Amsterdam – August 3, 2015

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The group, exclusive of David & Ellen who got off the boat the night before, departed the boat at 10:30 on Monday, August 3. Randy & Kathy and Johnny & Kathy checked into their hotel (the Park Plaza Victoria), which was about a 10 minute cab ride from the boat and located across from the Central Rail Station. Larry & Vicki proceeded to David & Ellen’s home in Amsterdam.
Everyone that heard we were going to Amsterdam told us that two things we had to experience were the Coffee shops that sold Marijuana and the Red Light District. So, in the next two days we did our observations of these two Amsterdam traditions. Our cab driver informed us that Cafe’s were eating establishments were places that one could get food and coffee and Coffee Shops were places that sold the marijuana! More to come on this subject.
The first order of the day was a trip on the bicycle by Ellen & Vicki to the grocery store to get supplies. Check the photo of the two on bikes on the SmugMug website:
http://ljl-photos.llanie.com/2015-Europe-RiverCruise/Amsterdam-August-352015/
We arranged to get together later to tour Amsterdam and planned on getting together later. Larry & Randy discussed communicating via Text Message and never hooked up! Larry, Vicki & Ellen (David had to work) then decided to get a hamburger at George’s, a local cafe that is a favorite of Ellens. On the way to George’s, we heard someone yelling our names and looked up to see Randy, Kathy, Johnny and Kathy waiving as they were trying to find Ellen’s apartment. Think of the odds of this happening in a city of 800,000+ population!
After an excellent lunch at George’s, we ventured out on the tram to explore the local area. Our event for the day was a tour of the Heineken brewery, which took about 1 1/2 hours. On the way to the brewery we walked past the Bull Dog Coffee Shop, which is a local establishment that specializes in the sale of Marijuana. From the smell and the looks in the eyes of the patron’s of this establishment it was quite clear what was being consumed. Unbelievable was our reaction to what we saw!
The brewery tour was interesting as Heineken is a local beer and an Amsterdam headquartered company. The tour was informative and the beer was excellent.
After the tour we split up with the intent to get together for dinner at an Italian restaurant by the name of Spagioni’s, a local favorite of David and Ellen’s. We were unable to hook up with the other 4 members of our group, so it was only a partial success. However, you know it is going to be excellent when your host, David, is known by all of the staff of the restaurant. It was as advertised!

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