Today was another beautiful one. A woman approached us at the Maritime Museum asking us to take an online survey for the museum. She eventually asked us where we were from, and when we replied “Santa Cruz, California”, she followed with a “Why Amsterdam? The weather….”, trailing off. They seem to think it’s so bad, but I really don’t mind getting sprinkled on during dinner or having to put my raincoat on at the zoo. If anything, the nights are warm enough to sit outside at 9pm, which is saying something when you look at California. But maybe I’m just convinced everyday here is like the last two 🙂
We decided to live the real Dutch life today and rented bicycles! Considering my last post mentioning how aggressive the bikers are, this probably wasn’t the most suited activity for me. But, I’ll have you know, I was only honked angrily at once today. Yes, I’m very proud of myself.
We first biked down to Centraal-Station for something called an iamsterdam city pass (classic tourist, I know). It’s one of those passes that gets you into millions of museums for free and gives you free stuff and discounts (yay!). After biking around for a while, getting lost, stumbling upon some HUGE cruise ships, and finding a rouge swing, we finally made it to the maritime museum.
At the Maritime Museum, they have one of those old tall ships from the 17th century – back when the Dutch East Indies was running the world. Gorgeous ship – how did so many people live for months in such small spaces? The Captain’s cabin was probably less that 5 feet tall – was crawling not voluntary? I find it hard to believe people were that much shorter.
After an adorable lunch at the museum consisting of some sort of delish chicken and guacamole and spices on top of a large slice of bread (open-face sandwich?), I dragged my father to the zoo. They had red pandas! And a giant anteater! And baby everything! Baby chimpanzee, baby gorilla, baby giraffes, baby lion. The list goes on. It was actually a very nice zoo, on this gorgeous piece of land in the middle of the city. The sea lions were particularly playful. Don’t you just love zoos?
After all that walking and jet lagging, we had a sit at the hotel and then went out for dinner. We found this adorable restaurant with outside tables on the canal and a french menu snooty enough to make my tongue cringe. These Europeans just make me feel so uncultured. Humph.