Amsterdam

Our river cruise on the Rhine began in the city of Amsterdam, where we spent two days. After a twelve hour flight from San Francisco, I was tired (even though I slept most of the way), but I was eager to see Amsterdam. A larger than life sculpture of the words I AMSTERDAM welcomed tourists at the airport.

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Amsterdam Airport

We loaded our luggage and my walker into a waiting taxi and headed to the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in the middle of the city.

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There were bicycles everywhere! And construction! After a quick pizza snack in an outdoor café across from the hotel, we couldn’t resist a nap. Dinner that night was in the adjoining restaurant—specializing in Mediterranean cuisine.

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People like outdoor cafes

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The Van Gogh Museum

The next morning, we purchased tickets for my two favorite museums—the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum.  Our concierge recommended going to the Van Gogh first, since the tour groups begin with the Amsterdam. We waited in a long line and finally entered the museum. At the coat check I was able to borrow a wheelchair free of charge (leaving my driver’s license).

When we were ready to go to the Rijksmuseum , the taxi driver was reluctant to take us there since the distance was only three blocks away. After much prodding he finally agreed to drive us to the other museum. But he dropped us off at the wrong entrance. We got off in front of a courtyard with a life-size chess game.

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Rijksmuseum Courtyard

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Entrance (the real one) to the Rijksmuseum

After viewing all my beloved Dutch Master paintings, we had lunch in the museum restaurant. I have found over the years that the European museums have wonderful gourmet restaurants.
On our return to our hotel, we found a Pedi cab, which provided a terrific experience. The Pedi cab had the ability to traverse where autos could not. Although the driver had to pedal, the vehicle was equipped with a motor for steeper hills. Our driver was an ex-pat from Canada who moved to Amsterdam to teach school, but found he could make more money with his Pedi cab business. He charged a flat fare, so we were treated to a sight-seeing tour through the backroads of the central city.

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Judy sitting in the back seat of the Pedi cab

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