Quick Stop in Amsterdam

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October 25th 2017
Published: December 18th 2017
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Who goes to Romania? That's the first question that I would get when I told people that I would be visiting this country in October. I stumbled upon a tour with G Adventures that visits the highlights of Transylvania during the Halloween season and culminating with a Halloween party at Dracula's castle. I immediately was fascinated and booked a spot on the tour along with my friend Shea. On the afternoon of October 24th, we both headed to the airport to catch our flights to Europe. Shea would be travelling to Bucharest via London while I would be travelling on KLM with a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam.

Arriving in Amsterdam's Schipol airport, getting through customs was a breeze. I had a five hour layover and instead of just hanging out at the airport, I decided that I would catch the train from the airport to the city center for a quick look around. It has been 15 years since I was last in Amsterdam. Hopefully a quick walk around the city center would help rekindle some faint memories of a country that was one of my first foreign countries to visit. Catching the train from the airport to the city center was extremely easy as I arrived at Amsterdam's Centraal Station in no more than 15-20 minutes. It was a cold and dreary Thursday morning here in Amsterdam and the city's main train station was filled with morning commuters. I walked around the area near Centraal Station and nothing was jogging my memory from my first visit here in 2002. Walking down the Damrak, I saw some of the famous row houses along Amsterdam's canals and eventually came across a familiar place from my last visit, The Grasshopper Cafe. Back in 2002, this was one of the city's famous marijuana coffee shops. I didn't stop inside however it is my understanding that due to an attempt to clean up the city's image, marijuana is no longer served here. I continued walking down the Damrak but didn't make it very far. I was not prepared for the cold morning as I was just in a light sweater. Turning around to make my way back towards Centraal Station, I vowed to myself to comeback here in the near future to explore more of this great city. I walked around the various shops at Centraal Station before catching the train back to Schipol airport for my connecting flight on KLM to Bucharest.

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