Amsterdam – Day 29

Today was another early start. Even though today was a semi free day we had an included bike tour at 9am but Kriziti organised for us to meet and catch the ferry into the city at 7:50. After arriving in the city following the ten minute ferry ride we were lead around some of the streets and shown a couple of sites of Amsterdam. Instead of cleaning the streets during the early hours of the morning the city appears to do that work during peak hour. Seems logical. Have street sweepers and people blasting water everywhere during peak hour.

My favorite thing about Amsterdam is that everyone rides a bike. They had multi-story bike parking. Everwhere is a cycle way. Bikes out number cars by thousands. The bikes are not flashy they are just for getting from A to B. The ferries are designed for people to ride on and ride off. I wish home was like this. Also do not forget that this is Amsterdam and like Belgium it rains constantly. Yet these people ride no matter what the weather. At 9am we arrived at Mike Bike Tours. We were split into our groups. Given a safety lecture. Pretty much if you can’t ride a bike then don’t do this. Public liability over here is non existant. The bike tour went for an hour and only stopped at one place. That was the main park in Amsterdam. The guide told us that after dark it is legal to have sex in the park. He said when ever people do in the park is pretty much legal. He also made a claim that the park is so visited that it sinks 3cm each year.

After the bike tour our tour group walked back to the I amsterdam sign in a nearby park. A bunch of photos were taken on many cameras. From this point people split up into groups. Rhian went of to visit the Anne Frank house while I headed off too visit the Heineken Experience. I seemed to be the only one going this direction at this time so I went by myself. As soon as I reached it I got a message from Maarten who lives over here and worked with me at Biante for a few months. I walked the 2.5kms back to the central station to meet him at 12. However he was late and didn’t arrive until after 12:30. Maarten only had time for a quick drink so we went to a pub and had one drink for an hour. When we parted he helped me work out how to buy a tram ticket back to the Heineken Experience.

On the tram ride I sms’d Rhian saying I was heading back and she told me she was only thirty minutes away. I agreeded to meet her there. However Rhian walked the wrong was and arrived 45 minutes late. By now it was almost three O’clock. We entered the Heineken Experience. They have an app to guide you around and free WiFi. I downloaded this and used it on the tablet to navigate the museum section of the building. After the museum section the rest of the place is interactive. They even have Heineken Horses but you can’t ride them. They even get sent to the country in the summer for holidays.

For $6 euros you can buy a bottle of beer with what ever you want written on it. We got three. One each with our names and one with both our names. Rhian poured her own beer. Video to come later. I bought a sign in the shop and Rhian got a shirt with her name printed on it. After the Heineken Experience we had to race back. I bought a sign for the garage. Rhian got a shirt.

It was now close to 1730 and we had to be back ready to catch the ferry back to the city at 1820. We dashed from the Heineken Experience to Central Station stopping only to purchase the fridge magnets. Rhian got some pink slippers too, No one knows why. When we reached the ferry port Allan And Pete were also waiting for the same boat, When we got back to the hotel we had only five minutes to be ready to catch the boat. I wanted a shower so we miseed the boat and got the next one fifteen minutes later.

Once back in the city we raced to the chinese building where we were to have dinner. We arrived only fifteen minutes late. Dinner of course was chinese food. First time since leaving home and it was ok. After dinner was our boat cruise. The boat picked us up from just outside the floating restraunt. The cruise took us around the canals of Amsterdam. All you can drink was included in the cost. I only had a few drinks though. During the cruise the MC pointed out some of the sights and buildings we were passing by. A lot people live on small boats along the canal side. Looking through the windows a lot of the homes appear modern but very small.

After the cruise we went to a club. I was not really interested in this and didn’t even get another drink. I stayed for around an hour before leaving to get the last ferry back to the hotel. Rhian stayed on and didn’t return home until 2am.

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