Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Lost In Amsterdam. Then Riding The Canal Cruise.

The walking tour ended shortly past lunch time. For some reason, I wasn’t really hungry even after all that walking. I still had pent-up energy. I was supposed to spend the rest of the day visiting one or two museum. I decided to go to Rijksmusuem by taking tram 10, my destination was just two stops away. boarded.

The standard Amsterdam shot with the canal as the backdrop.
I was discreetly looking at the map to watch for the street signs. Even if I was sitting in front of the screen, my short term memory cannot keep up with the names of the streets. I was supposed to get off at the Nieuwe Spiegelgracht stop. Sige nga, i-memorize mo yan. The tram had a couple of stops which are difficult to memorize as well. The tram stopped... at its last stop. I was the only one left in the tram and the doors were left open. The conductor said ”Last stop”. I got out.
Okay, so here’s the part where I should’ve asked for help and directions being a tourist and a solo traveler l but no, I was still hard headed and a tad shy. I exited the tram and walked in some direction wherever the street was going. I walked with confidence as if I was not a tourist. Bwahahahaha! 


I fabulously walked for 20 minutes until a found another set of tram racks with some other people waiting.

It took time for the tram to arrive. I figured out that I rode the correct tram but it was going the OPPOSITE direction. Kumusta naman! First day pa lang, bagsak nako sa map-reading! Good thing I had a 48-hour pass so I can just hop on and hop off any tram. Finally, another Tram 10 arrived and I was not pretty confident that I was going to the correct direction (siguro naman no?).

Was it scary getting lost in Amsterdam? Not really. There was still daylight and I think the neighborhood I walked by was pretty safe. The adrenaline served as my lunch. I think this is the best benefit of traveling alone.  I was timid to ask around but I got brave enough to just wander off...and be completely okay with it. If you are with a group, somebody will probably complain about who/what/why you got lost. I just laughed it off.

Anyway, I eventually found Rijkmuseum and explored it for around one hour. I didn’t have time to go to another museum. The museums generally closed at 6pm. It was already almost 5pm so I wouldn’t have enough time to enjoy the museum, and that’s assuming I wouldn’t get lost in finding it. :P

I decided to ride the canal boat cruise. This is one of the highly recommended activities to do in Amsterdam. It was a complimentary ride in the IAmsterdam card. Booking it separately costs around 10 euros. Some boat tours offer a hop-on-hop off ride. Well, that wasn’t the one free so dun lang ako sa libre. Hahahaha!

 The canal cruise takes around one hour. The boat wasn’t full so I had the table and seat all to myself. A good way to calm my head after an eventful afternoon.There was a recorded audioguide being played as we cruised the canals.

The buildings do not have parking space for a car since the people uses bikes. They parallel park the cards on the sidewalks. Very close to the edge. 

 Looking Amsterdam from the boat gives the city another angle (literally and not literally). Through the glass window of the boat, I felt like I was “swimming” as the city goes by. From the sidewalk, the canals are just dark murky waters adding to the charm of the place. From the boat, the canals felt like they were roads around the islands. It felt like a highway to these floating structures.

Traditional Amsterdam boat houses: Some house boats are inhabited while some are for rent. They have the comforts of a modern home while enjoying a view of the canals.  

I forget the name.

Heineken building

Overall, it was an informative and calming boat ride. At the end of the tour, there is a wooden shoe where you can give your tip if you want.

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