Our flight over was pretty good, considering we were almost an hour late leaving Toronto. We made up some time in the air and arrived pretty close to on time. Our transfer from the airport to hotel by bus was pretty easy as well. There was plenty of signage and my research proved spot on. For 5€ you'd really be crazy to pay more for any other mode of transfer. It was 32 minutes from getting on to getting off the bus. And then we learned a valuable lesson. Amsterdammers...or just "Dammers" don't have a clue about their own city. We, or should I say Kier, asked directions 4 times today and each time we were within a couple of blocks of what we were looking for. Each time the local directed us entirely in the wrong direction. The oldest tourist trick in the book, right? But I don't really think they were being intentionally deceptive...I just think they're ridiculously uninformed about their own city.
Our first experience was when we got off the bus in Leidseplein
We checked in, but unfortunately our room wasn't ready for us yet. It was surprising, really, since we did that hour long walk about before we got there. Off we went for a quick bite and a glass of Heineken. It is the local beer. Heineken is to the Dutch what Guinness is to the Irish. Unfortunately, I don't like either!
Back to the hotel we went for 2 pm and got our room. It's great! A nice size on a quiet street. We're on the 1st floor, not to be confused with the ground floor...cause we're one level up from the ground...and have a nice view out the back of the hotel. It's quiet and peaceful.
Once settled in we had to head out immediately to our free tour of the Gassan Diamond Factory. We got to see some apprentice diamond cutters at work shaping and polishing diamonds. Then we got to look at various cuts and sizes of diamonds and then several finished products. Kier was disappointed that they didn't have any men's rings, but seemed to focus entirely on women's jewellery. I found a ring that I really liked...but for 7300€ you best MORE than just LIKE it!!
A quick grocery store stop for cheese, crackers, wine and cider and then we were back in our room for an early night. But not before I had my first bottle of some local cider! Some travel habits are just hard to break. Cheers, Fay!!
When you can't see for looking
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands