May 4-5, 1997

Our Travel Experience - Photo Album - Ratings- Tourist Info

Our Travel Experience
The train ride from Brussels was fine. We transferred in Rotterdam. Very kool since now every time we hear the song "it could be Rotterdam", we think of this trip. We also passed many bulb fields as we approached Amsterdam. The large fields of colors were very impressive. Tara, of course, took pictures. It was also interesting to see many people working in the bulb fields. Arriving in Amsterdam, we needed to find the hotel. It was raining when we arrived and actually continued to rain nearly the whole time we were there. After finding the hotel, our first goal was to see the red light district.

You can hear how prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, but until you see the women in the windows, the concept does not hit home. Whole street fronts with glass windows and doors with a red neon light on top and a woman in a bikini inside.

You can also hear how marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, but until you sit in a cafe filled with people rolling their own joints on the tables and read the menu listing different countries as sources, the concept also does not hit home.

It was much more of a chore to find the hotel going home. But, in the end, Tara's sense of direction prevailed and we made it, thankfully, to bed. NOW we know why the lady at the front desk was so insistent when we were leaving for the evening that we each take a hotel card with us. We're sure that there are many tourists wandering hopelessly lost around Amsterdam after an evening out.

The next day was reserved for the Bulb Fields. We arrived at the Keukenhof just as it was opening. The flowers upon entering were very colorful, well groomed and overall beautiful. Since it was still raining, we need to buy a second umbrella. After getting an umbrella for each of us, we spent the day roaming through the bulbs. We planned ahead for when we have a house and wrote down the prettiest ones. This way, we can order them direct from Holland when we have a yard! We have some very impressive photos of the bulbs. Unfortunately, we had to leave to catch the train to Brussels.

The bulbs we think were prettiest include:

The train ride to Brussels was fun since Tara managed to get one of every type of coin from the man with the refreshment cart. The Netherlands had also recently changed their coins, so for all the coins, she had to specifically ask for one old coin and one new coin.

The train ride on Eurostar from Brussels to London ended our weekend. It was a long journey home, but we're glad we spent the one night in Amsterdam. We hope to go back.

Photo Album
Plus see more of our photos in our photo album from Amsterdam. 
This is the equivalent of a men's public toilet in Amsterdam and the cafe Seth and I found in the Red Light District.

Our hotel room overlooked a river.  Tara is trying on a pair of traditional Dutch shoes. 


The Tulip Fields were amazing. Every way you looked, you saw beautiful flowers, beautiful flowers and more beautiful flowers. The bright colors made a big impact even on a rainy day. We hadn't brought along an umbrella - so we ended up buying one. It is bright green with a yellow tulip for the handle. We won't forget where we bought this umbrella!

Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience 7 A fun night. Next time we'll have to spend longer in Amsterdam. We do hope to go back!
Ease of Journey 8 To get to Amsterdam, we took the train from Brussels. This wasn't bad. But, on the way back, the long train journey was a bit much. We were on a local train for ~3 hours and then on the Eurostar for 3 hours. So, next time we fly from London.
Accommodation 6 We just picked a hotel out of the tourist brochure. It was on a canal and close to the city center. That was all that mattered.
Activities 10 no comment
Coolness 9 Amsterdam: It was bizarre to actually experience a city where pot and prostitution are legal. Legalized marijuana hits home when you look over and see the person next to you rolling a joint in the restaurant! Legalized prostitution hits home when you walk down the street surrounded on both sides by women in bikinis behind glass doors. It is even more real when you see men bargaining for a price, going in and the curtains closing!! 
The bulb fields: These were beautiful. The flowers went on and on forever whichever way you looked. The colors were so vibrant and the smells. ahhhhh....
Tourist Info