2 Nights in Amsterdam
We only had 2 nights in Amsterdam for the last stop of Eurotrip 2019 before heading home to Atlanta. The trip from Bratislava to Amsterdam was a long and interesting train trip. Due to the lack of air conditioning on the train, we decided to visit an Ice Bar in Amsterdam on the first night to cool off from the trip.
Since our daughter had arrived and checked in at the hotel before us, we met her at the hotel to get our room keys. We went to the room to clean up; she headed out on the town with her friend from Canada. The plan was for us to meet them at the Ice Bar about 1.5 hours after our arrival for our reservation. Luckily, we had no delays or issues making it in time.
The Ice Bar has a front area that is like a normal bar; the back area is like a freezer at about 13F/-10C. You get 3 drinks included with the $20 admission. However, you must use one in the front bar area and the other 2 are for the Ice Bar in the back. It is not a bad deal for the experience at $20, although not the cheapest beverage option in town. Due to always being on the move, we don’t usually drink while traveling. However, this was a long month of traveling and we needed to unwind a bit with a couple of drinks.
In the back area, you have about 20 minutes in the cold temperatures to enjoy your two drinks. The key is to order a beer first. Since you have to reuse your glass for your second drink, which can be a shot or another beer. If you get a shot first, then a beer, the beer will be in a shot glass. However, if you have a beer first and your second drink is a shot, it will be a very large shot in a beer glass.
Midnight Stroll Around Amsterdam
We left the Ice Bar and went for a walk; it was a nice summer night for a stroll around town. Amsterdam is full of interesting people to watch, especially after midnight. The kids were hungry, so we found a small kebab shop for a snack before looking for our streetcar/bus back to the hotel. Unfortunately, we had missed both the bus and streetcar back to the hotel. We could wait for about an hour, take a taxi, or call an Uber. At this point, Uber was the best option and the most cost-effective.
Full day in Amsterdam
The next day was our only full day to see Amsterdam and we all had different ideas on how to spend our time there. My wife wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum and visit a cousin. The kids wanted to take a boat tour, and finally, I wanted to go to Nijmegen for the day.
There is an annual event in Nijmegen that takes 4 days to walk. I have been wanting to go back for years as a spectator this time. The walking distance is between 120km and 200km depending on age and other criteria. I completed the walk in 1988 on my first try. However, I only did 2 days on my second attempt in 1989. It is like walking a marathon every day for 4 straight days.
Unfortunately, due to the march in Nijmegen, the train service was disrupted and did not go into town. You would have to take a bus for the last part and by the time I would have arrived, it would have been the very end of the march with not many people left walking. Therefore, I gave up on Nijmegen and decided to meet my wife outside the museum. I walked around downtown for a little while to give her time to see the museum and did some people watching before jumping on a streetcar to meet her.
After meeting my wife at the museum, we went back to the main train station. My wife’s cousin lives in northern Amsterdam away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. We needed to take a short train and a bus to get to her house. As usual, we got off at the wrong bus stop and had to walk a little further than expected. We were only 20 minutes from Amsterdam, but it felt like we were in the country.
My wife’s cousin took us for a walking tour (not exactly what an old fat guy wanted) around the area. It was a very quiet residential area surrounded by farmland. It was beautiful with lakes, canals and of course a windmill. The tour took about an hour and then we returned to her house. Unfortunately, it was getting late in the afternoon, so we needed to find the kids and spend some time in town with them.
Last Night in Amsterdam
It was our second of 2 nights in Amsterdam; we wanted to have a relaxing evening. After finding the kids we grabbed some food and walked around for a few hours since the weather was nice. We had an early flight the next morning and needed to be at the airport around 6 AM, it was going to be an early night. So we headed back to the hotel at about 10 PM to finish packing and get ready for the early morning.
The next morning was uneventful and we made the airport in plenty of time to get checked in, get some breakfast and find our departure gate. The worst part of traveling is waiting for your flight home after a great vacation. This was the end of a 4 week trip to South Africa and Europe; we were tired.