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Amsterdam: Passing Through…

On the way back from Ethiopia we happened to land in Amsterdam long enough to be able to take a train to the city and explore the tourist core for a little bit. The city is close to the airport and is also geographically quite small in size, which is probably why so many people commute by bicycle. It only took about 15-20 minutes for the regular train to get to the tourist core.

It was still quite early in the morning when we got there, and we were exhausted like heck from the lack of sleep and recovery from traveller’s sickness in Ethiopia. We walked around the tourist core for a bit and watched the trams and the few people that were up and about on a Sunday morning.

We had a delicious apple studel (apfelstrudel) and then had a breakfast that cost us an incredible $40 for a basic breakfast (in fairness, it was filling and delicious). Everything in Amsterdam is EXPENSIVE. Maybe it’s just because of the tourist-trap nature of the area, or maybe Europeans just make a lot more money, but I couldn’t believe just how expensive everything was. Things are not that expensive even in the downtown of a Canadian city.

We had made it indoors just in time, as it started to rain and the weather is not that warm in Amsterdam, even in August.

Amsterdam - August 7th, 2011
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07-Aug-2011 01:37, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 320

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07-Aug-2011 02:13, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:14, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:16, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:16, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:16, SONY DSC-S950, 6.7, 10.2mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:17, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:20, SONY DSC-S950, 6.2, 8.7mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 03:02, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 03:05, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 03:29, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 03:35, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:29, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 02:23, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100

The city was full of garbage, but there were workers and giant mechanical vacuum cleaners cleaning it up. There had probably been a party the night before.

After breakfast, we booked an expensive bus tour that had an obligatory stop at Gassan Diamonds. We didn’t buy any diamonds but it was an interesting sidestop. It stopped raining and the sun came back out to play.

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07-Aug-2011 04:37, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 05:16, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 05:23, SONY DSC-S950, 3.7, 11.6mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 05:29, SONY DSC-S950, 6.2, 8.7mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 05:43, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125

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07-Aug-2011 05:45, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 200

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07-Aug-2011 06:01, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:21, SONY DSC-S950, 3.7, 11.6mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:32, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:35, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:37, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:44, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

At this point the city was starting to fill up with tourists. We had just a bit more time, so we took a few more pictures before taking the train back to the airport.

On the way to the airport I was able to see some of the office buildings and factories where the people work, as well as giant three-spoked wind-powered generators, the same type that you see on environmental commercials and pamphlets. There are a few of those around the city, and there’s also a big off-shore farm in the ocean that our plane flew over on the way back to Canada.

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07-Aug-2011 06:45, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:53, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:54, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 06:55, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 07:07, SONY DSC-S950, 2.5, 5.8mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

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07-Aug-2011 07:20, SONY DSC-S950, 5.1, 5.8mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100

This is a charming, beautiful city that we were too tired and time-pressed to really enjoy while on the way back home, but I would like to return one day and see more of what Amsterdam is really about. Perhaps when I have more money to travel again, as it’s not cheap in Amsterdam!

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