We all woke up refreshed after our first night in Amsterdam and had a wonderful buffet breakfast that was included in our hotel charges. After that it was time to find our car.
I knew the name of the company that I had rented it from and tried phoning them – but no one in the office could speak English and I couldn’t speak Danish. The company was located in Denmark, but I can not remember the name of it and I didn’t write that down in my diary. We then found out that the Danish Consulate was located close to us, so we decided to go and talk to them.
The ladies there were very nice. The called the company in Denmark for us and got all the details. Then they gave us directions on how to get to where our car was. By now we were getting pretty good at getting around by bus anyway. It was raining and we had trouble finding the place after we got off the bus though. The cars are rented ahead of time and made available at small garages throughout Europe for pick up and drop off. The garages do not have the name of the company that rents them anywhere on it.
We did finally pick it up though and managed to find our way back to the hotel. The car is an Opal Kadett and we have named her Libby.
Bicycles are everywhere and have the right of way over cars. They have community bicycles – and anyone can take them and go somewhere and then leave it in another community bike rack, which are located everywhere.
The canals are used for transportation and also many people live on their boats on the canal. The streets that have canals have the road on each side of it and bridges go over it at every intersection. In Winnipeg here, some streets have boulevards in the center with traffic on either side – in Amsterdam, they have canals in the center.
Parking for cars seems to be random. There are parking meters, but the cars are small, so sometimes 2 can park at the same meter and if there are curbs, one side of the car is parked up on the curb.
Since we have been getting around just fine by bus and parking is difficult, we decided that we would leave Libby parked where she was, close to our hotel and continue to use the bus while we are in Amsterdam.
We ate dinner at a restaurant just behind our hotel. While eating we had some entertainment as just across from the restaurant was a working prostitute. She sat in her window and there was a red light above the door. We watched a few men walk in the door (one at a time), then the red light would go off and the curtain would close. About 10 – 15 minutes later, the curtain would open, the light would go on and the man would leave.
Here are some of the houseboats on one of the canals.