Thursday, March 30, 2006

Amsterdam Arrival

I made it to Amsterdam with no problems (and have Internet in the room for the remainder of the trip). The walk from the train station to the hotel was a bit more than I expected - they do have trams, but I wanted to walk to get oriented with the city on the way. It took about 45 minutes to get to the hotel (the backpack was getting quite heavy towards the end). The hotel is near the museums and the park.

Initial (second) impressions of Amsterdam is that it seems to be a mix of intimacy of Dublin with the edge of London. Its definitely a modern city (buildings and architecture). I didn't come across a Starbucks on the walk to the hotel (never did find one in Brussels or Bruges), but did walk by what looked to be a museum on the history of coffee and passed several shops advertising espresso and cappuccino. The place in Brussels that I found on the corner of the Markt wasn't open at about 9am this morning when I went out searching for coffee. I get the sense the Brussels is a late rising city.

The hotel is nice and the reception was very pleasant. The room may be the smallest that I've ever stayed in. It's roughly the same size as the bathroom was at Le Meridien. Its just good to put the bags down and take a breather before heading out for a bite and exploration of the city. Having the park nearby will certainly entice me to jog again.

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