Whatever you've heard about Amsterdam, double it.

Trip Start Apr 28, 2010
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49
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Trip End Jul 08, 2010


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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

We think everyone should come here and see this most amazing place, even if only once. We can't compare it to anywhere else we've seen. The social attitude is lazzaire faire to the nth extreme. It's a very very easygoing place,

We did see one biggy - a bloke chasing another one with a chair over his head and deadly intent. A bit scary. Alcohol, a hot night, Holland playing a match that night in the World Cup. We very bravely kept going. We heard the chair smash. We think it was against a doorway into a pub. We hope it was.

We got a message from Dries and Paula the other day. Lovely to get it too. It reminded us that we'd forgotten to mention Dries's sensitivity over his ownership of a flashy German SUV. They're all show and shine, Dries, you'd be happier without it.

The bicycle is King and Queen here. They are absolutely the most common form of personal transport. We saw mums with 3 kids on them. They come with long trunks for transporting goods, multiple luggage carriers, every variation you can imagine. We saw serious looking city professionals on them, wobbly hippies, people of advanced age and everyone else too. People commonly give rides to their friends who sit on the rear carrier. None of our pictures really worked out very well. They don't show how every available surface has bikes leaning on them. The roads are full, with bikes riding as many abreast as it takes. Lots of dedicated bike paths but they also share the roads and the footpaths too. The whirring noise is constant. And the old fashioned type which lend themselves to baskets are the overwhelming majority of basic style. Lots of blokes riding women's bikes. We thought it was very cool indeed.

There's a big load of motorscooters too. They share the same spaces. Our first bike ride was a little nervous as the scooter riders ride as if they're on pushbikes too. So there's no gaps. Lots of women ride scooters, and like the bike, every type of Amsterdam citizen. We really loved cycling in Amsterdam. It's quite flat for a start. Also the Weather being fab. But mainly it was so nice to be in a place where the car ISN'T King - in fact it's not even close. There's still plenty of them though, driving down the narrow canal-side lanes. But not honking you to get out of the way.

We agree with our friends that Amsterdam is like all other big cities - a bit much in large doses we guess. But we only had a small dose and we thought it was an excellent place to visit for the very first time.

Dutch people seem to be very tall.

We'll put up Amsterdam part 2 in a couple of days with a little video of cycling in Amsterdam.
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Comments

Mum on

What an impressive city! Why can't Aust. organize more bicycle and scooter use, I wonder? The flat land and shorter distances within the country help of course. Even Mt. Gambier is quite hard as far as bike riding is concerned. We are pleased to read that all continues to be so enjoyable for you with the weather being kind. We hope it keeps up, even when you return to Britain! We are having a mild sunny winter's day here. There has been a lot of rain through the nights which is pleasing for the winter gardens. Love from us both, Mum and Dad.

Stef on

You've convinced me! I've never needed much of an excuse to get on my pushy, Denmark is pretty good but it sounds like Holland might have the edge. Maybe we should get together for a minor reprise of your epic but on pushies? We could just focus on the bike-friendly countries - such as Holland and Denmark?

stef on

Just watching the Dutch GP on the telly. If you're in the crowd, wave when the leaders come past so I can see you. Thanks.

Actually I think I just saw you...the wasted-looking guy wearing camos and mirror shades...class. Keep up the good work.

clockmaker on

I suppose you are right. You have brought me on the right path now and I am thinking of selling it. A Landrover with a Beemer designed engine is somewhat of an anomaly. A two country car like this German/Brit will allways have an identity crisis. Off course this does not apply for any Australian cars like big V-eight Holden's, right?
cheers

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