Saturday, January 30, 2016

Amsterdam!


I've had the good fortune to spend the last week in Amsterdam, visiting the Brooks offices and working with our EMEA e-commerce team. I have also done a bit of running, a bit of sightseeing, and a bit of wandering around. 

Arrived on Sunday feeling pretty destroyed; yet again I didn't sleep on the flight, though I did watch THREE COMPLETE MOVIES. 

Was met at the airport by my friend Matt and his little grommets, who took me home, let me get cleaned up, and fed me  for a couple of hours before pointing me toward my hotel a hundred yards away. 

I stayed at the Bildernerg Garden Hotel; nice lobby, weirdly bland hallways, but a comfy if street-noisy room on the top floor. 

I was desperate for a shower o wash the travel off me, but also knew that I needed to stay awake for several hours. So I changed into my running clothes and heard out to the Vondelpark. 

Vondelpark is often described as Amsterdam's Central Park, and it's a good comparison. It's a big park right in the city, filled with runners and cyclists and strollers and lots of city folk enjoying the outdoors. It's pretty close to my hotel, so I did a tiny run to the park, around the loop, and back. I somehow managed not to take ANY photos in the park, but I did snap one shot of the canal on the way back to the hotel. 


Then I showered, got changed, and decided to visit the Rijksmuseum. After all, what better way to while away a few hours? That said, I was a complete zombie by the early afternoon. Sure, most people would have spent time with the Night Watch... but my favorite was this "sleeping bunny" from a massive feast painting: 


I have zero recollection about Sunday night. There was some sleeping, and then a whole lotta WIDE AWAKE at 2:30am. 

Minas met me downstairs in the morning to walk me to work. By the way, how cool is it to have your office inside the historic Olympic Stadium from 1928? So cool. 


The office is cool inside, too; there's nice artwork:


some cool furniture:


and, of course, THIS VIEW:


The working week had lots of highlights, including getting to know my counterparts across the pond, going to Blauw for an amazing Indonesian rijstafel, having two great dinners at Minashuis,  and even a n early morning run around the canals in my 'hood. 


I also fit in a visit to the Anne Frank Huis, enabled by my playing hooky one afternoon and slipping out at 3. 

The Anne Frank Huis was both interesting and depressing ... especially  when you realize that she and her family were refugees turned away from the US. 

On Friday night I went to the late opening at the Van Gogh Museum. A slightly strange mix of hundreds of people drinking beer, listening to music, or sprawled on the gallery floors drawing. Oh, and a whole bunch of Van Gogh paintings. 

I found two new favorites, Portrait of a Skull Smoking a Cigarette (so rock 'n' roll!): 


and Almond Blossoms:


Let's just admit, right now, that I spent a good deal of time and money in the gift shop. 

Then this morning I went on a "running tour" of Amsterdam, but I'll write about that in a separate post!

After the tour (and a hot shower!) I decided to head into the center and beyond, taking the free ferry over to Builsloterweg. 



and then walking along a canal, through Noorderpark, and onward to catch a glimpse of a windmill. Why? Well, duh. Meet d'Admiraal, a working gristmill:


Windmill? Check. 

As I walked back the couple of miles to the ferry, I remembered that I hadn't eaten since before the run. Luckily, I also remembered a great-looking cafe right next to the ferry dock: Cafe Du Pont. 


Seriously, this place is perfection. Cozy, with a bright and airy farmhouse / diner sort of feel, with a sweet menu. I don't know if its traditional or "the real Amsterdam", but I could seriously spend all day and all evening here. 




I had a sandwich, a Vedett Witbier, and am just enjoying a very mellow afternoon.

More soon.  

2 comments:

Elizabeth Pitman said...

Thanks for ultimate guide! Few questions about transport from the airport. Could we use public transport or booking taxi in advance on services like http://kiwitaxi.com/Netherlands/Amsterdam will be better idea?

Sunny said...

Hi Elizabeth - my hotel was a 5-minute walk from the train line from the airport, so it was really easy for me just to take public transport. I also arrived on a quiet Sunday morning, and with only one bag so it was extra easy.