We've been on a lot of family trips recently, but I also wanted to do a trip all by myself. What with cheap fares on Easyjet to Amsterdam, and my 50% work schedule, it wasn't hard to arrange. I packed super light, so that I wouldn't have to go to my hostel (yes, I stayed at a youth hostel, more on that later) to drop off my things before going sightseeing. I basically carried everything with me all the time. It turned out to not be a problem at all - I have a thing for ultralight travel and lightening my load was a fun exercise.
On Monday, I arrived around 9 AM after cutting it WAY too close with the flight (I missed one of my buses, and then the security line was very long). I went straight to the Rijksmuseum, the biggest and most popular one in Amsterdam, and then just strolled around town. I went through the red light district, but there wasn't much going on - it was only about 5 in the afternoon. I thought there was nothing going on, just a bunch of windows with curtains on them and red lights over them, but I was wrong - I did see one lady in a window.
In the evening I attended a Quantified Self meetup. It was interesting - all the talks, etc, were in English, although with a few exceptions all the people attending were Dutch. Also it was less...rigorous, less scientific than I thought it would be. I would have liked to stay longer except that I was really tired from getting up so early to catch my flight, so I bailed early, and went to the youth hostel. The youth hostel was totally fine, except that I was sharing a room with 5 other ladies. One of these ladies must have been passed out or something, because her phone alarm went off at 6 in the morning. She didn't even wake up. Another woman tried to turn it off, but just hit the snooze button. This happened 2 more times at 10 minute intervals. Finally I asked the woman that was hitting the snooze button to hand it to me, was able to turn it off completely, and got a few hours more rest. A good thing, too, because I was about to toss it out the window.
I ended up chatting Tuesday morning with 2 American women who were studying violin in Manchester (apparently it's cheaper there, though they still quoted costs of somewhere around 20K USD a year, just for tuition - seems very high!).
Then I took a tram straight to a bike rental place close to the train station. I soon had my 1 speed, back-pedal for brakes bike, and took the ferry north of Amsterdam. It was a gorgeous day.
The bike was fairly comfortable - the seat was actually more comfortable than mine - but after using it, I now appreciate bikes with gears and hand brakes much more.
Here's a few pictures from my ride
|Very flat, but the wind can make it difficult|
|In the town of Holysloot|
My flight back to Geneva was late in the evening, around 9, so I got to the airport with plenty of time. There wasn't a soul at the security line - great, I think to myself. Not really - they exercised all their equipment on me, including the full body scan device, and then totally picked apart my tiny backpack.
Overall a great trip, especially the bike ride.