Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday evening, first day in Amsterdam

So Larry and I found Sylvia, who runs the tour from the Netherlands end of it and were transported to our hotel, the Conservatorium, which is a magnificent building adjacent to many major museums and the Amsterdam concert hall.  The museum has parts that seem very old and parts that are extremely modern, all connected together somehow.  We couldn't check in immediately, so headed out on a long walk to the cathedral  (the DAM).  There is a shop next to the cathedral called Dam Good Coffee.  We passed many coffee shops, and I had be quite firm with Larry about not spending time in these so-called "coffee" shops.  But Larry patiently waited while I shopped for replacement garments.   It was a beautiful sunny, spring day and the streets were crowded with tourists and bicycles.   There are indeed many bridges and canals in Amsterdam, also as promised, it is tulip season.   For a while, I kept exclaiming "look, tulips!" but I fear that gets old fast (since there are always tulips).  We tried out the swimming pool and jacuzzi down in the basement...nice.  We met our fellow Stanford travel study customers at a beautiful dinner in the hotel, and had interesting conversation, about past and future Stanford travel study trips of course, but also cell phones, landlines, internet security, scams, and a good half hour of angry complaints from two participants who were not met at the airport for some reason.   Larry said "well, the good news're here now" but they were not much mollified.
I guess they ended up taking taxis, for which Stanford will reimburse them.  Perfection is a lot to expect.  

I am very pleased that Larry did so well on the long walk through town and a short experimental tram ride.  We are both very tired, though, and looking forward to a good night's sleep in our much larger hotel room.  Interesting, though, how complicated all the doors and light switches are.  Really avant garde design, but kind of hard to learn to use.

Tomorrow, we'll brave the crowds at the Van Gogh Museum, and go to a symphony concert in the evening of, guess what, Gershwin and Copland.  We came far to hear Dutch musicans play American music.  


  1. Comment posting not going so well for me... third try: sound like you're already packing it in! I'm envious of the tulips because they're the best flower.

    1. Hey Jenny! Did you get my first reply? Anyway, catching up before we leave for our day in Haarlem. So many tulips!

  2. Tulipmania! Funny about the concert

  3. Hi Gail! Drippy gray day today, but chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!