Amsterdam – August 2, 2015

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The trip from Cologne to Amsterdam took approximately 18 hours with our arrival between 111:30-12:30. Upon arriving in Amsterdam the group met in the lounge and we faced the second crisis of the trip as the Tour Organizer (Larry) had not made hotel reservations for Monday evening!! Thanks to the Travel Advisor website we were able to book hotel reservations for Monday evening at the same hotel where reservations had been made for Tuesday and Wednesday!
The afternoon was spent by taking a combination of a Canal water cruise, a short walking tour and a bus tour. Randy & Kathy elected to take toe Jewish Heritage tour and the rest of us received a mixed review ot this tour. Kathy did not speak favorably of the tour as the tour director spent a lot of time explaining things in great detail. Randy, on the other hand, thought the tour was good because of the detailed explanation given by the tour director. The rest of the group ended their tour with drinks and food at Freddy’s, a bar that was originally setup by Freddy Heineken as part of the hotel that he purchased for his wife. Ellen was excited as they served Heineken Light, which the bartender told us was the only place that had the Light on tap in the city.
During the weekend, Amsterdam’s population increased by about 100,000 as a result of the celebrations of gay pride week. The normally pristine city was littered with trash virtually everywhere as a result of the celebration. The cleanup was in process led by private citizens taking the initiative as volunteers to clean up the canal.
The evening concluded with the usual fantastic dinner followed by a classical concert by a group named LA STRADA playing in the lounge. Not all of us stayed for the entire concert as we needed to prepare for disembarkation the next morning. And, David and Ellen checked out after dinner to go to their apartment as David had to return to work on Monday morning.
I believe that all of us would rate River Cruising as a “Do-Over” and the AMA Waterways boat with a 4-5 rating. The boat was clean, the staff were very helpful, the rooms were good and the food was excellent!
The last 3 days of our trip will be in Amsterdam where the women promise to shop and the men promise not to complain. Interspersed between shopping might be a visit to several Museums and the Heineken Brewry.

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