. Nicolaas was the patron saint for sailors.  For the second time in my life, I've attended mass in Amsterdam and didn't understand a word said (the first time was in 1987 when it was in Dutch and I was in an Reformed Catholic Church)...this time I was in a Roman Catholic Church but it was in Spanish.  The good thing about a Catholic mass is you can pretty much tell where you are in the mass by the number of times you've stood, kneeled and stood again!
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the streets before packing up from my little holiday across the big pond.  As always, it has been fun and I look forward to my next adventure... 

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