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Europe: Amsterdam Date!

April 1, 2013

Matthew and I were so excited to head out to Amsterdam for the day.  Maarten and Nicolien volunteered to watch our kiddos so that we could actually SEE Amsterdam.  The kids, theirs and ours, had a great day at the playground, then again at the zoo in Arnhem.  Random fact: the lion that roars as part of the MGM logo was born at that zoo!  Anyway, the kids had a blast on our last full day in The Netherlands while we were out playing tourist in a fantastic city.

We boarded the train in Arnhem and it was a one hour trip to downtown Amsterdam.  We did the only thing a good visitor does in Amsterdam to see the city: we rented bikes!  Our first stop was the maritime museum (called her Scheepvaartmuseum).  The Dutch boast of their amazing history on the sea and this museum was a great showcase.  If you haven’t known us very long, you may be unaware that Matthew spent his formative years sailing and it is still a great love in his life, so this stop was perfect for us.

Next we biked around to grab a tour of the canal system on a boat.  Because the city is/was/should be underwater, the canal system is as important as it is functional.  On that tour we saw some buildings built in the 1600’s and learned some fun facts about the city.  We also floated past the Anne Frank house, which was a highlight for me.

After the tour, it was time to head back to the train station, so of course we rode through the most infamous part of the city.  It was a quick ride, and we certainly weren’t there to partake in anything, but it’s right on the way.  (And if you’re not sure to what I’m referring, then never mind – Amsterdam should be known for many more things than that.)

The ride back to Arnhem was a sleepy one – a whole day of fresh air and brisk wind followed by a warm, lulling train ride would put anyone right out!  We came home to happy kids and a tasty dinner.  Tomorrow we head back to Brussels just in time for a night’s rest – Wednesday is the big flight back to US soil!

And now, pictures from the last two days…

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