Made it to Amsterdam! The overnight bus trip was great. With an almost empty bus and evidently no one hopping on we skipped a couple of stops, so was able to sleep almost uninterrupted for 8 hours.
Got to Amsterdam early, (like 5:30 am early) and made my way into Amsterdam Central. I was meant to check into my hotel this afternoon, so I wanted to leave my bag with the front desk so I could go around the city up encumbered. The hotel did one better, and said it was no problem for me to check in and have my room then and there. Perfect! So a cup of tea and a shower, and a better start to the day than I could have hoped for!
I spent the whole morning wandering the city, exploring the alleys off canals, and all the interesting (but not tooooo interesting…) curiosities that Amsterdam has to offer. I spent a couple of hours at the Amsterdam photographic museum to shelter from the cold drizzle, and it was well worth the ten Euro asking price. They are currently showing two great exhibitions – Nobuyushi Araki and Vivian Mayer – and they provided a great insight into the styles of two contrasting but talented photographers.
After less than a day I already feel like I have PTSD from walking the streets of Central Amsterdam. I can hear bike bells and angry Dutch ringing in my ears, even while I’m safely inside, away from the psychopath of the bike lanes. And it seems if the bikes don’t kill you, the cars will finish the job. Being a pedestrian in Amsterdam surely deserves some sort of hazard pay.
If I survive, I’ll return home a different man.