I have a feeling, after first visiting Amsterdam for the first time, nearly 50 years ago, that returning to this city again is never boring. I was here in 2016, after a stop in Dublin, and on my way to Berlin. I am thrilled with the museums here, namely the van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. I also love the Concertgebouw with its great acoustics, the Dutch countryside on a bicycle, and the inimitable Dutch spirit on every street corner.
This trip will be no different. First stops will be the museums, then maybe a trek over to the Anne Frank House. I probably will not make my usual stops at the Kasbahs and the Red Light district, since you might be watching me!
My first trip here in 1971 was a real trip. Staying in a student hostel, going to the kasbahs every night, strolling through the Red Light District, eating rijsttafel and pickled herring every day, washing it down with Heineken. It would be best if I do not provide any more detail, at least in writing, for fear of incriminating my buddies.
Though I enjoyed the museums and concerts back then, I have evolved into a better, more responsible tourist. Spending all day and night in a stupor does not constitute any semblance of decency or responsibility. But I will make you one promise! I will NOT buy a pair of clogs!
So, besides cheese, bicycles, museums, and Heineken, what else is there to do here?
I imagine basketball and volleyball are big sports here. Why? The Dutch are the tallest people in the world. Men average 184 centimeters, women check in at 170 cm.
There are more than a million bicycles in this city, and only 814,000 people!
Smoking was banned back in 2008. But some coffee shops, the brown cafes, allow you to smoke weed! Yet, Amsterdam is one of the safest 25 cities in the world!
Much to my liking, Amsterdam is the second largest consumer of coffee in the world, at 3.2 cups of coffee per person, per day. That is just slightly more than I like to drink in the morning.
Amsterdam has 872 more bridges than Venice! And 165 canals. But the canals are full of bicycles, up to 30,000 per year are found under water. Only about 8,000 are pulled up each year. There are 2500 houseboats in Amsterdam.
There are 1515 cafes and bars in this city. How many have I been to?
Twenty million of us visit this great city annually.
People, regardless of income, can take their pet to the vet once a year for free! What a great idea!
For every 100 men in Amsterdam, there are 145 women!
Amsterdam is the world’s largest exporter of beer. They export twice the amount of the U.S, a total of 1.3 billion liters.
I think you get the idea. This is one great city, easily navigable, fun, and much to do. What a great way to start this trip.