We took the train from Cologne to Amsterdam, where again Natalie diligently worked en route.
Natalie again had a phone call scheduled soon after we arrived in Amsterdam, so we headed straight to our hotel, which was an easy ferry ride after going out the back of the train station. (Watching videos in this post with the sound on will make them better).
Where we stayed
I had a few Starwoods Points laying around, so we booked the Sir Adam Hotel that is a member of the SPG world. Staying for free would normally be cool enough for me, but the hotel itself was both convenient and pretty interesting.
The hotel is the building on the left below. It has a rooftop with views of Amsterdam across the canal (river?) and the highest swing in Amsterdam.
After checking in, we headed up to our room in the 70’s disco that was our elevator.
The music theme was kept up in our room.
And there was a record player, which should be a feature of more hotels.
Amsterdam Run #1
Because Natalie had a phone call to go on, I again went for a run.
As the Strava map below shows, I started across the waterway behind the train station and then ran a loop that ended at my hotel.
I first set out on the ferry that Natalie and I used to get back and forth from the main part of Amsterdam.
But that was pretty short-lived. And I ended up running along some highways that weren’t particularly pleasant. And, then it began to hail (forecast was for sun). So, safe to say that I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
This was about as nice as the rest of my run got. There are still some remnants of the freeze on the waterways that had made ice skating on the canals possible the week before we arrived in Amsterdam.
And, I took a video of me running on a too-small walkway.
Ultimately, a pretty miserable run all around. And, I got back to the hotel very cold, wet and tired.
Sights around Amsterdam
Because I had only gone out the back of the train station to get to my hotel. And, I never crossed to the other side of the train station to see the historic center of Amsterdam, I was feeling pretty low about Amsterdam in general.
But, once Natalie was done with her work and I had showered, we headed over on the ferry and to the other side of the train station and I immediately had one of those “AHA!” moments.
Amsterdam is absolutely beautiful.
We never ended up taking any of the boats, which was probably a mistake.
But we did discover that Bachelorette parties, other than being in boats instead of limos, are pretty much the same in Amsterdam as New York.
Amsterdam Food and Drink
Our dining in Amsterdam started off at a small cafe recommended by my Dutch friend Birgit: Café Keppler.
Both Natalie and I were adventurous and ordered the special, which was only in Dutch. It turned out to be this lovely assortment of meat, veggies, and bread. We think it was raw beef, but will never be completely sure. It was delicious though.For dinner one night I tried a hamburger at Restaurant Vlaming. And, yes it was called a Royale with Cheese. It was quite good and F’ng drowned in mayonnaise.While waiting at the hotel for Natalie to get some feedback on the work we enjoyed some drinks in the hotel restaurant: The Butcher. Natalie was boring and got wine, while I got to enjoy a delicious alcoholic milk shake.
Birgit also recommended that we head to Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal and Spirits to try some local Gin. It’s a neat little place that has been distilling gin for 300 years or something like that. You can sample any number of types or infusions before you pick your small glass to enjoy.
Before our next meal we grabbed beers at Arendsnest Dutch Beer Bar. It was too crowded inside, but we had nice seats by the canal.I think Natalie was asking me to wink during this one.We ended up having a great Indian meal that night, but neither Natalie nor I took any pictures of it.
After visiting the too-crowded Van Gogh museum and taking a stroll through a park, we headed to Jacketz where they serve up enormous baked potatoes stuffed with the fillings of your choice.
Because we didn’t have enough carbs and cheese for lunch, we had fondue for dinner at Cafe Bern.
It was a nice way to cap off a great little trip.
Along with the eating and sight-seeing, I also managed to squeeze in another run while we were in Amsterdam.
The weather cooperated this time, and my run was much nicer than the first time around.
As a result I took pictures of more things. Like this murky pond.
But I did some laps anyway, wheezing all of the way around.
At the end of the trip, I felt like this couch at the airport: happy and tired.