Saturday, September 4, 2010

Random observations in Amsterdam

  • Amsterdammers may not arise early, but they sure like to party late!  Bars do not have to close until 4 or 5 a.m., so there is street noise until the wee hours of the morning.
  • The Flower Market was disappointing due to my expectations.  I envisioned row after row of stalls with blooming flowers.  Instead, the stalls are filled with bulbs, both packaged and non packaged, for sale.  The vendors will ship worldwide, but with my inability to grow anything in the garden, I will pass.  I did see bulbs that I have never seen in the U.S.  There are flower carts placed sporadically throughout the city with flower bouquets that are gorgeous.  I imagine there are more in the spring.
  • When I open up my blog, Blogger opens in Dutch!  I was floored the first time I tried to blog until I realized that everything switched to English once I logged on.  The Internet truly is an amazing thing.
  • One of the first things I saw this morning (Saturday) was a man dressed in a tuxedo with tails and a boutonniere riding a bike!  On his way to a wedding perhaps?  Shortly thereafter, I caught a glimpse of a car decorated with a fresh flower arrangement on the hood.
  • You can take a guided bike tour of the city.  We've seen several groups.  I'm sure it would be lots of fun to pedal around, but I can't imagine trying to navigate the intersections!
  • As in Copenhagen, the preferred lunch seems to be a small sandwich eaten while walking or biking.  "Lunchtime" is about 2 or 3 with dinner no earlier than 7 p.m.
  • During the light rain the other day, many bicyclists were adeptly handling the bike and an umbrella!
  • The street cleaner comes by often.  Garbage is left in plastic bags at a designated spot near the side of the road for pickup.
  • The arches under the canal bridges are rimmed with small white lights at night.  Simple, but very pretty.

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