Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Amsterdam? Wait, I thought you went to Dubai? 

We had a short layover in Amsterdam and made the most of it.

Arrive in Amsterdam 7:40 am (local time) of course, to us it seemed to be the middle of the night but we decided to take advantaged of our 7 hour layover.  We stored our carry-ons in an airport locker and then took a train from airport and went to explore downtown Amsterdam. I think this is what did wonders for our jet-lag on the way over. We got up and moving and stayed awake until it was "time for bed" on the next flight. Amsterdam, what a fun place.

The Train Station

As always in Europe I just love looking at the old building and streets and thinking about all the lives and people who have past through, and how the place has evolved into what it now is.  We stopped into a tourist information place and asked what they would recommend doing if they only had  3 hours to explore.  They suggested a 1 hour canal tour. We figured that was the best way to see and hear a lot about the city in a short time. I think even if we were staying in Amsterdam for a few days the canal tour would have been worth it. We also walked around and looked in shops. I was surprised how small some of the places were. There were a lot of cafes and restaurants that had outdoor seating and people were eating outside. (It wasn't freezing cold but it was cold and it is winter!)  When you have limited space you do what you have to do.

 Walking past an alley you look down are realize there are shops and all kinds of things down there.

 Found the bull....just like New York :)

Dam square:

 Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) is quite literally the jewel in the crown. Although no longer home to the Dutch Royal family, this grand 17th century Royal Palace is still used to hold official receptions

Nationaal Monument op de Dam
erected in memory of Dutch soldiers and members of the resistance who died in World War 2. Unveiled in 1956, the monument stores soil from all of Holland’s provinces as well as from the Dutch East Indies. 

De Bijenkorf (The Beehive) --upscale and luxury shopping

We saw some fun building on our canal tour

Nemo -Science Center

 Boats and house boats line the canals. (Some look like they've been there for a VERY long time.)

Bridge after bridge after bridge

Just walking the streets...

We walked into a shopping area to find a HUGE Christmas tree that was suspended in the air. 
Totally cool!

Back to the Airport. There was so much more to see. So much more that caught my attention but we had our actual destination to get to.
Our flight for Dubai left at 2:30 pm.