23 07 2008

On the weekend Frank and I went into Amsterdam for the day, we met up with some new and old friends from a travel website I belong to.  Virtual Tourist is a website where you can go on and do some investigating for a trip anywhere in the world.  You get great tips from other members who have been there and will give their honest opinion about it.  Plus, if you like you can meet up with other members that live in the area and either go out for drinks or at times get a free tour of where they live.  I was lucky enough to have friends from the site take me around areas of the Netherlands that I may not have been able to see on my own.  Plus I was great when they came to Canada we were able to see each other again for supper.  Ok.. now for the trip to Amsterdam…

Let me remind you that it has been raining for 3 weeks now, so we knew it was going to rain, we just didn’t realize  how much it was going to rain.   We took the train to Amsterdam with a few friends and since we got there early we went to the library.  I was able to get a few pictures of the city from the top floor.  But since we didn’t have much time, I wasn’t able to go and look around the whole building.  We then headed over to a koffiehuis near the train station to meet up with the rest of the group.  After a quick koffie, we then took the tram up to the museumsplein to go to the IAMSTERDAM sign, which… wasn’t there.  So we then started walking…and ended up being hit with a torrential downpour!  So in our mad frenzy to find a place to sit and have some lunch (this after we wandering around long enough to get drenched), we went to this tiny place and basically filled it with the 16 of us.  We waited it out for as long as we could then decided to just make a break for it. 

Finally deciding on what we were going to do, some went to the Botanical Garden, while others when to the Hermitage.  I chose the garden.  Even though it was raining, I wasn’t in the mood to go and look at photographs from Russia.  At the gardens they had a few smaller greenhouses and one large one.  The smaller ones that we could get into had a display of plants from Southwestern US and Mexico and the other greenhouse had butterflies in it.  Then the largest of the greenhouses that we saw had a huge rain forest like exhibit in it.  My favourite would probably be the butterfly one of course.  There were some really interesting butterflies, including one that had see through wings.  Then there was also a really big blue one, that sat with it’s wings open long enough for me to get a few good pictures.

After leaving the garden we wandered into the market area where, yes of course I bought (well Frank bought it for me) another purse.  Then we headed back  towards the station so that we could go and grab dinner at a restaurant called Humphreys.  It was a nice place to eat and it had a huge table to fit all of us at one.  The menu was one where you got to choose an appetizer, a main course and a dessert from a list of meals that they change monthly.  Drinks of course are extra.  But the meal was worth the 22, 95 per person.  I had the escargot for the appetizer and the salmon for dinner.  The crepe Suzette was delicious too! 

After spending nearly 3 hours in the restaurant it was time to head home.  The rain can be tiring.  We walked back to the station…in the rain….and missed the one train by seconds.  Finally getting on the next train out we were heading back to Amersfoort, and the back to the bicycles.  I never thought that riding a bike back a short distance could be so tiring after a day like that.  We had a great time that day, it was nice getting out and being able to take more pictures of the city.  I’ve been to Amsterdam a number of times, and at this point if I go back or don’t it doesn’t really matter to me.  But it seems that no matter how many times I go, I can always find something that catches my eye and I need to snap a picture.  But I think I’m going to have to get another camera for Frank 😉 we seem to be fighting over this one. 

If you go on my flickr account (link to the right), you can see more pictures of Amsterdam and the Botanical Garden.  Hopefully next time we have a meet it will be in another city in the Netherlands, maybe Utrecht or in Zeeland 🙂



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