I had nothing scheduled for today, and I was thinking I'd take a day trip, but I wasn't sure where. I decided to rent a bike and ride north of Amsterdam to some small villages, and although it rained overnight, the sun was shining this morning. But right when I got to the train station, a big dark cloud rolled over. So I decided to travel by bus. I first went to Hoorn, about 50 minutes by bus (if I'd biked, I'd never have made it that far). Hoorn was really cute, and I spent an hour walking around. Then I went to Edam. I thought I'd spend another hour there and then head to some other towns, but I ended up spending three hours there, as it was just so pleasant to walk around and see all the pretty houses and canals.
By the time I was done seeing Edam, I realized I was done seeing cute, lovely, charming, delightful, rustic villages. I was longing for some city time. So I came back to Amsterdam, walked to Dam Square (the center of the historic core) and sat and took in the crowds and the energy.
|Dam Square. The Royal Palace is directly ahead, and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) to the right.|
There was still time to visit the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk before they closed, and then I walked back home. I did buy a multi-day tram pass to use for the rest of my time here, because it's a long walk (about a half hour each way), and I'd rather spend that energy and time seeing stuff. (Though I'm not entirely sure the tram will be a whole lot quicker.)
One of the nice things about having an apartment is being able to buy groceries. Eating out can be tiresome after a while. So I got some soup and some bread and cheese and had a nice dinner at home tonight.
Tomorrow I have a buy day scheduled. Anne Frank House at 9:00, then a three-hour walking tour at 10:30, and then a canal boat tour at 15:00. And I made plans to meet a guy who is a regular on the Rick Steves website forum for dinner tomorrow night. We're going to do Rijstafel.