My husband and I arrived from Seattle into Amsterdam at 9am for a 3 nite stay.
From the Airport, we took the hotel shuttle which stopped about most all the city hotels. I immediately fell in love with this city and I knew three days would fly by here...
The canals, architecture, and the 'fashionable locals' riding cool old black bikes for thier commute to work.
We arrived at our hotel assuming that we could store our luggage for a later check-in, but thankfully they had a room ready early for us. We freshend up quick, found a great lil pastry shop with yummy expresso and planned our day with our maps. (Since I wrote to the Holland tourist board, I recieved all kinds of great maps that proved very useful.)
We proceeded with a walk about Mint Tower and headed down Leidse straat. We came to the entrance of Vondelpark and just took it all in. If I wasn't so jet lagged we would have rented bikes for the day right then!
We walked to the Rijks Museum square where the Van Gogh Museum is located as well.
Awesome, Awesome museum! 200 Van Gogh paintings, as well as books and a computer study area for viewing.
Most all of my favorite pieces are here: The creepy self portraits, his Japanese influenced works, landscapes, portraits from his time spent in Netherlands, Paris, and southern France. His works reflect his mood and location at the time of thier creation. *The beautiful works of a madman.* We very much enjoyed it. Even the tomatoe soup in the cafe here was good, and I needed the nourishment.
We decided that the near-by Riks museum would just have to wait. It intimidated us with it's car and bike paths that drive through it! That looked like a day in itself?! It was just too nice out and my feet already ached.
Then we were off to sidewalk cafe beers then! We walked back to Rembrandtplien near our hotel and sat in the sun with the crowds in the square sharing a broodjes (snack sandwich of ham and cheese). Our Belguim ales were only 2.50 euro each. We started to relax.
After all that excitment it was Siesta time for us, and we didn't wake up until 8pm or so. We found a great place for a yummy Indian dinner called "the Tandoor". It was perfect, they made our tikka masala dish with spice just as I asked. The chef even came out to check on us personally.
We enjoyed our meal and headed to Rokkery Coffee House. The Rokkery has a cool industrial style metal sign outside and purple/blacklights. Inside was a beautiful painted wall mural, candelabras and very chill 'dub' background music, yes a very 'chill' place indeed! The staff downstairs is discreet but helpful with a menu of smokes for purchase.
Late that first night, A light drizzle fell during our walk back along the canal to our hotel, it was just wet enough to reflect the surrounding lights to where the canal and streets nearly shimmered as one.. a memorable ending to a great first day in Amsterdam!